Scan 6

I have thoughts about drawing and the practice of architecture and I would love to share them with you.

I am an artist, an architect, an illustrator, and a teacher.

I draw by hand. With pencil, charcoal, and pen. On paper.


My other skills include architectural design, teaching painting and drawing, graphic design, and community planning. Working with other architects or with community leaders, I have produced outstanding design illustrations that communicate the essential nature of a project.

The drawn line responds to the “changes of rhythm and feelings of surface and space” that are created by the work of architecture. A hand drawing can thus become part of the narrative of a building project, and it can be the starting point for the conversation on a project, or help that discussion to move forward.

Lately, working within various architects’ offices, I have been placed in a new role (besides that of illustrator), that of the architect as a design illustrator. Advances in computer-aided drafting have been a great time saver for many offices—a rendering can now be done with the flick of the wrist and a few clicks—but my clients are also learning, or re-learning, the power of hand drawing.

The process is iterative. As I work alongside the design team, we discuss the nature of the project. I ask questions. I begin to draw by hand. The day flows. My sketches and drawings produce depth, tone, and texture, distinguish hard from soft, and imbue the rough project with a spirit or soul. These sketches inform the team as we continue working through issues, and focusing on the project’s goals. At the end of the day, our team, working through my hand, has created beautiful, solid illustrations, conveying solutions and options to present to the project’s key players.

I sketch up plans, elevations, 3-d views; those appropriate concepts are then implemented in the computer; 3- d views come back to me; refinement overlays, tighter lines and with color; ready for scanning, and importantly, ready for tomorrow’s meeting!

In architecture, creativity begins at the eye, travels to the mind, and is executed by hand. The creative act is thus part of a process, coursing across the synapses of the creator, gradually taking and changing form through exploration and a back-and-forth process that layers and contributes to the narrative of the final work.

Let’s talk soon.

ahl916- 03 nbbj urban

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