The beauty of drawing by hand

The latest technological pursuits have provided excellent tools for designers to quickly draw up plans and 3D visualisations to a fantastic standard but with the benefits of computer aided design are we witnessing the fall of the primary discipline of design, the ability to draw? I am always in awe of the detail drawings produced by past architects. They would spend hours, even days measuring each minute detail in order to produce a scaled drawing, focusing on the way in which the light will hit every bulge and crevice. There was love in the design.

The contemporary age has this incessant ‘need for speed’ where designers compete to produce a design concept as quickly as possible that is quick and simple in it’s construction without fuss. The competency of this fast paced environment means that details are inefficient. We live in the here and now, regarding functionality as our highest need.

The fluidity of the hand drawn line gives endless possibilities whereas in CAD the line is much more structured, it must conform to the restraints of the programmed formats. I feel that we’ve become quite lazy, we can’t be bothered to create innate details because it would take so long to draw in CAD and to produce. Hand drawing is an experimental process so even if you prefer the perfect line weights of a CAD produced drawing I feel that it is important to create and develop a conceptual design before finally drawing it up on a CAD programme. CAD can have amazing results and 3D visuals can be produced with fantastic realism but at the end of the day I believe that a good designer should have the ability to draw.

I wish I’d had the chance to go to a recent exhibition called the ‘Three Classicists‘ at RIBA in May this year. The exhibition was a collaboration between  George Saumarez Smith, Francis Terry and Ben Pentreath to promote traditional drawings skills. During the show at RIBA the designers produced a drawing live. The completed drawing is a fantastic example of  the impact that a hand drawn architectural perspetive can have, there is a totally different, more personal quality in the hand drawn line to those made in CAD. Watch the video to see this drawing develop.


~ by beckygroves on August 21, 2010.

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