Where Have All the Sketches Gone?

In this Sunday’s edition of the San Antonio Express News there was a very interesting article that discussed the lost art of hand drafting. There’s no denying that computed aided drafting (CAD) has helped the profession grow in terms of production speed and accuracy. It does however lack in feeding the creative process. In fact, it almost limits one’s creativity by requiring you to design within the software’s parameters.The article went on to almost criticize architects that spend enormous amounts of time creating complex digital views of projects that could have been quickly covered by a quick pencil sketch. Instead of being offended though, I found myself having to agree with him. Sketching does seem to be becoming a lost art with many of us younger architects and interns.

For me, I think my fear of hand drawings is that they may appear unprofessional. I’m not saying this is true but more of a mindset I’ve acquired since I first started using CAD software when I was in high school. With CAD’s flawless lines and perfect lettering, it’s easy to see why hand drawings or quick sketches might appear inadequate.

My one regret though is losing the ability to draw and render beautiful perspectives for presentation drawings. With so much time spent at my computer, it’s easy to loose that ability to make beautiful drawings by hand. In fact, there are few people in my firm that are capable of this. A more common practice in today’s profession is to outsource this work to someone that has made this lost art their full time job.


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