Tag Archives: 2D

An article in the Guardian newspaper today drew my attention to a rather stunning online archive of drawings and sketches from the engineers who designed and built Britain’s railway network in its 19th and early 20th century heydey. I heartily recommend you have a browse here. Whilst that collection is certainly a wonderful resource, I have a rather ambivalent relationship to engineering drawings. Like butterflies pinned into collection books, they are a fixed, dead representation of what once was an idea fluttering merrily through an engineer’s mind. Throughout the initial phases of concept and the first wobbly-lined and crossed-out sketches, to 3D CAD models spinning and rotating on the monitor, through to prototypes, parts take on a life of their own. They grow from chrysalis to caterpillar, evolve before your eyes and then – they are ossified, sectioned, labelled and numbered like any other sample. Their drawings sit there gathering dust on the desk, yellowing…

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