Unknowing through Writing-(and)-Drawing


  • Viktorija Bogdanova




unknowing, ascending, denying, deconstructing, writing-drawing


In this article, unknowing is the human condition when a person experiences an intense dissolving into the environment. Analytical modes of thinking and rational and deductive modes of getting to conclusions and have their own meaning and importance. However, emotional and intuitive awareness and the imaginative empathy, have their own way of revealing meaning embedded in a specific place. In this article, I will reflect on three examples that illustrate how writing and drawing may bring about a different reading of places, architectural typologies and architectural symbols – when filled with fictional stories and speculative narratives: Yuri Nornstein’s Hedgehog in the Fog, Dostoyevsky’s Crystal Palace in the Notes of the Underground, and Brodsky and Utkin’s project of the Crystal Palace. Along these examples, the article discusses writing and drawing methods that stimulate a creative disjunction from habitual research in architectural and urban thinking through three forms of unknowing: ascending, denying, deconstructing. 

Author Biography

Viktorija Bogdanova

Viktorija Bogdanova is a poet, artist and practicing architect who investigates poem-drawing as a processual modality in creative research. She obtained her professional master degree in architecture in Skopje (2014), and remained there as an associate assistant until 2018. In 2016 she started developing her doctoral thesis in Ljubljana: Emotive immersion through poem-drawing in spatial design. She exhibited her architectural poem-drawings at international conferences in Ljubljana, Aarhus, Berlin, Lisbon, Ghent and Trondheim. She is a regular contributor to Writingplace: Laboratory for Literature and Architecture group.


The writing is a processual trace and fragment of the author’s PhD in progress, entitled Emotive Immersion Through Poem-Drawing in Spatial Design (University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Architecture).

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Peter Jarvis, ‘Learning To Be A Person in Society, Learning To Be Me’, in: Knud Illeris (ed.), Contemporary Theories of Learning: Learning Theorists . . . In Their Own Words (New York: Routledge, 2009), 22.

Knud Illeris, ‘A Comprehensive Understanding of Human Learning’, in: ibid., 13.

Yuri Nornstein (dir.), Hedgehog in the Fog (Moscow, 1975).

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from the Underground (1984), 33. Available online at: planetebook.com/free-ebooks/notes-from-the-underground.pdf.

Roger Chapman, ‘Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Eastern Orthodoxy and the Crystal Palace’, in: Anne R. Richards and Iraj Omidvar (eds.), Historic Engagements with Occidental Cultures, Religions, Powers: Postcolonialism and Religions (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), 35.

The Golden Snail: An Evening with Yuri Norstein (invitation). Friday, January 29, 2010 - 7:00pm. Film Studies Center. See: filmstudiescenter.uchicago.edu/events/2010/golden-snail-evening-yuri-norstein#:~:text=Norstein%20uses%20a%20technique%20in,in%20Norstein's%20films%20is%20handcrafted (accessed February 2021).

Elena Skulskaya, Юрий Норштейн. На Тикусая нищего похож, Дело, 23 June 2003. See: idelo.ru/282/26.html (accessed February 2021).

Dostoyevsky, Notes from the Underground, op. cit. (note 6).

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Winter Notes on Summer Impressions (Evaston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1997), 37.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Winter Notes on Summer Impressions (London: Alma Books, 2008 [1862]), 52.

Brodsky and Utkin’s The Crystal Pallace, etching, projects 1981-1990. Available online at: domusweb.it/en/architecture/2012/03/21/paper-tigers.html.

Ingerid Almaas and Einar Bjarki Malmquist, ‘The Reality of a Drawing: An Interview with Alexander Brodsky’, Arhitektur N magazine (2008). Available online at: architecturenorway.no/questions/histories/The_reality_of_a_drawing_an_interview_with_Alexander_Brodsky/ (accessed March 2020).

Andrzey Bialkiewich, Play with Architecture in Technical Transactions, (Krakow: University of Technology, 2015) 8-A, 20

Brian Hatton, ‘Alexander Brodski: A Carnival of Long Moments’, in: Alexander Brodsky – Works (Berlin: Museum for Architectural Drawing, 2015), 28




How to Cite

Bogdanova, V. (2021). Unknowing through Writing-(and)-Drawing. Writingplace, (5), 97–112. https://doi.org/10.7480/writingplace.5.5879