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Sketching and Drawing in Design
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Sketching and Drawing in Design



Intro lecture on sketching and drawing. Aiming to link theory & practice for undergrad design students

Intro lecture on sketching and drawing. Aiming to link theory & practice for undergrad design students



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  • “Study drawings are not altogether confined to early conceptual phases; on any project, further study drawings may be needed in later phases of the work –to sketch out a solution to a detial problem that comes up during the preparation of construction drawings or during construction, for example.” Herbert (1993)

Sketching and Drawing in Design Sketching and Drawing in Design Presentation Transcript

  • Sketching and Drawing Introduction and departing points
  • Study Drawings •Herbert, Daniel M: 1993, Architectural Study Drawings, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York.
  • • Medieval drawings – Before 1500 AD, mostly geometric layouts derived from and functioning directly within the construction process or even with the building itself • Renaissance drawings – After 1500 AD codes for design drawing and construction drawing no longer coincided – The study drawing was invented – Study drawings made it possible to set out graphic conjectures portraying innovative and not yet existing architectural forms
  • •“Designers in the twenty-first century continue to use study drawings much as architects did in the fifteenth” •“Today’s designers use study drawings much as Leonardo and
  • “A designer uses study drawings to conduct an internal graphic dialogue about the design issues at hand” • However, designers use drawings mostly by custom – Without an adequate understanding of their essential role in our thinking about design – They continue to use study drawings just as they learned them – As part of a taken-for-granted background for the foreground issues of design
  • Public Private Less More abstract abstract Types of drawings – Least abstract to more abstract: • Perspective, elevation, plan/section, analysis, adjacency, matrix, graphs – Private to public: • Study sketches, presentation and construction drawings
  • • Study Sketches – Exploratory – Unpretentious and focused – Developmental – Thinking-aids – Short-lived – Replaced by the next sketch – Ultimately superseded by presentation drawings “The size of a drawing indicates its role in
  • “Study drawings are idea-sketches: the designer’s principal means of thinking.”
  • Dibujo Goodman, Nelson: 1976, Languages of Art, an Approach to a Theory of Symbols, Hackett, Cambridge.
  • Notational drawings – Conventional signs - meanings – Useful to document and communicate ideas – Example: music scores and construction plans – Allographic drawings: transferable – Self-explanatory – Easy for computational information processing
  • Non-notational drawings – Intersecting and ambiguous – Extremely powerful and productive – Important role to play in human cognition – Autographic drawings: with an identity – Open to interpretation – Very hard for computational information processing
  • • Early drawing has the function of allowing communication between the designer and himself (internal dialogue) • Late drawing has the function of enabling communication between the designer and other people (presentation, documentation, production)
  • • Sketching is an aid to represent problems into dimensional, topological and geometric relationships • However the benefit of drawing is different for different subjects, partly dependent on their drawing skills • The use of sketching does not guarantee a more creative result • Some people are able to generate and manipulate new concepts solely through mental activity • Henri Christiaans
  • • “The Role of Sketching and Imagery in Conceptual Designing” • This thesis indicates that constructing mental representations can be a strong tool for designing • The use of mental representations can satisfy some important purposes that sketching serves • Zafer Bilda