Project 4: Di-Section


The forth project is simply to make a drawing, based on detailed observations and measurements in Catania; or if you are not going on the field trip: the UK site, Dungeness.  The drawing will cut through your chosen site for the Refinery project to explore the inter-connection between spaces and activities, crop and produce, “terroir” and the transitional landscape, and will provide a touchstone for your reading of your chosen site.

The Greek word for ‘section’ is derived from ‘temenos’, which means ‘temple’ and refers to ‘a sacred piece of land cut off from the rest’.  So in a sense a section is a sacred act, revealing the unobtainable and hidden.



  1. Accurately and carefully survey in detail a carefully chosen fragment of Catania
  2. Draw, accurately and beautifully, a section at 1:50 (or an appropriate scale) cutting through your fragment of Catania to reveal hidden meanings, hidden structures, hidden spaces, and the relationship between the city fabric and the adjacent productive landscape.
  3. Use the section, photographs, sketches, readings or whatever is appropriate, to document the interconnection between your fragment of Catania and Sicily: stone, timber, water, knowledge,  food, smell, light or whatever you find.
  4. Include a small site plan and context section at 1:500/1:1000 to locate your Catania section.


  • From your “Migration” project choose a location in Catania, define the extent of the site, and make a highly detailed measured survey: dimensioned sketches, photos, rubbings, annotated maps, collected fragments…
  • Using your “Portable Instrument” explore and document your reading of the place, community and culture
  • Observe and record the place, look in detail and the wider connections to the urban and social fabric.
  • Choose a section through the site which reveals your reading of the place, and draw a dimensioned sketch section for what you can measure, and speculate about the rest.

What makes the chosen section unique? what is revealed? what are the connections? what is the extent?

  • Back in Oxford, weave your site readings into a highly detailed and carefully drawn section drawing using whatever media and technques best captures your ideas. You may incorporate other projections (ie plan) into the drawing but the dominant mode must be section.

Before you start, consider:

  • How do you distinguish between the material that is “cut” and surfaces revealed in elevation?
  • Your section cuts through materials offering differing resistance and density, how can this be described?
  • How do you distinguish between known and unknown conditions? between fact, estimation and fiction?
  • How might the boundaries between public/private, salty/sweet, humid/dry…be communicated

You will need: sketchbook, pencil, pen, measuring tape, string, camera, logbook, carbon paper, etc.

Please do not take unnecessary risks! Tell us where you will be working, and take a friend to help measure.

Apr 14 2014_Catania_0763_Elefanti


Field Work                  17th, 18th, 19th, 20th Jan

Tutorials                     19th Jan (On-site)-6th Feb

Drawing                      21st  Jan – 11th Feb

Review                       12th Feb

Di-Section Brief: Unit_G_Di-section_2014-15

Di Section Examples: Di-section Examples

Theo Roseland: Di-Section


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