The Joint of the Architect’s Hand


  • Carol-Anne Rodrigues University of Florida



undergraduate research


In modern day architecture practice, the role of the hand in the design process has been displaced by the advent of new technology. There is an inherent desire in practice to rely fully on the computer, which within its digital parameters removes the direct connection of the architect’s hand from the creative process. To create meaningful architecture, it is imperative to understand that the relationship of the architect’s hand in the design process is as critical as the relationship of the architectural joint to the project. To understand the hand, I approached it architecturally and rigorously studied its form and structure. At the same time, I studied several sculptors and artists, such as Richard Serra, Eduardo Chillida, Robert Morris and Eva Hesse who concentrated on the process over the final product.  I created section drawings of select pieces and analyzed them with hand motions to study their forms. With these analyses, I created a material joint that explored different ways to “hold” masses and “join” different materials. With my hand analyses and material joints, I have understood the level of the “joint” at different scales: from the hand that makes the architecture to the actual structure that holds architecture together.



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