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Architecture in Graphic Novels


Graphic novels fold drawings of people, space, and time into their narrative structure to produce powerful visual stories. Graphic novels and architecture also share a set of common tools that are central to their depiction — drawing, sequencing, text, action, character, etc. This makes for a natural allegiance between graphic novels, architecture, and the city. In this episode, Stewart pulls the graphic novels off his bookshelf to show how and why they influenced his approach to architectural design and led to the creation of award-winning competition entries. In particular, David Mazzuchelli’s City of Glass and Asterios Polyp, and Chris Ware’s Building Stories offer lessons for developing a holistic approach to architecture that involves multiple points of view, politics, fiction, and visionary design.


Architecture with Stewart is a YouTube journey exploring architecture’s deep and enduring stories in all their bewildering glory. Weekly videos and occasional live events breakdown a wide range of topics related to the built environment in order to increase their general understanding and advocate their importance in shaping the world we inhabit.

Stewart Hicks is an architectural design educator that leads design studios and lecture courses as an Associate Professor in the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He also serves as an Associate Dean in the College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts and is the co-founder of the practice Design With Company. His work has earned awards such as the Architecture Record Design Vanguard Award or the Young Architect’s Forum Award and has been featured in exhibitions such as the Chicago Architecture Biennial and Design Miami, as well as at the V&A Museum and Tate Modern in London. His writings can be found in the co-authored book Misguided Tactics for Propriety Calibration, published with the Graham Foundation, as well as essays in MONU magazine, the AIA Journal Manifest, Log, bracket, and the guest-edited issue of MAS Context on the topic of character architecture

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