John Hejduk was an architect and educator perhaps best known as a member of the New York Five (along with Peter Eisenman, Richard Meier, Michael Graves, and Charles Gwathmey) and as the dean of the Cooper Union school of architecture from 1972 until his death in 2000. Starting as a proponent of pristine, white, hard-edged modernist architecture along with the others of the Five, there is a substantial shift, with his late work being characterised by a poetic sensitivity, narrative and form-based architecture.

Hejduk plays transformative games—shifting projections from orthographic to isometric, axonometric, oblique, or perspective. This transfiguration is at its most apparent in the late series noted previously, where the narrative drive suggests such transformations as well as a state of indeterminacy. Some forms drawn in axonometric might be designed or intended to be read as isometric or oblique, giving skewed, distorted versions of familiar forms. The uncertainty introduced gives the drawings a multiplicity of readings which the completed set neither confirms nor denies.

By engaging in a discussion of the temporality and spatiality of the original and copied drawings, this chapter addresses a range of issues surrounding the indeterminate and flexible meaning of Hejduk's deeply coded drawings which shift fluidly within a single inscription from one projection to another. The copying methodology addresses the meaning of retracing as a method of knowledge production, whereby it is not merely a visual reproduction, but a haptic replication of the originating work. How might this then be informed by the work of Henri Bergson, who characterised creativity as having a temporal, processual quality?

What effect does copying have on this discussion of haptic and optic, spatial and temporal; to what extent are the paper projects of architects to be treated as works equivalent to discourse; and what knowledge is produced through an informed and directed copy?