Dr Susan Collins (PhD in Architecture 2008)

Supervisors: Christine Garnaut, Robert Crocker and Donald Langmead

Thesis title: 'Traces that remain: the contextual significance of historical architectural drawings'

This thesis is concerned with the architectural drawing as a contextual record. Contrary to the popular conception and study of architectural drawings as primarily expressions of architects' ideas, this research establishes how the architectural drawing is the product of the context in which it was made. Through the interpretation of significant, but often overlooked, architectural drawing types the thematic development of the drawing from the early to mid-twentieth century is traced. This thesis draws on the collection of historical architectural drawings held by the Architecture Museum, School of Art, Architecture and Design at the University of South Australia. Through the study of drawings from both architectural education and architectural practice, from a common contextual period, the differing effect of the context can be interpreted. Some drawings were influenced by cultural concerns, others by social and technical forces, such as the drawings produced during World War 2, but all of the drawings firmly illustrate a wider concept of architecture - one which is not only about architectural intentions.

Collins, S. (2004) ‘Atelier Adelaide: architectural student drawings from the early 1930’s, in LIMITS: Proceedings from the 21st Annual Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians Australia and New Zealand, Melbourne, pp.105-110