Architecture and the Lost Art of Drawing

In Last week’s Sunday Review the New York Times published an opinion piece by design polymath Michael Graves, making public a discussion that has been ongoing in design circles for some years now: The Death of drawing and what it means to the design profession. With the pervasiveness of digital technology is drawing by hand becoming a marginalized skill and a dying art? Graves speaks mostly from an architectural perspective and references his own growth as a practitioner as well as noting the need for digital and computation but lamenting a perceived lack of emotion in those designs.

“ … I find this quite different from today’s “parametric design,” which allows the computer to generate form from a set of instructions, sometimes resulting in so-called blob architecture. The designs are complex and interesting in their own way, but they lack the emotional content of a design derived from hand. “

At Yeh IDeology, this question is a daily conversation that we have with our clients. The visual nature of design makes hand drawing still an attractive piece of a portfolio and one that very quickly and easily shows process and how a designer, young or old, thinks. Yet without the ability to translate those drawings into 3D some of that value is lost and extends the design process unnecessarily. The ideal designer combines a solid foundation of hand drawing skills with the ability to translate and iterate quickly in 3D.

Where do you stand on this debate? Is Hand Sketching that important to your practice? Are tablets the right kind of in between system? And what does the future hold as technologies get faster and cheaper in this domain?

Read Graves' opinion piece here and tell us how you feel.