"Urban Things" sketched by James PettyOver the course of the past several years, I have assembled a collection of detailed sketches of various urban patterns and interests that I have come across. The following pages are a sample of interests that I feel coordinate with one another and become a cultural comparison guide of different forms of constructing.

Mumbai, India : 2006

"Urban Things" sketched by James Petty

Controlled Views

Using accidental/forced views to bring prominence to an idea or entity is commonplace throughout history. The Italians use its narrow streets to frame a partial view of Santa Maria del Fiore, the local center for Catholicism. Pioneer Americans create wide avenues to frame the center of its local government, the Presidio County Courthouse. One city has people in shorts driving air conditioned pick-up trucks while the other has men in full suits riding bicycles during the heat of summer.

Marfa, Texas : 2006
Florence, Italy : 2006

"Urban Things" sketched by James Petty


Streetcar cables spanning between buildings and fire escapes added onto facades create a secondary system of fabric in cities. The horizontal becomes the border between the sky and the city, and the vertical between private and public life.

Innsbruck, Austria : 2006
New York City, New York : 2007

"Urban Things" sketched by James Petty

Picturesque Paths

The city of the dead mimics town life with its winding paths, variety of housing options, thresholds and potted plants. Religious overtones are placed towards the sky, fenestration presents playful animation, and buildings’ juxtapositioning creates direct view of frontages while meandering the adjacent path.

Père Lachaise : Paris, France : 2009
Biberach, Germany : 2011

About pettydesign

James Petty is an American architect experiencing and contributing to the Yale School of Architecture.