After reading this architects blog last week I found myself pondering what it is I love about my drawing board. These days it is a rare sight in an Architects office, deemed to take up too much space and long replaced by computers. Many younger Architects will have never used one, maybe not even seen one. I would argue that there is still a place for a drawing board or two in any creative, design orientated environment. A place to think, exchange ideas, scribble, sketch and design.

Dont get me wrong, I’m no ludite and nor do I pretend that working by hand is either economical or efficient when it comes to generating information, architects must embrace technology and all of the benefits it brings. The advances in software that enable buildings to be fully constructed virtually and designed collaboratively by the whole design team is absolutely phenominal but if I need to quickly generate ideas or resolve a design problem it is more than likely that I will leave the computer and go ‘back to the drawing board’ for an hour or so.

Producing an instant idea on paper is very satisfying. Some go on the wall and are taken forward, some go in the bin. I find this process of resolution and refinement extremely fulfilling and very difficult to replicate working at a computer. Perhaps, it is the focus one applies whilst drawing without the constant distractions of email or twitter. Perhaps it is the physicality of making permanent marks with a pencil that demands a different concentration and often feels so much more powerful than clicking a mouse. Maybe it is standing rather than sitting that makes me feel more creative, I’m not sure. A good sketch contains personality, individuality and soul that is, in my view, rarely found in a computer generated image. A good sketch can also convey so much in just a few strokes, often generated very quickly and can completely capture the essence of a project or idea.



  1. Posted January 25, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    thansk for sharing this. I fully endorse what you have said. Quality time with my drawing board is total bliss!

  2. Posted January 22, 2013 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    Having thrown the drawing board out to fully embrace Vectorworks Landmark about 4 years ago, I now long for the space to have a drawing board back. In fact for my work, I often hand render CAD drawings for a more personal feel, especially at the early stages, when clients often want something more organic and less definite.

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