Croquiseros Urbanos

From La Plata, Argentina to the World by Julia Perez Marfil (Maju)

La Plata City… “The City Of Diagonals is the capital of the province of Buenos Aires and it represents the principal political, administrative and educational centers of the region.

La Plata is truly original, it was one of the first cities in the world to have an urban planning system in place before it was designed and built. It is recognized for its original design which consists of a perfect square with a central axis intersected by a series of diagonals crossing through a central square. This technique creates the shape of a rhombus inside of its city limits where small parks and small squares are to be found, situated with precision, every six blocks. These green meeting points are of different size and shape and La Plata’s avenues and tree lined streets converge diagonally upon them, painting the city with color and life. La Plata is a city which is perfectly based on classical European designs for urbanism. This is yet further enhanced by the fact that it also has the only house designed by the architect and urban planner “Le Corbusier” to be found in Latin America.

SKETCHING ALL OVER THE WORLD La Plata is my home town and a place I admire for its incredible design and conception. However, it is not the only reason that I am writing this article. I am proudly involved in the movement CROQUISEROS URBANOS|URBAN SKETCHERS and it is that movement and my involvement in it which compels me to share our exploits in La Plata with the rest of the world. Urban Sketchers is a grassroots global community of drawing enthusiasts who make architectural sketches of buildings in urban locations throughout the world. It is also a nonprofit organization, based in Seattle whose mission is to raise the artistic and educational value of location drawing.



About Myself I´m an Architect from the city of La Plata, Argentina who has been drawing, sketching and expressing myself with paper and a pen for longer than I can remember. From my childish and innocent drawings of yesteryear to the more complex sketches and designs that I make for my architectural projects, I can say that drawing is one of the most important things in my life. It´s something that I could never let go. It defines who I am and it is what I love to do. I got in touch with the movement croquiseros urbanos which is a group of people that share my feelings about drawing and that´s the main thing that I wanted to talk about in this article. You can never imagine how far a simple sketch can take you in life. At least it has been that way for me. The definition of the verb to draw(according to the dictionary) means both art that teaches drawing and delineation, figure or image executed in light and dark. It is a form of graphic expression and it is considered part of the fine art known as paint. Also, it is one of the modalities of the visual arts.

Furthermore, drawing is considered as the universal graphical language, has been used by humanity to transmit ideas, projects and, in a broader sense, culture. However, the definition (according to me) means a piece of white paper is an tool for expression and also a way to protect and to keep untouched a fragment of the city, its people and its landscape that shape the scenography of our life. The moment when you try to capture one of these little instants can be metaphysical. Much like if you lose yourself in every line, point or vertex that starts to define the drawing and at the same time, in every detail of the real image, the one you are trying to trap. The limit between the real world and the imagination begins to disappear. Everything is reduced to one concentrated and definite point which, in turn, begins to escape from you and then the whole process can get completely out of your hands. It can seem to be lost in an infinite movement of lines, shapes and spaces, until, at last, you realize that you have created you own vision of that piece of reality, your personal and unique way of understanding and feeling that fragment of sky across faded trees, architecture, streets, lights, sounds, and of course, with yourself. One becomes a part of the drawing, you are immersed in it and at the same time, the drawing becomes a part of you, it starts in your mind and then reflects on the paper.

Like Dostoyevsky said “…There are some moments when suddenly time stops and give place to eternity.” And so, when I draw and I let my mind and my hand run free, time seems to stop and this eternity is reflected on that piece of paper.

M. Julia Perez Marfil ;


“Drawing by hand is not only a way of representation, but also the most efficient way of making a project. The movement of CROQUISEROS URBANOS or URBAN SKETCHERS is running all over the world. You can see a tourist with his camera or his sketchbook where they have captured quick sketches of their journey. Famous Argentineans architects like Mario Roberto Alvarez, Alberto Bellucci o Cacho Soler, have published and shared generously their TRYP Sketches. Far away from the inconvenience and the different challenges that technology can represent, artisanal drawing has allowed us to live that intimate instant of creation where the intention and the attention are focused on the paper. CROQUISEROS URBANOS started two years ago in Buenos Aires City. The creator was the Architect Roberto Frangela with some other architects like Coco Rasdolsky, Edgardo Minond and Sandro Borghini.




The project of CROQUISEROS URBANOS consists of the acknowledgement of our environment from the understanding and the feeling of putting our hands into action to draw the city where we live, allowing us to rediscover the places that we know and give us special attention to each and every point of these environments. In October 2012, CROQUISEROS took part in EGRAFIA in La Plata, with two simultaneous expositions, one on the FAU (Architect and Urbanism University) and the other on the MUMART in Dardo Rocha´s Passage, the Cultural Center of the city. Due to the amount of the interest that people showed in this event we decided to start our own group in La Plata. The following month we had the inaugural outing of Croqueseros Urbanos. Since then we expanded greatly with important projects like the “Second National meeting of Croquiseros Urbanos” and our first exhibition which took place in November of 2013. “Although most of the participants are architects, CROQUISEROS is open to receive people from different educational backgrounds who also find pleasure in this practice. I should also add that it is not only the pleasure of drawing that we enjoy but also when we share our work with the other participants over a round of “Mate” (Argintinian tea) or in a bar.” Architect Gustavo Geberovich, founder of CROQUISEROS URBANOS LA PLATA.



FLICKR Participation on the Urban Sketchers Flickr group is open to all. Flickr is the image sharing social network where Urban Sketchers started in 2007.

FACEBOOK Participation on the Urban Sketchers Facebook group is open to all.‎