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The Importance of Hand sketching and Model making in Architecture

The Importance of Hand sketching and Model making in Architecture


Published: 24/08/2015

I always believe in conventional way of design not only because all starchitects still encourage their followers to apply it, but truly when you do it you can strongly feel it.

A design process should start with hand sketches. Especially in the era of fast-growing technology, hand sketching should be kept. When you sketch ideas will flow not only from your brain to your hand, also more importantly from your heart. When you start placing a pencil line onto a piece of paper, your heart starts beating quicker as your emotion starts generated. Even it is just a rough line, people still feel it. A CAD line could not bring this emotion out like that. With hand sketches, you could do millions of analysis diagrams instantly without pressing any buttons. Every line is a form to shape a new idea. The more you draw the more ideas are generated. Having a quick sketch could make an idea developed further beyond your expectation. 

Our old generations always suggest that we need to read book in hard copy as somehow when you hold the book, touch the papers, you could feel the story better. Just like that, when placing a straight line by hand, the line could not be perfectly straight like a CAD line. However, those bubble parts of the line actually bring you to other ideas that you never expect. You can draw quickly by a 3D software program, but your brain will be easily stuck with one shape at a time as all the lines are perfect. This makes you easily accept what you are having and stop moving forward to seeking new ideas.

In parallel, hand crafting is also important. In another word, model making is vital in Architecture. Making physical model helps an architect to explore the potentials of the project as well as possibilities of having different solutions. It also helps the brain always think in 3 Dimensional and ignite architects' imagination. Like hand sketching, when you cut a piece of paper and put it stand up, it will not be a perfect square or rectangular or round, your imagination will define what it is at the time. You could always switch to another idea instantly and make another piece to fit with the new thought. By touching the cards, cutting the foam, your brain and your senses all work together.

On Clients' point of view, they would expect an architect knows how to draw by hand. It would be much more efficient to sketch out quickly what the client wants when sitting next to them at meetings. The models are also in great help. The Clients would understand the design process when looking at all studied models up to the final one. The value of the architect would then be increased significantly.

3D CAD modelling will be really helpful along the way while idea is being developed. It helps the architect test if any ideas work and filter the best options out for presenting final ideas. The Client would be amazed when they can see all the view angles within their projects.

Like a singer needs to put emotion into a song when singing, an architect needs to put emotion into the Design. Hand sketching and Model making will bring that out

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