The following was originally written by Mark Brim, AIA, LEED AP, a Design Leader at DLR Group in Omaha, and shared internally with the company.
When was the last time you picked up a pencil to draw? That question, and my own love of sketching, recently led me to read Paolo Belardi’s excellent book, Why Architects Still Draw. In it, he points out that: “Sketching is a quick, readily available, dense, self-generative, and, above all, extraordinarily communicative notational system” that’s a “precious tool for all human activities that deal with creativity.” That’s an idea that I can get behind 100%.
Since we began adopting CAD in the 80s and 90s, we designers have been using an endless series of digital tools to create, compose, and ultimately produce our deliverables. And now more than ever our emerging designers are often doing their design thinking through mice and software. But hand-drawn sketches can work so much more powerfully than other methods of communication. Sketching is human and tactile; it opens doors to ideas that you might not have come up with otherwise; and it lends itself to connection and memory.