In October 1985, when lecturing at the opening of the Fogg Museum addition at Harvard, architect James Stirling was asked, “How do you do these amazing drawings?” His answer was simple: “With rapidographs!”

Rapidograph drawings by David Miller

While the completed building typically gets all the attention, the process by which it is created isn’t often revealed. When it is, it’s typically discussed through an analysis of a designer’s hand sketches, watercolors or diagrams—rarely from looking at his or her hard-line drawings.

The design drawings presented here are from early Miller Hull projects in which the final presentations were crafted by drafting with pen-and-ink on mylar. These drawings were in black and white and created from a system of precise line-weights learned from my and my partner’s time studying architecture at Washington State University.

All drawings by David Miller and Bob Hull

The individual drawings, plans, sections, elevations and axons were always developed with the composition of the entire sheet in mind. While they were initially drawn for client presentations, we also considered their ultimate publication in journals. The resulting challenge was that the line weights needed to work at different scales. The rigor that was needed to produce these drawings played a significant role in a process of design refinement. Every line was deliberate, every drawing was considered to be essential to the project’s manifestation.

Rapidograph drawings by Robert Hull and David Miller.


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30.3 ARCADE Drawing Unplugged spread. David Miller, Bob Hull. Design by Annabelle Gould and Karen Cheng.

30.3 ARCADE, Drawing Unplugged. David Miller, Bob Hull. Design by Karen Cheng, Annabelle Gould.

Above photos by Sam Cook.