Leslie Saul is well known to take out her “fat marker” and her roll of trace at a meeting and proceeds to generate sketches and plans right before the client’s eyes. It is a talent that is rarely seen, as the computer generated drawings have taken over the lost art of hand drawing.
It has become fashionable in many architectural circles to declare the death of drawing. What has happened to our profession, and our art, to cause the supposed end of our most powerful means of conceptualizing and representing architecture?
The computer, of course. With its tremendous ability to organize and present data, the computer is transforming every aspect of how architects work, from sketching their first impressions of an idea to creating complex construction documents for contractors. For centuries, the noun “digit” (from the Latin “digitus”) has been defined as “finger,” but now its adjectival form, “digital,” relates to data. Are our hands becoming obsolete as creative tools? Are they being replaced by machines? And where does that leave the architectural creative process?
Today architects typically use computer-aided design software with names like AutoCAD and Revit, a tool for “building information modeling.” Buildings are no longer just designed visually and spatially; they are “computed” via interconnected databases.
I have a real purpose in making each drawing, either to remember something or to study something. Each one is part of a process and not an end in itself. I’m personally fascinated not just by what architects choose to draw but also by what they choose not to draw.
When I draw something, I remember it. The drawing is a reminder of the idea that caused me to record it in the first place. That visceral connection, that thought process, cannot be replicated by a computer.
For the complete commentary by Michael Graves, see the article in the New York Times
We have included some hand sketches below that Leslie Saul & Associates have drawn to prove that not all hand drawing is a lost art!
We would love to see your hand and welcome a sharing of your drawings.
See other LS&A projects at our Behance Portfolio website.