“I need to produce great ideas. I believe that if I were commissioned to design a new universe, I would be mad enough to do it.” I love this little quote from Giovanni Piranesi. In his time, he was considered the master engraver of Roman Antiquity. He was famous for having documented, through drawings and in great detail, many of Rome’s iconic monuments as he found them. But he didn’t stop there. With time, Piranesi began to do what many of the archaeologists I’ve met at the Academy do: take fragments of history and attempt to assemble a complete picture of what these buildings might have looked like when they were first constructed. Yet Piranesi went even further. He began inventing fantastical architecture and creating views of buildings that never existed, with colossal spaces exceeding boundaries of anything that was historically accurate. I find this an intriguing drawing exercise – to sketch what I see and then to use that drawing as a spring-board for drawing what I imagine. In observing these fascinatingly dense walls within the city, full of idiosyncratic openings and the scars of history, I always envision secret chambers within them. Inventing through drawing is an immensely inspiring act.