Like every industry, architecture has become more and more digital based. We have software and other technology that help create building renderings and give clients a really clear idea of what their project will look like.
For architects, our work is also a form of art. We pride ourselves on the innovative design, details, and materials we use in each project. And each build—whether a hospital, office building, school or college campus addition—is unique.
For many of us, the process of creating our art still starts with a pencil and paper. Computerized tools are definitely useful for the final renderings—and for ensuring all specifications are exact—but nothing beats a good pencil sketch for the initial concept phase.
There’s something very tactile about sketching out a concept by hand. Sketching allows us to work freely—unrestrained by software—and draw, erase, refine and draw some more—before moving on to a more regimented part of the process.
For those of us who’ve been around a while, pencil and paper were always essential tools. We didn’t have software to guide us when we started our careers. It’s great to see that even younger architects joining the firm still gravitate to sketching out initial concepts.
No matter how computerized any industry gets, there’s still something to be said for a tangible, physical concept. Something created by hand that can be held, tweaked and reviewed outside of a screen.
Sometimes those sketches become literal art—and are framed and hung on the wall in our offices, our homes, or in a client’s office as a reminder of how the process started. And the beautiful building we all created together.