Freehand sketches! Who does such a thing? The days of hand-drafted architectural sketches are nearly gone. Certainly, we don't dare present an unpolished, manually-drafted sketch to a client. Today we produce crisp, clean, seemingly perfect images using our CAD programs. But something is missing from these perfectly pretty images. (I hesitate to call them drawings. Are electrons arranged on a screen, or reproductions from ink jet printers, really drawings?)
|Sketch for a condominium.|
Today I pull out my Prismacolors (the same brand of colored pencils used many decades ago by Wright) and begin sketches for our new project. It is a large condo unit, 4000 square feet. Multiple ideas spill out, and the hand moves as rapidly as the mind. No computer modeling is yet as quick as the mind/hand connection. I have not seen an ap or a program that allows for the uncertainties of the design process as does freehand sketching. The sketchy line holds multiple meanings and suggestions that do not reside in the mathematics of a CAD-generated line. Don't get me wrong. I embrace the brave new world of electronica. There is much to be said about melding our brains -- as we are doing -- with electrons in a box. But we are not yet at the point of loving these electrons in the same visceral way we can love a hand-drawn sketch. Perhaps we will be soon. But, for now, human touch, whether from one human to another or from a human intelligence to paper, is a richly deep and unique experience. It may not be irreplaceable, but it is incomparable.