Turn-of-the-Centuries (a.k.a. Kirsten Sparenborg Brinton) is a one-woman studio and online shop built of Architectural Map-drawings.
Though I’ve been drawing architecture and travel sketching since 1998, TOTC began in 2007 while I was working as an architect and urban designer in Savannah, Georgia. Allured by its historic buildings and urban plan, I moved to Savannah to draw. I loved my job, but I craved my own imprint. So, at night and on weekends I made drawings of Savannah’s streetscapes. While travelling to cities around the US and in Europe, I try to capture the essence of what I feel as I walk throughout the city, its streets, building facades, landscapes, views and its urban plan. The concept of Architectural Map-Drawings, a unique combination of architectural facades and maps, or plans, emerged as a quintessential expression of the character of a place.
I immersed myself in graduate school to learn more about the places I love to draw, as well as the history of architectural drawing and mapping. (I wrote a thesis on maps of Savannah!) I learned about the amazing drawings of the early Renaissance, when artists, architects and cartographers combined plan, elevation, section, perspective and cartography to visualize their designs and to synthesize perceptions of their cities and places. I studied, and made, bird’s eye view drawings in Rome. I picked up TOTC again with my new vision of mapping, taking up this tradition of “chorography” to describe, document and cherish great places.
Since becoming a mother, my work has become more minimal and abstract, focusing on simple line street map drawings and watercolor city block maps. Having less time to create makes the work process more direct. I still like to toss some architecture into a map every now and then. And I love to meander into botanicals – trees and flowers are really quite “architectural.” Fabric design opens interesting possibilities for combining drawings from different phases of my development – just like the Renaissance again! I’m thrilled for the opportunity to design for Moda.