SKETCHES

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Hand-drawn sketching is an extremely valuable and important tool in our creative process. We believe that it is one of the most effective ways to communicate the inherent emotion and character of a design idea. However, it is rapidly becoming a lost art in today’s computer driven architectural environment. The importance we place on this aspect of design is reflected in its’ prominent location on our website.

Often, we create sketches simply to convey a mood that we hope to capture in our designs; it is a “language” uniquely suited to emotion and intuition.  Just as sketching is becoming a lost art, we believe many architects have lost sight of the importance of emotion as a critical design consideration. We feel we have succeeded, in an important way, if the emotion communicated by the proverbial early napkin sketch becomes concrete when the building is complete.

Sketches take many forms in our office, oftentimes loose, generally without color, they can range from being simple snapshots of the creative thought process to more precise representations of designs, spaces, or details.  They are typically three dimensional, but simple hand drawn elevations that convey the essence of a design are also very effective.

Sketches help us to understand quickly just what an idea, detail, or design vocabulary might become, and just as often help us to understand what won’t work as to what will. “What was I thinking?!?” is a response much more suited to the early design phases than if it occurs while standing on the job site during construction. Accordingly, the sketches that help to resolve details and connections are just as important as the early napkin doodles. We will often include these detail sketches in our construction documentation as they have proven to be effective in assisting the craftsman in the field understand intent and the desired outcome…

Also important as are those sketches that help to convey human scale and the relationship of furnishings in an interior space. We spend a great deal of time and attention to the scale and character of spaces and rooms, and try to fully understand how they “live”.  Sketches are one of the best tools to help accomplish this.

Two dimensional plans are hard to understand, and even harder to translate in our minds – eyes into a 3D visualization. While computer generated models are tremendously effective at a certain stage of the design process, hand drawn sketches are the only option to help us and our clients understand a design during the early stages.

Sketches can effectively communicate the level of design resolution during the various phases. A concept is just that- an idea that is full of promise but one that is also not fully resolved.  A computer must draw and think in straight lines, and doesn’t allow for the fuzzy, often circular process that earliest conceptual design must be. Computer generated drawings also imply a far greater level of resolution than typically exists during early concept phases, and can place boundaries on the early stages of the creative process. As a design is resolved, our sketches proceed apace, as does our reliance the computer as a design tool with its’ precision and ability to convey complex relationships. Often, we will prepare a hand – drawn sketch well into the design and documentation process because it is the only way to effectively communicate the character and emotion of the finished building, in a way that a finished rendering or a computer generated model never can.

As a design is resolved at a detail level, we fully embrace full computer generated three dimensional building modeling to understand all aspects of a design, allowing full spatial and systems modeling. Increasingly, we are utilizing technology that allows us to effectively create this modeling at very early stages of design, and share this ability with our clients so that they can view on their own computers, very simply and without complex programs required.

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