In.Finite Space

Sketching through design

In an attempt to start sharing my thoughts more diligently, I wanted to begin by showing some quick sketches I’ve done for an upcoming competition proposal. I’m showing a select few, but I’m going to take this project as an opportunity to show the steps involved in its development.

I have always appreciated the “sketch”, but it is only recently that I’ve seen the value of the sketch in the early design process. Admittedly, it can be easy to make quick sketches to add to portfolio material after a project has already been completed, but it cannot be overstated how unique a sketch can be that comes from thoughts and conversation prior to the creation of digital models or drawings. The benefits of such a sketch, no matter how abstract, far exceed the seconds it takes to create the imagery. I’m motivated, however, by the observations I’ve made of colleagues who apologize every time they take their pen to a sheet of paper in their sketchbook. All too often, sketches are expected to finished products, which is the exact opposite of everything they should be. The collection of shaky lines should stand is stark contrast to that of a clean-lined CAD drawing.

This project, in particular, is very unique because of the design decisions our team has made up front. The simple form is a compliment to the design theory behind the project, and without delving into the details just yet, the sketches have allowed our team to quickly look at several design options without having to spend any time quantifying the practicality of the design. This will have to be done eventually, for sure, but at this stage of our design that is unnecessary. We will understand the aesthetic language of the project through these sketches much better than if we spent serious time creating an accurate digital model. The concern is that once that model is created every design change is a subconscious fight between time already invested and future time to invest in making the changes. Invested time will win.

This work will be well documented as the project matures, but there are just some comments I’d like to include about the sketching process. Again, it has taken me a long time to really appreciate my technique, so it will not happen over night. To start though, sketch often. Quick, short, 30 second sketches that you

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This entry was published on June 9, 2012 at 4:30 am and is filed under Architecture. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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