Giveaway: Color Light Time + Scale / Steven Holl

Thanks to the courtesy of Lars Müller Publishers, we are giving you the chance to win one of these two great books: Scale and Color Light Time, two of Steven Holl’s latest publications (see our review here). We have three copies of each book and all you have to do to participate is become a registered user (if you’re not one already) and answer the following question in our comments:

uses watercolors. With all the technology available today, what are the advantages or benefits of the analogue process of creating architecture?

You have until Tuesday 19 to submit your answer. Winners will be announced and contacted next Wednesday 20. Good luck!

Cite: Jordana, Sebastian. "Giveaway: Color Light Time + Scale / Steven Holl" 12 Jun 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 30 May 2015. <>
  • Justin Dill

    The act of building is for the most part still an analog process. Developing ideas and concepts, whether through drawing, painting, or sculpting puts the architects hands into the project. There is a connection made to reality when our hands directly create something from our mind that is lost in the digital world. Working digitally allows for quick iterations and makes things easy but working in analog allows for a deeper connection that is more connected to the craft of making.

  • Alejandro Zeballos

    I think that the distance between the mind and the paper is shorter than between mind-computer, creativity flows easily on paper, the contanct with the matter (pencil-paper, watercolour-paper, etc)on the first sketches approaches to the idea that you are drawing something ment to be materialized.

  • Anton Freundorfer

    One can work through many permutations and concepts quickly, and flow freely between both two and three dimensions. Once attained, it is inherent to allowing one to express architectural possibilities outside of the office, away from the computer, and when meeting people on the fly.

    In my opinion, I think it increases the appreciation of architecture, visualization, and art. In practicing it, I think the architect becomes a little more well rounded, in how he/she percieves and designs architecture.

  • Scott Magnuson

    Much of architecture is necessarily pragmatic and technical. If you’ve been in the profession long enough the realities of construction can start to override the inventiveness and creativity of a designer/project. Painting, sculpting and other analog artistic outlets can be used as a way to explore and inspire without the confines of pragmatism or reality. These types of explorations and processes have a way of generating creative approaches to translating emotive desires into spacial constructs.

  • Michael Archer

    Steven’s use of watercolor is brilliant. Though an architectural undertaking can often take a lengthy amount of time to crystallize, a method for capturing that spontaneous moment of creativity is essential. It always seemed to me that he was beginning a conversation about texture and effect almost immediately by layering these thin, aqueous paints on top of one another. The way the paper beads and rolls is so reminiscent of the smooth concrete he enjoys employing while the all-too-familiar grit we find in his sketch-style watercolors foreshadows certain natural material selections almost immediately. His affinity for translucency and the interplay between program event and skin in his built work almost demands the use of watercolor over any other form of analog expression.

    Perhaps we may also allow ourselves to simply admire their beauty, and enjoy the technique as it peaks our interest from the very conception of his projects.


  • anthony policastro

    I think one is able to have more of a physical connection and attachment with the hand and pen then on can with the hand and mouse. As a result, this matter of working shows the emotion and liveliness of the architect/project relationship, which in turn motivates and invigorates the client in the belief of the architect and the project.

  • Caleb Davis

    Analogue vs. Digital

    This issue seems to be fading away a little to easily for my comfort. To me, this is similar to the role Facebook plays in our society. While there are numerous benefits and advantages to personal interactions on Facebook, it is not the same as actual physical connections and relationships. As of now, digital processes for design and presentations can be more precise and accurate as well as a major time saver, but the personality of a project or design comes from the designer. Some designers are able to convey more personality than others via technology, but more often than not, there is a warmth that is missing, a connection that doesn’t click as well, an impersonal relationship. Again, there are great advantages of going digital, but when it is completely relied upon, the personality of the project suffers.

  • Dylan Gould

    The advantage is the artisan quality of the practice – the tangible quality of the design process. A line made by pen is a gesture and speaks to the greater idea. It remains malleable, whereas a line on a computer is permanent, it has a dimension and a precision. Design is a craft and digital tools are in place to aid in the production and facilitation of the process, allowing us to solve complex problem, but the analog aspect of the design remains a tangible, tactile and evolving gesture – it is but a whim, an idea and something constrained only by the size of the paper it is drawn on.

  • Kevin Bukowski

    Design must begin simply by conceptual ideas that are best illustrated and conveyed by the freedom that is the hand and paper. The paper is permissible of one’s creativity to be unbounded for those ideas to formulate, whether they are abstract or concrete representations.

  • Andres Diaz

    It enriches the design by providing an organic essence to the architecture being drawn, what might be conveyed by a simple stroke of the pen could translate into a highly complicated process in the computer.

  • Paula Reggiori

    The benefit lays in the matter of the freedom that an empty paper and an paint brush soaked with ink give the architect. It allows the imagination to flow wherever it needs to and this is exactly what architects need to create something truly amazing.

  • Boodhun Keshav

    we can express the idea more freely with hand.. and more quickly, in a beter way. it also help rendering of design .

  • Dario Alvarez

    Analogue process are closer to real life. Using water colours is part of the essence of be an architect – digital ways are cold but ussefull.

  • Gonzalo González

    For me, using analog procedures to work in a design let you use your entire existence (body, mind) in the developing of the idea anywhere and anytime in any place when the idea comes to minds and we know the idea comes in a blur image, so, we don’t need to make a shaped form, or a shaped thought, or a shaped, if we have a blur idea we need procedures that can fit that blur idea in the differents moments of the desing process, and a blur process let you change the ideas while in the blur we’re working and the blur images or objects let you imagnine even further the idea you had into a new idea all in a short time, the time of the procedure itself.

  • Sixto Cordero

    I believe both the analog and the digital design have their own value, However the quick re-transformation of analogically developed ideas present the designer with a swiftly evolved array of options that merge the the acts of brainstorming and art creation, one easily becoming the other.

  • Wade Klassen

    As a student of architecture in the Canadian Syllabus program, which requires me to be working full time as well…which I do as a technologist…the constant battle I have has all to do with left-brain right-brain theory. I spend all day in my left-brain focusing on technical details, then during homework time I am trying to engage my right-brain.
    I am a firm believer that the creative right-brain process is engaged more readily with the analog act of ink and paper (or whatever medium you choose).
    Don’t let the technology hinder the creative process.

  • Sixto Cordero

    I believe both the analog and the digital design have their own value, However the quick re-transformation of analogically developed ideas present the designer with a swiftly evolved array of options that merge the the acts of brainstorming and art creation, one easily becoming the other..

  • Andres Diaz

    Analog processes enrich the design by adding an organic element to the architecture being drawn.

  • Troy Kennedy

    Water color renderings can capture a feeling often missing with high tech renderings. As a tool for selling a design to a client, analog renderings can be more accessible than a photo real computer rendering. The hand is much more apparent. Design options are easier and quicker to consider.

  • Craig Kirby

    Because architecture lives in the analogue world.

  • Gregg Venable

    Using the hands is a direct link to the brain. The use of a technical device must require prior knowledge of the device and efficiency enough to reduce delay from brain/thoughts to the production. Using the hands as the device with, perhaps pencil/razor blades/markers/watercolors the perspectives are ever changing and infinite in their delivery. Using the analogue process gives multiple opportunities for feedback instantly, where the digital realm takes a certain amount of time from screen to physical. Using the hands (analogue) for models or drawings/paintings offers direct connection with the idea/concept and allows for the idea to take precedent, not the production.

  • David Herrera

    Architecture begins with an idea or a set of ideas. The analog process( a sketch, a water color rendering study, etc) is the most direct connection between the mind, the hand, and the idea. Digital tools should complement and support the analog.

  • Stephanie Rinehart

    Steven Holl has the ability to use and manipulate light in a beautiful way. Watercolors are much better at conveying this. They have a certain warmth about them that digital rendering lack.

  • Attila Sultis

    I think it’s the flow when you are creating something. Like the ‘Flow’ from Csikszentmihályi’s studies (at least for me).
    You can reach a point when the process just flows and the creation reaches a higher level of quality.
    An architect is an engineer, a designer, an artist in one. It is very complex.
    Every idea begins with sketches. Especially these fist fast sketches can not be made on a computer.
    There is the freedom and fluency (and joy) of drawing/painting, creating something with your own hand. Something tangible.
    This is very important in the beginning of the project even if its just for the very first idea and the rest of the work will be done digitally.

  • Gal Norbert

    Watercolor drawings always show the essence of the later building. They are easy to create and modify and also you are not a real architect unless you use an analogue process when you materialize an idea.

  • Lucas Issey Kodama Yoshinaga

    For me, analog and digital process are different not because of their final resolution, but rather why and what for you use them.

    Analog techniques such as water color renderings, pen sketches or physical models are much more have a dialog with the architect then actually trying to represent reality as the digital process tries to cope.

    For example, Holl’s drawings are not trying to represent exactly what the building is going to look like, or trying to simulate the occupation or environmental characteristics of the space. I see them as a mean to have abstract answers of the spatiality of the building.

  • Jose Mejia

    I believe the Mind, Eye,and Hand will always be the best idea on paper. Interaction between architect, client, paper, pen/pencil is far more advanced than a computer and will always be.

  • Andrew Edmonson

    I think the analog process is still valuable for its direct corrolation with our concious/subconcious. What I mean by this is when I draw with my hand, as opposed to drafting on the computer, I can think and draw seamlessly. I once heard when Walter Gropius would sketch, he would talk (to himself) and draw simultaneously. It was as if his thoughts and his lines were one and the same. My thoughts are translatable on paper better through my hands which want to express them. As writing is the articulation of thoughts through letters, words and sentences, drawing becomes articulation of your thoughts with lines. In conclusion, I would say analog precceses will always carry this great advantage over digital.

  • Jose Mejia

    I believe Mind, Eye, and Hand will be the best idea on paper. Interaction between Architect, Client, pen/pencil, and paper is far more advanced than technology, and will always be.

  • Lou