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The Power of Drawing

Video Summary

In this video, we discuss why drawing is an excellent tool to contribute to a critical approach to urban design and spatial planning. Thus, an approach that:


(1) uncovers the injustices people experience, or the unequal chances they have to access opportunities to make a good and happy life for themselves. 

(2) a critical approach that also comes up with strategies for emancipation and change.


Caroline Newton profile picture 2022.jpeg

Dr Caroline Newton

Associate Professor

Department of Management in the Built Environment,

TU Delft

Caroline Newton is an urban planner, an architect, and a political scientist. Her work and research focus on the social and political dimensions of design. 

Caroline's research interests encompass (informal) housing and participatory upgrading, the complexity of architecture and planning in post-colonial contexts, and the methodological and pedagogical obstacles inherent in a designerly approach to knowledge development. 

Caroline advocates for revitalised urban professional participation and the reintroduction of advocacy to the forefront of planning and spatial practises. She advances a critical and involved approach to strategic planning, presenting planning techniques as acts of resistance, as enablers of alternative spatial possibilities and imaginations.

  • Cook, P. 2013. “Looking and Drawing.” Architectural Design 83 (5): 80–87.

  • Cross, N. 2006. Designerly Ways of Knowing. 

  • Kantrowitz, A., A. Brew, and M. Fava. 2011. Thinking through Drawing : Practice into Knowledge. Interdisciplinary Symposium on Drawing, Cognition and Education.


  • Atelier Visionaire Kunst (2014) Metropolitaan Kustlandschap 2100. 

  • Crabapple, M. (2011),  Starve the Vampire Squid

  • Geer, T. 2011. “What We Illustrate When We Draw: Normative Visual Processing in Beginner Drawings, and the Capacity to Observe Detail.” Interdisciplinary Symposium on Drawing, Cognition and Education. New York

  • Lefebvre H, 1996 [1968], “The right to the city”, in Writings on Cities. Edited by E. Kaufman, E. Lebas. Oxford: Blackwell, 63–181.

  • Lefebvre, H. 1991. The Production of Space. Oxford: Blackwell.

  • Marcuse, P. 2009. “From Critical Urban Theory to the Right to the City.” City: Analysis of Urban Trends, Culture, Theory, Policy, Action 13 (2): 185–197.

  • Pallasmaa, J. 2017. “Embodied and Existential Wisdom in Architecture: The Thinking Hand.” Body and Society 23 (1): 96–111. 

  • Viollet-le-Duc, E. E. (1879). Comment on devient ún dessinateur. Paris: J. Hetzel et Cie.

  • Vaughan, L. 2018. “Charles Booth and the Mapping of Poverty.” In Mapping Society: The Spatial Dimensions of Social Cartography, 61–92.

Additional Information

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