Life & Style

An architect’s delight

For PR Judson architectural drawings that require detailed calculations come easy

PR Judson draws complicated architectural drawings upside down, freehand. A feat few can achieve. He was recently recognised by the America Book of Records and the Universal Records Forum, to qualify for which he drew a 3D picture in three hours.

Of how he started drawing thus, the 52-year-old says, “I didn’t realise I was doing something different or tough. Nor have I learnt this...it just came instinctively. A client would sit across the table, and I would draw from their perspective while for me it would be upended.” He realised what that there are very few who can do what he does. “Drawing another picture - a landscape or a portrait - is easy. But not an architectural illustration, at the very least there is proportion to be kept in mind. There are calculations to be made and drawn to scale. I have always been able to visualise things, buildings too which I feel helps me.”

Judson, who doesn’t have a degree in architecture, has firms, Judson Associates in Kochi and Dubai where he employs architects. “Experience counts, not everything can be learnt in a college. You watch, absorb and learn...all that counts.” The son of a mason, Judson says he learnt everything he knows on the job - first in Chullikal/Mattancherry and then during the course of his many jobs (related to architecture) in West Asia.

“One thing I have always had with me is creativity. If it was creative, then I would do it—drawing, creating art for church festivals, Christmas cards, kite-making among other things,” says Judson who hails from Chullickal.

He married early, at 21, without means of supporting his young wife, he left for Mumbai soon after. “The plan was to somehow get to West Asia, and those days it was only through Mumbai.” By the time he was 22, he reached Qatar as a photographer. Clueless about photography, he had no choice but to learn. “There too my art came in handy. Those days, in the mid-80s, black and white photographs used to be touched up with oil paints. By a stroke of luck, I ended up in the office of a renowned architect in Doha. He showed me the photograph of a building and asked me to draw the perspective of a building. I had no idea how, but I cracked it and that’s how I started doing this.” He managed to create a life for himself by drawing, which was torn asunder when Iraq invaded Kuwait (1990) and he had to return home penniless.

Judson returned better equipped. “I approached architects here, offering to draw elevations for them and found work. The Internet was becoming a thing in the 1990s, so I used that tool too. I searched the Net, found architects in faraway Australia who wanted elevations drawn...I outsourced my talent.” Very soon he set up a small office, which led him to where he is now. Happy at having found his space, he makes a strong case for young people to recognise where their talents lie and capitalise on them.

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Printable version | Jun 2, 2020 8:51:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/for-pr-judson-architectural-drawings-that-require-detailed-calculations-come-easy/article29642022.ece

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