Liz Steel asked this morning if the architects she knows who draw needed to learn observational skills in order to sketch as artists.
I sketch, practiced architecture until I left it to pursue art, and am an artist. Most of us drew going into architecture, but a few learned in an immersion course of a few weeks. I’d say no, I had that skill. I understand when artists who were not immersed in the craziness that is architectural school struggle with perspective and other forms of drawings, but for architects. I don’t understand it.
I think the reliance on computers to see and think during design have hurt younger crops of architects in the way they think and create, and in turn have led to even more boring and mundane architects in general. ALL of us drew, none of us had trouble drawing and understanding complex ways of drawing. Frankly the whole issue — for an architect — about not getting perspective is a bit odd coming from my background and thinking about my fellow classmates. I hear about how hard it is for art teachers to teach perspective — but we all learned or knew it within a few weeks. Immersion, not unlike being dropped into a foreign country and having to pick up the language. Some architects had a flair for the artistic, but ALL grokked all of the basics and more. We were weaned on Frank Ching! You could not get through school without making the connection between drawing and thinking and seeing — and the act of drawing was/IS an extension of seeing/thinking/being creative. So the idea of needing to learn new observational skills — unless you are literally a month or two into being a first year architectural student — is a non-compute for me. Like being a mathematician and not adding… A writer and not spelling or understanding grammar so you can communicate….
Don’t get me wrong. I think CAD is a great tool because who wants to draw the same high-rise floor 20 times…. but to think, to design… all was better when our hands/drawing skills were part of the way we engaged the world.
Have you got a door in your sketchbook?
Ixtapa proposal created as group effort with four design groups.
©D. Katie Powell.
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