Drawing in architectural practice

It is now necessary to explore how freehand drawing is employed today in design generation by a selection of leading architects in the UK. The emphasis is not upon drawings as end products but on the role of drawing in the process of designing buildings. The investigation is into the drawings that architects produce - their type at different points in the evolution of a design idea, the paper and graphic techniques employed, the interrelationships with thought processes and other tools such as models and CAD. The focus is upon the role of drawing in the context of the architects' office rather than in the rarefied arena of the public exhibition or gallery.

In this concluding chapter ten architects were selected for interview, six with London practices, three based in Edinburgh and one in Glasgow. Each architect interviewed was the principal of a large or medium sized practice and hence the person most likely to be the originator of the design concept as well as the person most likely to intervene at later stages. The architects chosen also represented a wide range of design approach, from those whose concerns were mainly in urbanism to architects whose work is seen as high tech, rationalist, art or socially motivated. In each case study, the architects were selected because of their reputation as 'designers', as evidenced by the architectural awards won. Each architect was of a generation trained in the tradition of the freehand drawing but practising in an age where digital representation was the norm. The resulting tension between the screen and the sketchbook interested the author. The nine questions put to the architects can be divided into three types - those dealing with the relationship between drawing and thought processes, those dealing with drawing and problem solving, and those dealing with drawing techniques and communication.

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