Renaissance Italy marked a shift in the way the world was viewed and depicted, from a ‘god’s-eye’ viewpoint to one based on scientific theories of perception, and a fundamentally human point of view. This new optical perspective also allowed the grid to be harnessed within drawing, representation and architectural iconography, both defining a constructed space and being inserted between viewer and view as a window or screen. The grid thus created a relational and measurable coordinate system, and served as a tool to break the viewable scene into smaller, less complex, fractions.
How does drawing confront the undrawable? Taking Brunelleschi’s demonstration of perspective as a starting point, one possible answer could be in the grid that not only denoted the transition from artist to architect, but also framed the backdrop to any architectural object. In modernity the architectural realm is therefore perceived as a figure within a ground, a background condition, understood through an increasingly abstract array of points and lines. This compulsion to grid can be used to map not only the ground, but also, counterintuitively, the sky itself.