Sketching and Drawing


The design professions increasingly, with the widespread use of digital technologies, require sketching and drawing abilities. This course is meant to help students develop such skills with in-studio instructions and demonstrations, but especially through on-site exercises. Understanding, representing, and effectively communicating the physical environment, as ultimately one’s own design ideas, is the core experience of the course.

The class intends to promote and renew an artistic tradition, when architects and designers would use the practice of sketching as a learning and study tool. The late “masters” of the past, including Louis Kahn, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Alvar Aalto and Le Corbusier, travelled and systematically filled their travel sketchbooks to build up a personal library of images for future reference. The late moderns have been less productive undertaking shorter journeys; however the tradition of learning by seeing and drawing remains evident in the travel sketches by Alvaro Siza, John Hejduk, Antoine Predock and many others.

Even though today sketching, as a way to represent reality, tends to be replaced by the instant photograph, the act of sketching is still one of the most remarkable experiences for the designer, in order to coordinate the act of thinking, observing and drawing at same time.

Freehand drawing is also, in the professional world, an unavoidable medium for a creative conversation about the project, both for oneself and for others (collaborators, consultants, clients, contractors, public, etc.).