Meet Me In St. Louis

Symmetry. Not what it seems. 

Today I’m in St. Louis and wanted to visit Washington University. I’ve seen pictures of the campus on the internet, but wanted to catch a glimpse for myself…the architecture is absolutely beautiful. I had to sit down and whip out a piece of paper to sketch. Again, all I had with me was a hotel pen and scrap paper.

I had 20 minutes before I had to leave, so I sat on bench and gazed upon Brookings Hall. A reason I love sketching and stand behind it’s analytics value, is because the hand can catch what the eye overlooks. I spent the first few minutes looking upon Brookings Hall and snapping some photos for my personal keepsakes, and I still overlooked some details that I did not notice until I started sketching. And my sketch shows this eye-error and sketch-discovery. Makes me question, how much of a site do we intake/observe by just looking and taking pictures?

At a glance, the entire building looks symmetrical. So as I sketched, I assumed the building was symmetrical, but there is one window out of place. I assumed what my eye did not see and sketched the tower windows to be symmetrical, but the left tower’s middle row of windows is asymmetrical to the right tower. So as you can see in my sketch, the left tower has two windows in the middle row; showing the error window and the window that is to be true. I’m happy I came across this mistake and glad the discovery is illustrated in my sketch, because it further taught me the relationship between the hand and the eye. Sketching can be so valuable to studying a building and the beauty. To me, the break in symmetry adds a beautiful element, that I am pleased to have discovered.


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