The Computer vs The Hand In Architectural Drawing: ArchDaily Readers Respond

Designs for Truro Cathedral, 1878 Artist: William Burges. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum,

In the architecture world, there are a handful of persistent debates that arise time and time again: the challenges of being a woman in the field of architecture is one of them, for example; the problems of a culture of long hours and hard work is another. But one of the most enduring arguments in architecture - especially in the academic sphere – is the battle between hand drawing and computer aided design. Both schools have their famous proponents: Michael Graves, for example, was known as a huge talent with a pencil and paper, and came to the defense of drawing in articles for the New York Times, among others. Patrik Schumacher, on the other hand, is famous for his commitment to the capabilities of the computer.

To advance this heated conversation, two weeks ago we reached out to our readers to provide their thoughts on this topic in an attempt to get a broad cross-section of opinions from architects from all walks of life. Read some of the best responses after the break.

What Is The Role Of Hand Drawing In Today’s Architecture?

Update: We have now published our follow-up article of readers’ responses – see it here.

Hand vs. Computer Drawing: A Student’s Opinion

by Chris Wilkinson (Wilkinson Eyre) for Article 25′s 10×10 charity auction. Image © Chris Wilkinson Courtesy of

In the debate about how architects – both present and future – represent our ideas, it is easy to find a lot of articles supporting both sides. One can read as many arguments as they want and find valid points supporting both hand-drawing and computer production. One could argue that there is nothing prettier than a well done hand-rendering of a project. Another could say that, although hand-drawing is something that catches the eye, it is not practical at all, takes longer than doing it on the computer and does not allow architects to easily modify it.

There is however another facet that does not come up as frequently as it maybe should: how does this discussion affect students? I believe we lie in a cross-fire, between the idea of what architects do and what they actually do.

London’s Architectural Association Exhibits Futuristic Work of Jan Kaplický

© Jan Kaplický

Now on view at ’s Architectural Association, Jan Kaplický Drawings presents work by the Czech architect Jan Kaplický (1937-2009) – a visionary designer with a passion for as a means of discovering, describing and constructing. Through he presented beguiling architectural imagery of the highest order.

The earliest projects date from the early 1970s when, for Kaplický, drawing was essentially a speculative pursuit. Whilst his days were spent working for other architects, during evenings and weekends he designed and drew at home. His architecture at this time was the plan and the finely detailed cross-section. Never satisfied, he constantly developed and honed his graphic language, perfecting the technique of the cutaway isometric which became his trademark.

A preview of Kaplický’s drawings, after the break. 

Explore Alexander Brodsky’s Architectural Fantasy at Berlin’s Tchoban Foundation

“Place of Overall Prosperity”, Alexander Brodsky (1998). Image Courtesy of Tchoban Foundation. Museum for Architectural Drawing

From March 13, Berlin’s Tchoban Foundation Museum for Architectural Drawing will showcase the work of acclaimed Russian artist and architect Alexander Brodsky in the eponymous “Alexander Brodsky. Works.”

Curated by Daria Paramonova, architect and co-curator of the Russian Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale, the exhibition will feature a collection of Brodsky’s new and old work and run until June 5.

Learn more about the exhibition and view selected works on display after the break.

URBAN TALES to Explore the Future of Cities

‘New St James’ Park’. Image Courtesy of Ned Scott

URBAN TALES will showcase three distinct architectural artwork series exploring visions of narrative based city redevelopments. Featuring RIBA Presidents Medal-winning work, these original and engaging threads of imagery from UCL architecture graduates Ned Scott, Nick Elias and Anja Kempa objectify fiction and challenge political reality. The exhibitors question the role of architecture in a changing world and use fictional narratives to design fantastical, but possible, cities. URBAN TALES will kick off with an opening party on Friday, March 6 and remain on view through April 10, 2015 at Carousel London. Read on to learn more.

Astropad: Use Your iPad As A Professional Graphics Tablet

Astropad: use your iPad as a tablet for your Mac. Image Courtesy of Astropad

Astropad, an app for and Mac, transforms your existing iPad into a professional graphics tablet without the need for additional hardware. Having been developed by Matt Ronge and Giovanni Donelli – both former Apple engineers – the app allows for the iPad to act as a extended trackpad as well as work with most third-party styluses.

Drink Like an Architect: Pair your Cocktail with the Perfect Building

Seagram Building by Mies van der Rohe / Manhattan Cocktail. Image Courtesy of Kosmos Architects

To paraphrase an old adage, “behind every great building is a great architect.” According to Swiss-based Kosmos Architects, a less familiar version of this might say “beside every great building is a perfectly mixed cocktail.” The firm has revealed a scientifically (un)proven link between alcohol and architecture: ramps, for instance, are often built at an inclination of five to seven degrees, a statistic that correlates to the alcoholic percentage of an average beer. Furthermore, a steep forty-degree roof incline designed to throw off snowfall matches the forty percent alcohol content of vodka used in Arctic climates to keep out the winter chill.

Kosmos Architects has published a series of twelve illustrated postcards, linking iconic buildings with their appropriate drink. A Manhattan for Mies, a Blue Blazer for Zumthor, and a Smoky Martini for Herzog & de Meuron all belong to the series ‘Good Drinks & Good Buildings,’ a booze-soaked comparison of architecture and alcohol, just in time to ring in 2015.

What’s inside SOM‘s martini? Find out after the break 

Article 25 Auctions 100 Artworks By Leading Architects in 10×10 Fundraiser

By Derek Draper. Image Courtesy of Article 25

Architectural aid charity Article 25 has unveiled the drawings for its most important annual fundraising event, the 10×10 the City Auction. Featuring drawings donated by leading architects including Norman Foster, Ivan HarbourSheila O’Donnell, Terry Farrell and Ken Shuttleworth among many others, in previous years the 10×10 auction has raised over £90,000 for the charity, and this year it is hoped that it will top £100,000.

The 10×10 concept divides a section of the city up into a 10 by 10 square grid, with each participating architect assigned a section of the grid where they must find inspiration for an artwork. This year, the grid centred on the Shard, where this year’s auction will be held on November 27th. In the lead-up to the auction, bidding will also be available online from November 4th-25th, at the 10×10 website.

Read on after the break for another 20 of the pieces to be auctioned

The Parisian Hôtel Particulier in Drawings

Anonymous. Country house near to Caen. Section of the main building. Pen, black ink and Indian wash, yellow-orange, pink and green water colour, 190 x 250 mm. Image © bpk – Bildagentur für Kunst, Kultur und Geschichte

Starting October 18th, the will be showing 65 art works of Hôtel particulier buildings – prestigious town houses, which were built in the first part of the 18th century and characterize Parisian architecture until today – in the exhibition “Lʼhôtel particulier à Paris.” After Sergei Tchoban, architect and founder of the Tchoban Foundation for Architectural Drawing, showed his collection of 24 drawings at the École des Beaux-Arts in 2011 with the exhibition “À la source de l’ Antique. La collection de Sergei Tchoban”, the two institutions now continue their collaboration, this time with a selection of works from that will be displayed in Berlin.

The Art of Architecture: Some of Tumblr’s Best Architecture Drawings

Vertigo by Tom Radclyfe. Image Courtesy of drawingarchitecture..com/

Tumblr is full of well curated blogs featuring creative works from architecture students, professionals, and enthusiasts; Drawing ARCHITECTURE is one of these blogs we’ve found to be particularly intriguing. From charcoal masterpieces to computer renderings, the featured on this Tumblr are stunning. 

Check out some of our favorite selections, after the break…

Drawing Shadows by Gautam Bhatia

Courtesy of Gautam Bhatia

Gautam Bhatia is an architect based in New Delhi and one of the most well-known architectural writers in India, having written for The New York TimesOutlook magazine and Indian Express.

We live today the way we do because we know no other. Our lives fit the defined patterns of homes, streets, neighborhoods, cities. As an architect I try to understand and explore – through – different possibilities of building and landscape. More and more, has taken me away from the conventions of architecture, into more abstract realms. has helped define space as it doesn’t exist, and perhaps as it should. Not in a utopian way, but one that tries merely to describe a different way we may live.