About two weeks ago in the Sunday Review of the NY Times, Michael Graves wrote a piece titled Architecture and the Lost Art of Drawing. It was a good piece, outlining the argument that in the age of CAD we are heading directly to our computers instead of working through ideas in sketch form first.
This is not some anti-technology screed. Graves readily admits and defends the use of AutoCAD and Revit to create construction drawings and presentation renderings.
This to me makes perfect sense...we cannot go backwards and there is an expectation even from clients now to have fully rendered images of designs for approval, not just artist's sketches. Where Graves' piece resonated with me is where he describes the purpose of drawing as part of the thinking process in design.
This got me thinking about what I draw...what fills the pages of my notebook and gets posted to the walls of my office. What you see in the right hand column are some recent sketches from my notebooks. Some of these concepts have ended up as fully realized projects, others just ideas. I'm no great artist. None of my sketches will be celebrated in museums or sold at auction, but they helped me think through and idea. None will be celebrated in a Moleskine collector's series. That's not the point. They helped me get somewhere. Some of them even became a dance piece.
How often do you draw? What role does hand drawing play in your design process? For a long time I had set my pencil aside in an effort to work completely digitally. But ever since I picked up my pencils and paper, I haven't been able to put them down.