Pen & Paper: Hand drawing and its current role in the world of architecture.
Pen and paper, remember them?
When it comes to day-to-day work in the office, programs like ArchiCAD, SketchUp, etc take over our hands. Construction documents, modeling and rendering are all completed with a mouse and a few keys. Rarely do you see a architect these days pull out a drafting table or sharpening their extensive rendering collection of Prismacolor pencils. The trajectory for pen-to-paper communication is downward but when will it totally go away? Will it ever go away? Will we ever solely rely on the applications and the tablets for communicating our ideas and thoughts?
As “obsolete” as it has become, we can’t forget what hand drawn communication has taught us. Mistakes are going to ensue, brain-to-hand-to-paper is the fastest way of getting your visual ideas out there, and it doesn’t hurt your case as an architect to be good at drawing by hand. These lessons alone have kept drawing by hand alive in our studio but with a little bit of a twist.
The iPad has changed our lives here at Hoy+Stark Architects. With apps like Sketchbook Pro, BIMx, and PDF Expert we are able to do anything with an Apple Pencil that we’d be able to do with a real one, easily exporting and sending with the touch of a button. We’ve found that this combination of computer generation and the touch of a hand has been the most effective way of communication to our team and clients. (See below a video of an ArchiCAD model rendered in Lumion with a touch of hand generated ideas completed with screen recording on an iPad. The best of both worlds.)
All sketching in this video is digital - sure pen and "paper" (tablet) but the same - but better - captured as you are doing it, to be illustrated, shown later - with conversation!
As forgotten as hand drawing seems to be in this modern day profession, we want you to see that it never really left.
Like your much older, estranged cousin that moved to Maine, hand drawing is still around just not in the same ways it used to be. It’s taken a very new, progressive form while in cahoots with our modern day technological programs. As long as we’re doing what we’re doing, pen and paper will always find a way to work its way in.
So keep your pen moving and your sketchbook full, whether they be digital or physical.