The teaching semester at the University of Canberra has finished, and it always fascinates (and frustrates) me how much the sketching and drawing ability varies amongst the students. Some probably have a drafting or an artistic background, so it comes more naturally. Whereas others prefer to focus on using digital media, and will avoid picking up a pen or pencil in the studio. But even with today’s prevalence of sophisticated CAD and 3D modelling software, there is always a place for the simple things. I’ll always use a roll of trace, a scale ruler, and a thick and a thin pen. It may sound clichéd, but sketching on napkins in cafes, and on the back of coasters in bars does sometimes happen.
I’ve always found it much easier to explore ideas and potential solutions using the medium of pen and paper. This means the wrong solution is also much easier to discard when it’s simply a sketch, allowing the designer to focus on finding the right solution, which usually takes time and numerous iterations.
Sketching is a way of learning about the problem you are trying to solve.
Architects will inevitably develop their own style during their years of training and their professional careers. I’m always fascinated to see the initial concept sketches for well known buildings. For example, the famous American architect Frank Gehry has a style which sees him sketch in a continuous and fluid motion, not lifting his pen from the page, progressively getting a feel for and refining the forms and spaces. I see many similarities between my style and the author of this blog.