This is part two of a three part series on the art of the near-lost art of hand drawing in the practice of architecture.
TEMP001 copy 2Last week I began this series of posts discussing the importance of hand drawing in our process of design. I showed you the first step in the process, initial sketches which are the first steps of the journey. Next, we take those sketches and develop them into design drawings which will eventually be presented to our clients.

First, our floor plans are further fostered and are chronicled complete with furnishings laid out in each room. We’ve found that, while some people may not understand the scale and size of a space, they comprehend the size of a chair. All the exterior views are rendered and illustrated with the envisioned materials. So that the client can further peek into our mind, we also draft views of all the main rooms of the structure, again illustrated with furniture. In this way, every aspect of the design is presented to our client so they understand our complete vision for their dream.

Certainly, elaborate computer programs exist nowadays to illustrate and animate architects’ designs. I’ve found, however, these always leave me cold. They waffle in feel somewhere between a bad computer animated cartoon and a role-playing video game. I always half-expect a talking donkey or marauding zombie to pop out at any moment while touring these techno-rooms. Indeed, these computer generated renderings always lack human hand, warmth and emotion; they seemingly cannot escape their mechanistic origin. I remain convinced that the artistry of our creative minds and the expression of our hearts are transferred through our pencils.  These examples are not the productions of a digital library – every stone, window and chair is given deliberate and distinct passionate thought.  Therein lies the artistry of the designer, literally thinking with our hands.

Next week’s post will document how we turn these design development drawings into construction documents for actualizing the building.

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Greg Tankersley, for McAlpine Tankersley

1 comment

  1. gainesblackwell says:

    Greg, such beautiful drawing. I always believed our eyes were to see and relate to our mind so it could interpret what it sees and cause us to think. If we are then capable of design it is the hand that moves in sensitive ways to make design known to others. I love my computer but it is not my hand , nor my eyes or mind and it certainly does not make designs . Thank all of you for keeping art of design a fine art.


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