The Fractured Movement

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Architect, Texture

The Fractured Movement

Zean Mair-MacFarlane


All the conceptual drawings I produce are inspired by one common thread. That thread is fractures. It may be from ones culture, our communities, politics, emotions or even architecture itself.  But how does one represent such an abstract subject? The word “fractures” is a little broad isn’t it? Therefore I tend to focus on imagery that attempts not only to represent the pulling apart but the coming together of forms, or if you like “fractures”. The drawings have subtle hints to a subject that can be found in their titles. With that said there is something that gives me more pleasure than the title or meaning of the work, and that’s to inspire others. There is purposely a sense of ambiguity found in the work this is essentially for the viewer to take their own perspective on the drawing.



Who influences you graphically?

Through the early years of my education I was inspired by architects such as Carlo Scarpa and Tadao Ando. Later in my journey I began to take influence from artists opposed to architects. In particular ones from the Cubism movement. Now I keep an equal balance between the two. If I could I would probably fill this whole page with influences!


What defines your drawings process and how do you approach a subject matter/ speculation?

I guess this question depends on the context. My process would be very different if I was completing an architectural drawing package for example. But in terms of the drawings at hand the works are inspired by projects that I have worked on, my observations in day to day life, or sometimes it’s just an idea. My drawing process is normally layered with hand drawings, collage and computer renderings (sometimes all three in the same piece). The drawing process in which I choose is normally picked through efficiency. What’s the quickest way to get what’s in my head onto paper without the world thinking I’m crazy.

Most of the forms seem to be floating within the paper, what is the effect and purpose for this?

I’m glad you spotted that. In short, it’s a play with the fractured concept… I’m trying to make the viewer think or feel something. Where are the other pieces? Why is it so empty? Where is the rest? But with that said, it’s not to depress you either. Sometimes things are easier to appreciate when the distractions are cleared. There is also a more practical reason, all of the pieces are a mental note to myself. A lot of people view the work as purely art, I see them  as architectural ideas. Some of which I would like to pursuit into construction one day. Having lots of empty space gives me more room to tweak an old concept and reinvent it as a new one.


How does the centrality of the images affect the way there are perceived as a whole, finalised object?

You’re going deep, I like this! Yes it’s important. I have a new ebook on drawing and rendering which highlights the importance of composition. My reference in the ebook is from the famous painting of “The Last Supper”, I use paintings like this to influence how I want forms to be perceived. I also enjoy off-centring too, or purposely misaligning the perspectives. It plays quite well into the concept of fractures and distortion.


Where does your interest lie when talking about architectural representation?

I would like people to view my work as more than a pretty picture. For me my interest in architectural representation would have to be in creating drawings which envoke more than the obvious. With that said, there is a time and place for such drawings. Great for the creatives, bad for the builders!

So you have ebooks for architecture students? Where can we find them?

They can be found through the link here! Thanks!




Zean Mair-Macfarlane is the founder of Zean Macfarlane Architecture Studio. Before forming his own practice he previously worked for firms such as Foster+Partners and David Collins Studio. He is also an author, artist and graphic designer.



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