Drawing Out

Drawing Out: A Trans-Disciplinary Drawing Network

Principal Investigator: Professor Stephen Farthing
College: CCW


Project summary

The premise that drives the 'Drawing Out Network' was seeded during the first UAL/RMIT University drawing conference held in Melbourne during March 2010. This conference was initiated as a means of exploring cross-disciplinary approaches to drawing and it resulted in the organisers identifying a need for a network that could conduct a systematic analysis of drawing that focused on establishing a better understanding of drawing's relationship with writing and notation. This constitutes knowledge that we expect to help us establish drawing's position as an active component of general literacy.

With drawing established in the minds of the organisers as the tangible bridge between textual and non textual communication, this Network formed and resolved to firstly formalise and develop its membership, and then to continue the exchange for at least two years, with a view towards finally publishing its findings. 

During this two year period it is expected that as the dialogue between specialist members develops, membership will be expanded to include representatives of groups who are expected to eventually become intellectual beneficiaries of the Network's research. These will include teachers, educational policy makers and representatives of examination boards.

To this end, the Network is now constituted around two hubs, one in London at UAL and the other in Melbourne at RMIT University. Each hub is organised by a cross-disciplinary committee and brings a different nationally driven pre-existing sub-networks to interact with this international Network. 

Beyond the core focus that both institutions have on art and design, RMIT brings Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Practices, architecture, engineering designs, creative writing, mathematics and pharmacology to the table. In the UK the debate is broadened and strengthened by UAL's ability to reach out to scholars in the fields of linguistics, musicology, dance and geography.

Together, UAL and RMIT have put the Network in place and it features an international cross-generational set of researchers who have a practical and theoretical engagement with drawing and writing. They share an ambition to develop new approaches to integrating the teaching of drawing within the curriculum, as a means of enhancing general literacy, problem solving and discovery, alongside mathematics, science and humanities subjects.