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Drawing Matter Writing Prize open for entries


The Drawing Matter Writing Prize invites participants to carefully look at drawings and to consider what they reveal about the process of design, and the buildings or objects they represent.

We take the word ‘drawing’ to be as much a verb as a noun, and a shorthand for describing any process of design with a purpose – a building or an object – for which it is being made. The drawing itself may be something other than paper and pencil, a plan or section; it may encompass a sequence or series (such as a sketchbook), or a broad range of techniques, such as collage, photography, models, paintings and, of course, digital media.

This year, the competition is divided into two categories: Autograph and Archive. Participants are invited to enter either or both categories and should submit one text of up to 1500 words per category.

Category 1: Autograph
Autograph offers the opportunity for writers to reflect on a drawing – or drawings – that they have made themselves. The focus of the text might be on the author’s use of particular techniques and materials (analogue, digital, or anything in-between), or a drawing type or representational mode that they have developed personally and has become a key part of their design process. For examples of texts by architects and designers on their own drawing practices, explore On their Own Work.

Category 2: Archive
This category asks for texts on contemporary and historical drawings held in the Drawing Matter collection and other drawings collections and archives. In these essays participants should focus on the objects themselves and their meaning, balancing considerations of the process of making drawings, context, and the relationships between drawings and buildings – both built and unbuilt. For access to the Drawing Matter collection catalogue, register here.

Each category has a ‘general award’ and ‘student award’ sub-category. Participants should indicate on their entry form which award they are entering. Entrants to the student prize will be either currently studying an undergraduate or postgraduate degree. PhD research students should enter the general award.

The competition winners, and other participants with outstanding entries, will be invited to publish their texts on Drawing Matter’s website.

Deadline for entries: Midnight (BST) on Tuesday 1 June 2021.

For more information and to download an entry form please click here to visit the Drawing Matter website.