This article studies the changing role of line in architecture. The paper argues that digital production has led to a subsequent shift of lines as trace, towards lines as “spatialized” thread. This thread is moving away from orthographic and perspective modes of representation through three embedded modes of conception: the digital model, diagram and notation. These new lines have a long and alternative lineage in architectural ideation. The paper explains each mode in turn, indicating the importance of the model as a line in space embedded since the very inception of western architectural discourse; the edifying role of the diagram as a line of operation clarifying architectural ideas; and the new material ground that links notation to fabrication, and continued actualization in the pursuit of new architectural ideas. By expanding the line in architecture, the digital line better connects emerging representational modes to established architectural thinking and opens new ground to further representational discourse.

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Keywords Architectural line, Diagram, Digital model, Notation, Representation
Persistent URL
Journal Plan Journal
Voordouw, J.S. (2019). Digital line: Architecture’s expanding thread. Plan Journal, 4(1), 47–65. doi:10.15274/tpj.2019.04.01.11