Importance of Sketching for Architects

published On Feb 07 2017

sketch book

With softwares like Autocad, Sketchup, Rhino, etc becoming increasingly popular with architecture professionals and students both, we often wonder if sketching is still important? Or has it been shelved into the great architecture archives? Times are changing, and that too very fast. With these changing times, there is a dynamic change in architecture. With advanced softwares and BIM catching up the construction industry, it is assumed that there is a very little requirement for sketching. But is it that really the case?

autocad sketchup

Image credit: Flickr/Hugh Dutton

As an architect, the ability to sketch is important. And before, the students who are not really good at sketching freak out, let me clarify. Sketching is not an inherent talent as we believe so. It is a skill, and like any other skill, it can be greatly improved by practice. drawing Imperfections and skewered lines of ink on paper showcase the way architects perceive their surroundings.  this habit goes a long way in developing a design style. There are a lot of people who sketch ideas wherever it hits them,  haphazard lines sketched on napkins or the last pages of a notebook. Such people rely on this technique as a medium of combining thought and reality.  Sketching is not always in imitation of the reality,  many times it is a  reflection of your thought process. Sketching in itself is a quiet revelation. As the final sketch takes shape, it gives us bits and pieces of information through detailing, the way certain elements are hidden whereas others are highlighted and the roleplay of light in the space.

black and white interior

Image credit: pexels

Sketching in architecture is often used to express an Idea and clarify the intent of the design. In the initial designing stages when the concept is being conceived sketching plays a crucial role. Sketching helps to catalogue ideas in an efficient manner. You don't need to have an artistic level of sketching,  but the sketching process should serve the role of helping you solve the problem graphically.

sketching in architecture

Image credit: Flickr/Vincent Desplanche

At architecture schools, we are often told to sketch our schematic designs. Because this helps in exploring the various problems we encounter as part of an academic design problem. It is beneficial to sketch just about anything- plans, elevations, sections and perspectives, just leave the construction drawings. The constant scribbling unifies the design flow of the project as a whole. Sketching can serve as a base point from which the complex drawing can be made using softwares.

architecture school

Image credit: Flickr/Forgemind Archimedia

Softwares are incredible! They have reduced our time to work on a project and improved the quality and quantity of work. But sketching is a must for architects. I agree it is a time-consuming process, but it makes a person wait for a while and think about what they are doing. That is the beauty of a creative process- every line you draw to get your though on the paper is unique in its own way and can someday be instrumental in shaping the world around you! So take out your pens and papers, and sketch away!

softwares are incredible

Image credit: Flickr/Hugh Dutton

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