Napkin Sketches for an Imaginary Architects' Dinner
“God created paper so that architecture could be drawn on it,” Alvar Aalto once declared. Architects are always sketching on anything that comes to hand. Whole airports and housing schemes may be jotted down on a table napkin while dining; or constructional details may be designed on the plane flying to a building site. This idea was taken up by the University of Technology in Munich as a theme for the inaugural exhibition in its new museum spaces in the Pinakothek der Moderne (see Detail 7–8/02). Architects from all over the world were invited to an imaginary dinner and were sent a white paper napkin on which to jot down design sketches and ideas.
Lord Foster created a personal greetings card for the opening of the university’s new facilities. A number of participants made sketches – mostly with felt-tip pens – of current or past schemes. Tadao Ando, for example, drew his Church of the Light, while Andreas Meck reproduced details of his competition project for the Brandhorst Collection. Some architects, like Arno Lederer, explored the link between the napkin and dining, and Dominique Perrault “served” his building on a plate. Most of the entries were monochrome. Jan Störmer’s striking, coloured depiction of roughly 100 objects is a notable exception. Andreas Hild, negating the idea of a sketch, folded a number of napkins together to create a rose. The work of the more than 60 architects who took part can be viewed from 10 April in an exhibition.