Art & Culture
Free - Hand Drawing as a Thinking and Analytical Tool | Manalee Nanavati
LA 54
Every architect's approach to design is a factor of the project, the context and one's own psyche. Thus, there arise two tasks imperative to the translation of an architect's primary intuition into his design- Seeing and Drawing what is seen. To facilitate this communication, hand sketching often presents itself as a useful tool as opposed to computer aided design technologies that handicap one by limiting the creative expression of collected experiences.
The approach of engaging with built and unbuilt landscapes varies from architect to architect. It, of course, varies from project to project and context to context; nonetheless, even while working in the same contextual settings two architects generally carve out different spatial expressions moulding the landscape in different ways. In ways that often(not necessarily always) reflect their individuality or style of design.

JuhaniPallasmaa in his book 'The Architecture of Neuroscience' notes that 90 to 95 percent of what architects do is intuitive. These intuitions are triggered by our personal experiences, 90 percent of which are stored in our brain. Our brain, thus, serves as a repository of our experience of various spaces. However, translation of these intuitions into design is the real key task. It is observed that often it is this particular stage that differentiates the masters from the rest of the designer community. The skills of sharply observing, analyzing, comprehending and abstracting spatial and contextual settings are therefore given great emphasis in academia as well as in practice.

'SEEING', in essence, becomes the first important phenomenon in this process of translation, while the second becomes 'DRAWING' what is seen. This phenomenon of seeing is linked to human experience by John Ruskin, who says that the 'greatest thing a human soul ever does is to see something, and tell what it saw in a plain way.' Thus, an essential part of this seeing is the way our senses respond to lateral vision. In other words, just as smell often adds to taste, our experience of a particular space or its elements reflects on the way we see it. Hence, sketching or hand-drawing those spaces offer an opportunity to inhabit them.


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