Have you ever asked yourself why is it important to draw? We’ve all learned how to draw in school, but with the rise of digital media, we seldom need to use drawing as a tool later in the career. In this video I will talk about the importance of drawing for landscape architects and designers.
I distinguish between three types of architectural drawing: sketching of our environment, design drawing, and presentational drawing. Sketching is mostly observation of our environment; design drawing is a tool for design and recording of our thoughts; and presentational drawing is a tool of communication between an architect and the general public. I believe us landscape architects and designers have to use all three.
Now let’s look at why is it so important for us to draw: Firstly, drawing is thinking. It is a visual recording of our thoughts at a certain moment. This goes for sketching the environment as well as design sketches. A sketch is also one of the important tools of design. It is an indispensable tool for imagining 3D space on a 2D surface. It allows us to think about the space in an abstract way.
Secondly, it is through sketching that we collect a visual library of forms that we can later use consciously or subconsciously in our design. Our environment is rich with patterns and shapes and it is especially interesting to explore new and yet unknown landscapes and environments through sketching.
Thirdly, through drawing we remember and understand more. We can see and understand a lot of the landscape with one look, however, we tend to focus only on some elements of the percieved image and leave out the rest. Through sketching we take more time to observe the image seen and perceive also the layers that we would miss by only looking. Also, drawing is not merely creating an 2d image, but also understanding the image through the act of drawing. The motions we make with our hand are recorded in our kinestetic memory. We remember the gestures – and a gesture is the most basic tool for design. A single physical gesture can already describe a design concept.
Lastly, sketching and free-hand drawing are important basics for presentational drawing. We get the feeling for perspective, angle, important focal points and composition. We need all these skills later for presentation in the form of digital drawings, collages and computer renderings. It is also important to explore different drawing techniques. They not only give us a variety of different recording possibilities but, by choosing different techniques in drawing, we reveal something of how we choose to see the landscape or object. Therefore a choice of a drawing technique is also a result of our perception.
(Related Article: Land8 Member Spotlight: Interview with Gašper Habjanič | Linescapes)
I hope these reasons will encourage you to draw more and explore the different possiblities of drawing!
Linescapes is a project focused on exploring drawing techniques for recording and analyzing landscapes. It also tries to promote hand-drawing in landscape architecture.
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