View Full Version : Architecture and the Lost Art of Drawing

09-03-2012, 10:41 AM
Interesting read from the New York Times here. (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/02/opinion/sunday/architecture-and-the-lost-art-of-drawing.html?_r=1&src=me&ref=general)

As I work with my computer-savvy students and staff today, I notice that something is lost when they draw only on the computer. It is analogous to hearing the words of a novel read aloud, when reading them on paper allows us to daydream a little, to make associations beyond the literal sentences on the page. Similarly, drawing by hand stimulates the imagination and allows us to speculate about ideas, a good sign that we’re truly alive.

09-03-2012, 11:06 AM
I took a couple of arcitectural drafting classes in high-school, back during the (tail end of the?) hand-drafting days.

I enjoyed it so much I considered studying arcitecture in college. But I decided that in The Real World (tm) I'd be unlikely to be able to design the kind of building I had so much fun designing (the most common comment I received from the teacher was "do you have any idea how expensive this would be to build?!?"), and I'd probably be stuck designing rectangles composed of rectangles. So I choose another path.

But I am nostalgic for the drafting tables with the built-in movable rulers and the vellum, the mechanical pencils and the eraser-powder-bags, the triangular-shaped scale-rulers and the compasses.

09-03-2012, 11:21 AM
I know what you mean. I've always loved drawing instruments as a kid (before the days when computers were widely available).


I recently found this (http://www.williamwarren.co.uk/2009/10/3d_doodle_kit/)in the London Graphic Centre (http://www.londongraphics.co.uk/?gclid=CImeyZzambICFVF0fAodey4AHg)in Covent Garden - that place is serious Mecca for people who love graphic art.

Although it's meant to be used to do 3d drawing, it makes a really good instrument to draw roads at constant widths. it's by no means perfect, but kind of fun to use. It would be nice if it there was a metal equivalent which would be more sturdy.

09-03-2012, 04:13 PM
What fun! :D

Cunning Cartographer
09-03-2012, 06:05 PM
I dunno if I quite agree with the quoted statement. I mean firstly with graphics tablets you can do hand drawn design, and I don't see the benefit of using a pencil and compass over using a circular marquee tool. In all my studies and professional life I've tried to adopt the philosophy of "work smarter not harder". It's hard to think that people who look on at the "tech-savvy" who are no doubt leagues ahead of them in terms of technical computer skill, simply try to pull a negative from something that really is a positive; people being able to accomplish quality with speed. It kinda feels like the criticism that used to be offered from my old university lecturer who was "teaching us how to use Photoshop" even though I have been using it for over a decade while he was still using pens and ink and mounting his presentation pieces on graphics board; in the one on ones he would try to offer so often it would be me showing him how to do things with the program.

I've only recently got a graphics tablet, and I haven't really drawn by hand for quite some time (always preferring digital), but I've made battle-maps and concept art of the most weird, wonderful and fantastical; my method of drawing doesn't stop me day dreaming or my mind wandering and a map deviating onto a different path unsure of where it takes me. If the subject of what you are drawing is technical enough to take on an almost clinical element (as LindaJeanne said "rectangles within rectangles") then this is where the passion, creativity and imagination is lost; not the medium used to get there.

09-03-2012, 06:37 PM
Speaking as some one who spent most of his Architectural Drafting course on the drawing board, with only 2 courses on computer drafting, then as of his first job after finishing never used one for gainful employment; there is definitely a sense of "the whole picture" on the drawing board that is missing from computer work. I do not mean the level of detail, just the sense that you are seeing the entire project when you are looking at the board.

I know that you can always zoom out and see the whole thing on the screen, but I feel that it really is not the same. Maybe I am just from an older generation....but I miss the "ability" to look at a piece of paper from different angles in order to get a "different point of view" on a problem....(I know, it makes no sense but....)

and I miss my dad's drafting tools.....I had a set that he had used since just after WWII....(different compasses and stuff for ink and lead) that was lost at some point...

09-05-2012, 06:34 PM
LOL I still use all this stuff :-) Hence the name Vellum!! then again its the only way I can make things work, all this new fangled computer stuff zeezzzz

Cunning Cartographer
09-06-2012, 04:27 AM
Learning new tools is the easy part Vellum if you're already coming with the technical/artistic talent :)

09-06-2012, 07:32 AM
Well All this Things works differently, have different feel to it. As i explained to vellum before booth is visibly digferent