Used architectural drawing brush

Artist: Sheryl Boyle


This tile is a left-handed drafting brush made with a hardwood handle and sterilized horsehair bristles, mounted on a pine board. The brush originally belonged to G.A Calder, a Toronto engineer, and father of a friend to Associate Professor Sheryl Boyle. The purpose of this tile is to showcase what, in many ways, has become an emblem of the past. Digital drawing techniques continue to progress, and as we embrace them, the pencil, eraser, and drafting brush are used less and less. How will this impact architecture? As we shift from erasing to deleting, the faint lines of mistakes and previous iterations become permanently removed. Digital technology has created a new form of making, and this tile was created to celebrate and remind us of traditional tools and techniques.


The Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism emphasizes the importance of tools as they influence the process of making, and we, therefore, must be critical of the tools we choose.


Like materials, physical tools leave traces of the past. The previous life of this drafting brush can be seen in the worn-down bristles of the face, which contrast with the intact status of the back. The brush was held in the left hand, with the draftsperson’s right hand holding the pencil or eraser. This presence of the draftsperson’s position and technique give a human dimension to the drawing and the tool as the paper space encompasses the body of the draftsperson.