Project 2: Compo:Site

The second project is to make a single kaleidoscopic drawing, based on multiple detailed observations and measurements of Oxford, to become a compo:site reading of place to inform the Autio:Tupa group project.

The drawing will combine the numerous and divergent readings of the site developed by each member of the Autio:Tupa group in their Instrument projects.  The drawing will explore change of the site in the context of the transitional landscape.

The word ‘section’ in Greek is ‘tome’ – originating from ‘temenos’, which means ‘temple’ and refers to  ‘a sacred piece of land cut off from the rest’.  So to cut a section is a sacred act. It reveals what is unknown to the profane world.

A (sacred) section, maybe cut vertically or horizontally (a plan), but section differs in one crucial sense: it is usually taken perpendicular to the ground, in the plane of the field of gravity. A section, organized by its relationship to gravity unveils and investigates the connection to the “land”.  But in a city such as Oxford founded on mud, silt and clay above within and below water, what is land?

Brief:          To produce one compo:site section drawing from several parts:

  • As a group discuss and overlay your Instrument readings of the Oxford site to choose a location(s) for you compo:site section
  • As a group accurately and carefully survey in detail your chosen fragment of Oxford
  • Seen through the lenses of each “Instrument”, accurately and beautifully draw, a horizontal or vertical section at 1:50 (or an appropriate scale) cutting through your fragment of Oxford to reveal what is hidden and changed: space, surface, meaning, structures, and the relationship between the city fabric and the transitional landscape.
  • Use the section, photographs, sketches, Instrument readings or whatever is appropriate, to document the interconnection between your measured fragment of Oxford and the transitional landscape.
  • Include a small site plan and context section at 1:500/1:1000 to locate your Compo:site section.


  • Consider the common threads between your group’s Observations and Instrument Readings of site, are they facets of an underlying constant?
  • By making an intensely observed measured survey of your chosen fragment of Oxford you have license to speculate about the rest.
  • What are the facts?: measurement sketches, photos, Instrument readings, rubbings, casts …weave these into the drawing.
  • What is unknown, unknowable or just guessed? How does knowledge inform what you draw and how you draw it?
  • The drawing may use multiple projections, but the dominant mode must be a cut


  • How does the drawing distinguish between a cut material and un-cut surfaces and spaces that are revealed?
  • What is filtered out and what is exaggerated? Think about the Instrument’s view
  • If the drawing cuts through materials of different resistance or density, how is this quality captured and expressed?
  • Since the drawing cuts through known and unknown conditions, how do you distinguish between fact, estimation and fiction?
  • If the drawing cuts through different conditions (public/private, or different physical conditions (salty/sweet, humid/dry…) how might the boundaries indicated?
  • What is the attitude of your drawing to time, duration and change?
  • How you will present the complex web of this work.

The Compo:Site drawing may take any appropriate form, using any appropriate media or technique to accurately and beautifully explore, capture, reveal and communicate your ideas.


Introduction                              17th Oct

Field Work                                 17th – 20th Oct

Tutorials                                    21st, 24th, 28th Oct

Review       (Autio:Tupa Interim Review)     14th Nov


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