Jan 8, 2014

Dirty Doodling

I don't know if it was just my luck, but I learned early on during college that Architects seem to have developed a vendetta against sketches, I don't mean polished stylized 'pretty' sketches, I mean the spontaneous, fast, dirty sketches. The kind of doodles that come to express an idea, to represent volume, or orientation in an architectural project.

Many teachers in architecture school I encountered had a sort of allergy of a hand drawn doodle. If it wasn't a printed, scaled and computer generated it was unworthy of reviewing.
Now, I understand the importance of a well finished professional looking plan, but even in a class where the emphasis was on the development of an architectural idea and solution to a certain project, rather than concentrating on the technical execution of the plans, there still was the allergy to sketches.
Students develop this mysterious disease early on too.
Rarely would you see a student present a sketch to his or her classmates to explain an idea on a project, usually you got a set of instructions like:
-"let me build the 3D model on Sketch-up and send it to you so you look at it, and then re-send it to me, if there is something you'd like to change"
- "can't you just draw it quickly right now?"
- "nah its better if I do it on the computer so the teacher can look at it too he wouldn't want to look at a sketch any ways "

As a young architect, I really wasn't around when CAD softwares weren't an option, so I'm not sure if this is a new trend that came as a result of the availability of drawing softwares, that made hand drawn sketching seem like an unnecessary and ugly step in the creation of architectural drawings.
However, I do think that there is something special and honest about the sketch that represents the spark of an idea. It may not be pretty for a client to look at, or something you display all the time, but for a native speaker of the architectural language, Sketches should be looked as a souvenir of the creative process. As the start that snowballs into a full realized project.

Having said all that, if a teacher or boss is not particularly fond of hand drawn sketches, it would be wise not to test your luck, just in case.


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