Why draw

Dovercourt Lighthouse Drawings

There is an undisguised air of evangelism running through this book, for it seeks to encourage students of architecture, craft and design to forsake their cameras and learn the art of freehand sketching. Drawing is not only more enjoyable and far more educational, but the end product is more likely to remain a cherished object than would an anonymous slide or photographic print. Drawing an object, building or townscape forces you to engage more directly in the subject than as a mere...

Designing through drawing

The idea as formed in the mind was imperfect and could only be given its consequent form through examination, exercise of judgement, and modification of the idea through drawing. Leon Battista Alberti (1452), Ten Books on Architecture The traditional view is that the objective of design is the creation of form and the task of drawing is to give that form some shape or expression (Alexander 1964 p15). Hence, in modernist practice form is grounded in function and meaning - the argument being that...

From sketch to design

Having become accustomed to using the sketchbook as an aid to visual understanding, it is not too much of a leap to begin thinking in design terms. Your sketches will not only have sharpened your perceptual awareness, but more importantly opened your eyes to how a designer thinks. Basically an architect or urban designer has to evolve a form - hopefully an elegant one - to suit a particular function, and relate it to a context. Hence design is a two-way process - working from the functional...

The Findings Drawing Tools And Techniques

Nicholas Grimshaw Sketches

The materials, tools and techniques of architectural drawing have not overly concerned academics. The questions addressed here seek to tease out the drawing tools employed in a practical sense for design exploration. The issue concerns the role of line, its weight and permanence, the type of paper and pen used, and the strategies for integrating sketching with other investigative tools. Whilst all architects interviewed designed primarily by drawing, not all employed the pen. Foster, for...

Sustainability

Sketches Animal Rescue Systems

The concept of sustainable development, and associated practices such as sustainable construction, lend themselves to investigation via the sketchbook. It is possible to use freehand drawing to explore aspects of modern green design, be it the use of solar energy, wind power or natural ventilation. Conversely, most of the buildings constructed before the Industrial Revolution utilised local renewable energy sources, building materials were from the immediate locality, transport and farming...

Looking And Seeing Through Drawing Modern Sketchbook Practice

The practice of looking is as important as the practice of designing. The sketchbook allows the looking to become more critical - the image produced by drawing heightens awareness of the subject and offers a greater range of potential to the designer. Freehand sketching is a way of recording subjects in a more rigorous way than simply photographing them, thereby helping to cultivate visual memory and critical judgement. Looking is a precondition to exploring subjects beneath the surface, and...

The importance of practice

The co-ordination of hand and eye is a necessary starting point for freehand drawing. It is only through frequent practice and by following sound principles that the facility to draw without hesitation or uncertainty can be attained. The fluid, confident lines of an accomplished draughtsman are achieved as the result of much practice. This book does not pretend to teach drawing, only to encourage its use as part of the design process. Like the acquisition of all skills, training and...

Perspectives On Architectural Drawing

Themes Future Drawing

The literature on drawing highlights a number of important characteristics of the architectural drawing. Whereas Paul Klee describes drawing as 'taking a line for a walk', the architectural drawing has an important role to play in the conceptualising process we call design (Stern 1977 p382). In architecture, the line is taken for a walk with purpose - i.e. design. The renewal of interest today in drawing is part of a more general discourse surrounding visual culture embracing themes such as...

The Findings Drawing And Abstract Thought Processes

Without exception all of the architects questioned acknowledge the symbiotic relationship between thinking, drawing and designing. However, not all thought that drawing was a prerequisite for design many architects, including Cullinan, Grimshaw, Alsop and Foster, often arrived at an initial design idea in their head before they committed a line to paper. These early design ideas were generated spontaneously, perhaps whilst jogging in Foster's case, cutting logs in Cullinan's or painting in...

History and archaeology

Architecture Freehand Sketch

Drawing is a particularly useful tool to employ in the study of the history of architecture and in related fields of archaeology. The site sketch supplemented by measurements on the ground brings the organisation, structure and construction of historical and archaeological subjects into a graphic form that can be readily understood. Historical sites come in many forms - some are predominantly below ground, others are fragments of structure above, others are relatively complete assemblies...

Materials

The artist of today has never been so fortunate with regard to drawing equipment. Modern waterproof felt-tip pens, clutch pencils and a wide range of drawing papers mean that every situation, type of subject and sketching style is catered for. The decision nowadays tends to be what to leave behind, since the range of materials is so wide and their reliability so good. When choosing sketchbook paper, you should have already decided upon your sketching medium. Generally speaking, smooth cartridge...