Is It Still Necessary For Architects To Draw?
Is it still necessary for architects to draw? Consider this. Seriously, I’m putting this out there because I know the question evokes strong emotions in each of you. I’ve been having this conversation with colleagues in academia and practice for several months. I’m sure the reader’s feelings on this are directly related to their age. At least that appears to be the case in the majority of my conversations. To be honest, I’m not sure where I stand on this one. As a result, I’m writing this post. I’d like to initiate a larger discussion within the field and see what happens. I am well aware that this is a contentious issue. I want you to try to keep as much emotion out of the discussion as possible.
So allow me to attempt to explain the full scope of the question. The keyword in the last sentence is “attempt.” The majority of this began when the transition to online classes began in the spring, making it more difficult for students to use drawings or hone their drawing skills. I began to ask the question with the possibility of continuing in the fall with little or no face-to-face instruction. Is it necessary to teach students how to draw? Is that a necessary component for creating or practising in this day and age?
I’ll start by saying that I’m not talking about sketching. That, in my opinion, is an essential component of practice. I believe that is a necessary skill. You can also learn this skill and improve your abilities with practice. even if it’s more akin to what I’d call “technical” sketching. That is a skill I probably use every day. I’d be even more lenient on the notion of “perceptive” or “imaginative” sketching (from your mind) as a required skill. I’d never say it’s a useless skill for an architect to have. In addition, I believe that diagramming is a necessary skill. I understand that many diagrams are now created entirely digitally, but the ability to start one by hand is still very useful and, I believe, inherent in what we do. These abilities will undoubtedly aid in bringing your architectural concepts to life.
So, what’s the problem? So, I’m beginning to wonder if technical drawing is a necessary skill. Is it necessary for an architect to understand how to build a 1-point perspective? Handwritten perspective from two points letter? Details of construction in pen or pencil? Is a T-square or a parallel bar used? How many current practitioners use any of these items or create images like these by hand? I’m willing to bet that it’s in the single digits. Again, I’m referring to technical drawings. Not drawing.
One of the many arguments I hear in favour of the drawing must be taught camp is that the act of drawing is superior to the computer because of the mind-to-hand connection. as if it is preferable to draw an idea by hand rather than create it electronically. The idea that the thought process becomes diluted when using a mouse instead of a pen and paper This is where I believe age comes into play. That sentiment, I believe, is more prevalent in the “older” demographic of architects or designers.
Mostly because that is how they learned to design, which I can understand because that is how I learned as well. But what about today’s students? Most of them have spent more time than any other utensil with a mouse, keyboard, or touch screen in their hands. So, what is the advantage of going back to pens, pencils, and paper?
Just because the transition from your brain to the mouse or keyboard feels abrupt does not imply that it is the same for someone in their twenties. So, what is the advantage of learning to draw in this manner? What’s the line weight? penmanship? What? Can’t those principles be learned in another way? Do I have to draw heavier lines to grasp the concept of how line weight improves drawing comprehension? I could simply print out a cad-drafted detail, draw over it with the appropriate line weight, and teach that lesson. What is the lesson’s significance? Is it the procedure or the knowledge gained as a result of it?
I am not sure. I would prefer the resulting knowledge. That is all that matters. I say this because I believe the process and procedures will evolve over time, but the knowledge that line weight is important (at least for the time being) is the most important takeaway. It makes no difference whether that is a CAD line, a BIM line, or some other type of line in the future. It is about improving and clarifying the final presentation.
I can also say that my drafting ability is far from exceptional. I only wish I had some of the tools that students now have access to when I was in school. Because of my lack of artistic abilities, I could see things in my head that I couldn’t properly translate onto the page. As a designer, that was infuriating. That would no longer be an issue for me. Perhaps I would, as it is simply a desire to go beyond my own capabilities.
But I couldn’t improve my drawing skills quickly enough or to the level required to convey the imagery in my head. Perhaps today’s students feel the same way about the software they use. I understand how it can limit their creativity and ability to communicate their ideas. So, would more drawing help the situation? What would you think of a student in a studio review today who drew their entire presentation by hand?
While I agree that it is faster to be able to sketch out an idea in front of a client during a meeting than to say we will take that idea and return in two weeks with new renderings, this is not always the case. Technology is constantly evolving, and soon we will be able to modify our 3D models in real-time by simply moving our hands around in the holo-sphere. Things change in tandem with our understanding of them. I believe we must evolve in tandem with technology. We will become even more obsolete if we cling too tightly to the ways of the past. How do we extract the critical and necessary elements from older methodologies and reinforce them with and for new technologies?
If we return to the line weight example (it’s a simple one), I see so many sets of documents from firms today that have no line weight at all. As a result, technology has already surpassed a portion of our “craft.” However, if we teach the ideas and reasons for line weight in a drawing rather than forcing someone to draw with a thicker pen, we are moving forward with purpose rather than completely eliminating the past. But, in the near future, when we hand off models and there are no 2-dimensional representations of our work, line weight may not be an issue. However, I am confident that other ideas from our post methodologies will remain relevant.
Written By Tannu Sharma | Subscribe To Our Telegram Channel To Get Latest Updates And Don’t Forget To Follow Our Social Media Handles Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter. To Get the Latest Updates From Arco Unico