Sketching the City: Architectural Drawing

16:51 - 13 April, 2016
Sketching the City: Architectural Drawing

This 4-session class is an introduction to architectural free-hand drawing through lessons at the Center and on-site sketching exercises outdoors.

Topics will include sketching building façades, basics of perspective drawing, and techniques for showing light, shadow and rendering building materials. This class is open to the general public - no previous drawing experience necessary. (Ages 16 and up)

These Architects' Drawings of Human Figures Offer an Insight Into Their Minds

14:00 - 20 March, 2016
These Architects' Drawings of Human Figures Offer an Insight Into Their Minds, Courtesy of Noor Makkiya
Courtesy of Noor Makkiya

While there are many different approaches creating architectural space, most architects agree that the primacy of the human is paramount to the creation of a successful design. We perceive architecture through our senses, interpret its scale in comparison to our bodies, and of course require architecture to protect our bodies from the forces of nature. For these reasons, designers often include human figures in their sketches to give a better sense of the scale and atmosphere of their design.

However, often these figures can be even more revealing. "Architects project themselves into the human figure," explains Noor Makkiya, who has collected a selection of figures from the sketches of the world's best-known architects. "So if we compare drawings from different architects, we frequently find differences in body shape and body activity, for practicing architects often represent their own ideologies as a reference for understanding the human physical condition."

From the scientific body proportion studies used by Da Vinci and Le Corbusier, to the primitive figure used by Glenn Murcutt, to the creative explosion that is Frank Gehry's deconstructed human, read on to see the full set collected by Makkiya.

The Importance of Sketches as a Form of Representation

08:00 - 10 March, 2016
The Importance of Sketches as a Form of Representation, Drawing by Le Corbusier of the interior of Villa Besnus, from his room habitación.. Image © The villas of Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret (1920-1930)
Drawing by Le Corbusier of the interior of Villa Besnus, from his room habitación.. Image © The villas of Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret (1920-1930)

Sketches are analog tools of representation, where the drawings' imperfections come from the artist, skewed by their way of seeing the world. Academia, especially in architecture, often calls for quick drawings to demonstrate ideas that words can’t describe, and constant practice on everyday items like napkins, the backs of notebooks or loose sheets of paper preserves ideas and makes way for the use of journals. Journals can be used to remember design processes or journeys and for learning. I have included a selection of my drawings from trips at the end of this article, in order to encourage readers to practice this method.

Expressing an idea is something anyone can do, whether it's through drawings, words or creating figures. The hands are often used as a mediator between thought and reality: "... drawing is where thought has a direct relationship with action, with your hand, with the experience of your body."

Beginning of the abtraction of an object in 3 steps. Image © Sebastián Bayona Jaramillo Interior of the Alworth de Marcel Breuer house. Chimney highlighted with textures. Image © Sebastián Bayona Jaramillo Basilica of Santa Maria Novella / Florence. Image © Sebastián Bayona Jaramillo Florence Cathedral (Duomo) / Florence. Image © Sebastián Bayona Jaramillo +15

PimpMyDrawing Provides Ready-Made People for Vector Drawings

14:00 - 6 March, 2016
PimpMyDrawing Provides Ready-Made People for Vector Drawings, via PimpMyDrawing
via PimpMyDrawing

Complementing the many websites that already provide people for renders, PimpMyDrawing is a growing online database of vector drawings of people. The site was started by three recent graduates of architecture school. After realizing the amount of vector drawings that they had produced during their academic career, they decided to share them for free.

Call for Works: Drawing Futures

07:00 - 22 February, 2016
Call for Works: Drawing Futures

Drawing Futures, a new the international peer-reviewed conference on speculative drawing for art and architecture has launched a call for works.

The two-day conference will bring together some of the world’s leading practitioners in drawing for conversations about the contemporary cutting-edge and future directions using drawing as a critical tool for art and architecture.

Stefan Bleekrode's Drawings Recreate Cityscapes from Memory

06:00 - 26 January, 2016
Stefan Bleekrode's Drawings Recreate Cityscapes from Memory, Manhattan, New York. Image © Stefan Bleekrode
Manhattan, New York. Image © Stefan Bleekrode

Over the past few years, Netherlands-based artist Stefan Bleekrode has been creating cityscape drawings from memory of cities across the globe. Basing his work on impressions from trips throughout Europe and North America, Bleekrode utilizes pen and ink with watercolor shading to bring urban landscapes to life.

Seminar: Drawing on the Motive Force of Architecture

07:00 - 18 January, 2016
Seminar: Drawing on the Motive Force of Architecture, Veg House, Stage 4 © Peter Cook
Veg House, Stage 4 © Peter Cook

For architects, drawing is a thinking process. Sketching by hand onto paper without having any predetermined built form in mind is often the springboard for new hypotheses. With the rise of digital representation in architecture, has the computer superseded the hand in the exploration of ideas?

This RIBA London seminar sees Professor Sir Peter Cook (co-founder of Archigram, director of CRAB Studio) and Professor Marcos Cruz (Bartlett) discuss the boons and limitations of digital representation in architecture, and the hybrid possibilities of using both in tandem.

Fantastic Architecture: Illustrations By Bruna Canepa

08:00 - 16 January, 2016
© Bruna Canepa
© Bruna Canepa

Architect, illustrator and cofounder of the Miniatura project, Bruna Canepa has shared with us a stunning collection of her illustrations and collages, which offer a fresh gaze onto one of architecture’s most common tools: the drawing. Beyond depicting examples of unreal architecture, her works present architecture that replaces firmitas, utilitas and venustas for complexity, wonder and irony.

From extrusions and explosions of familiar typologies to surreal and sterile atmospheres of empty spaces, we suggest three subcategories to frame Bruna’s illustrations as shown below: Houses, Cubics, and Displacements. 

The Best Architecture Drawings of 2015

09:30 - 11 January, 2016
Courtesy of Guillaume Ramillien Architecture
Courtesy of Guillaume Ramillien Architecture

We believe good projects should be able to express and explain themselves. Architectural representation plays a fundamental role in how a project is perceived by the audience, which is why today ArchDaily is recognizing the most outstanding, original and self explanatory drawings of the year.

The selected drawings cover the diverse range of different techniques used in architectural representation today, from hand drawing images to perfectly detailed axonometrics and animated GIFs - but one thing they all have in common is the deep insights they provide into the appearance, construction or concept of the buildings they represent.

See the Winners of the 2015 KRob Architectural Drawing Competition

08:00 - 3 December, 2015
See the Winners of the 2015 KRob Architectural Drawing Competition, Professional Hand, Moh'd Bilbeisi. Image via Ken Roberts Memorial Delineation Competition
Professional Hand, Moh'd Bilbeisi. Image via Ken Roberts Memorial Delineation Competition

Established in 1974 by the AIA Dallas Chapter, the Ken Roberts Memorial Delineation Competition (KRob) is “the world’s longest running architectural drawing competition of its kind”. Named after architect Ken Roberts, famous for his ink perspective drawings, the competition recognizes innovations in both hand-drawn and digital architectural drawing. The winners and shortlist each year serve as an inspiring reference for architects, and showcase the intersection between technology, design and culture.

In 2015, the new award for “Excellence in Architectural 3D Printing” was added, and with a total of 424 entries from 28 countries, this year’s competition was the largest to date. The 2015 jury consisted of Michel Rojkind, Paul Stevenson Oles and John P. Maruszcak. The competition culminated in an awards ceremony and panel discussion at Alto 211 in Dallas. See the winners after the break.

7 Early Drawings by Famous Architects

08:00 - 2 October, 2015
Superstudio, New-New York, 1969. © Superstudio. From the Collection of the Alvin Boyarsky Archive. Image Courtesy of Collection of the Alvin Boyarsky Archive
Superstudio, New-New York, 1969. © Superstudio. From the Collection of the Alvin Boyarsky Archive. Image Courtesy of Collection of the Alvin Boyarsky Archive

Drawings from the private collection of Alvin Boyarsky, Chairman of the Architectural Association (AA) from 1971 to 1990, will be on display as part of Drawing Ambience: Alvin Boyarsky and the Architectural Association. Hosted by The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union from October 13 to November 25, 2015, the free, public exhibit will also feature panel discussions with Nicholas Boyarsky, Joan Ockman, Bernard Tschumi, Anthony Vidler, Michael Webb and Dean Nader Tehrani. Read more about this event and the drawings exhibited after the break.

Open Call: Drawing of the Year 2015

14:00 - 27 September, 2015
Open Call: Drawing of the Year 2015, First prize, Drawing of the Year 2014: Olga Krukovskaya, Russia. Image via Aarhus School of Architecture
First prize, Drawing of the Year 2014: Olga Krukovskaya, Russia. Image via Aarhus School of Architecture

Aarhus School of Architecture, schmidt hammer lassen architects, VOLA, and the Danish Arts Foundation have announced their collaborative competition, entitled Drawing of the Year 2015, which calls for imaginative student drawings, and aims to “celebrate the oldest tool of architects.”

Students worldwide are invited to submit drawings “that inspire, communicate, and engage” with the theme of Sustainability Through Architecture. Thus, drawings “should focus on sustainability and architecture’s ambition to take an active part in the change of our society,” and “should address architecture’s ability to contribute to a sustainable environment on all scales—concepts, utopias, buildings, landscapes, and cities.”

What Does Germán Samper See When He Draws?

08:00 - 25 September, 2015
What Does Germán Samper See When He Draws?, Germán Samper drawing. Image © Nicolás Valencia
Germán Samper drawing. Image © Nicolás Valencia

Hiding out from the gentle Bogotá rain, a cat with turquoise eyes and a black and white coat prowls along the ledge of an office hidden in the midst of lush vegetation. A large window with a wooden frame filters the light and illuminates the interior: a desk, hundreds of books, manila folders, and backlit pictures. Sitting comfortably in his chair, 91-year-old Colombian architect Germán Samper takes a pencil, presses it to the surface of a sheet of paper, and begins to explain everything he is saying by drawing for us in the most clear and simple manner possible.

Whether he's giving instructions on taking a taxi in Bogotá  or explaining the recent modifications to the historic Colsubisdio citadel, Samper -- a master of Colombian architecture -- can express ideas on paper with an ease that makes us think that drawing might be very simple, but it's really just a great trick.

Perseverance is key and Samper knows this from experience. "I don't understand why architects don't draw more if it is truly a pleasure," he ponders.

After the break, a conversation with Germán Samper and a series of unedited sketches by the Colombian architect.

What Is Sketching in the Digital Age?

09:30 - 17 September, 2015
What Is Sketching in the Digital Age?, Courtesy of Autodesk
Courtesy of Autodesk

Every good design should start with a sketch. The problem, as everyone knows, is that computers are killing sketching. Or are they?

To begin with, it’s questionable whether there really has been a decline in sketching, given the conviction with which so many architects defend the importance of hand drawing. Even for the most technologically savvy architects, many simply don’t see an alternative to the humble pen and paper.

However, this doesn’t mean that all is well when it comes to sketching. Often the hardest part of the design process is to maintain a great concept - usually discovered through a sketch - when translating a design into programs such as Revit which are necessary in modern architectural practice.

Sketching for Architecture & Interior Design

09:30 - 22 July, 2015
Sketching for Architecture & Interior Design, Courtesy of Laurence King Publishing Ltd
Courtesy of Laurence King Publishing Ltd

The following is an excerpt from the introduction of Stephanie Travis' book Sketching for Architecture & Interior Design. The book features over 45 sketching and drawing exercises across three chapters (Furniture + Lighting, Interiors, Architecture). Below we feature sample exercises for sketching transitional spaces, building materials and foreground + background. We're also giving away copies for two lucky readers, so read on to find out how to enter! 

Drawing is truly a tool for seeing. To draw an object, interior, or building, you have to look at the subject in a new way. You are forced to pause and scrutinize, as drawing requires another way of thinking, shifting into a deeper realm that encompasses elements such as shape, form, texture, rhythm, composition, and light. When you have developed your drawing skills, the finer details of a space—key features that you may not previously have noticed—will be revealed to you. Freehand drawing allows viewers to see in a way they never have before. The sketching process is a means of expanding your creativity and awakening your senses. 

Video: Pat Vale's Drawing Time-Lapse Brings NYC to Life

08:00 - 5 June, 2015

Back in 2012, we found "Empire State of Pen," an amazing video of London-based artist and animator Patrick Vale’s drawing of Manhattan from the perspective of the Empire State Building. Now, Vale has taken a different perspective of the city, this time traveling a bit farther uptown to the Rockefeller Center area. Vale’s new drawing looks south, with the Empire State Building in the center, and the Freedom Tower in the background. To the east you can see the Chrysler Building, and to the west lies the Bank of America Tower in the Times Square area.

Vale started the drawing in December of 2014, when he spent an afternoon in -15 degree weather sketching and taking pictures, which he then took back to his studio to create the piece. The whole process took over a month to complete. Watch Vale's drawing come to life in the time-lapse video above, and view images of his illustration after the break.

Studio Esinam's Limited Edition Prints Capture Elevations from Around the World

09:00 - 9 May, 2015
Courtesy of Studio Esinam
Courtesy of Studio Esinam

Swedish firm Studio Esinam's new print series depicts "Elevations" of architectural landmarks across the globe. Using minimalist line drawings, the illustrations attempt to "capture the unique feeling of various cities around the world".

Meticulously recreating the facades of landmarks in Berlin, Brooklyn, Copenhagen, Gothenburg, London, Paris, Stockholm, and Tokyo, the growing collection of prints reframes technical drawings as works of art. By distilling iconic facades to their barest and most essential elements, Studio Esinam aims to direct "attention to details that mostly pass unseen."

View selected prints from the "Elevations" series after the break.

Courtesy of Studio Esinam Courtesy of Studio Esinam Courtesy of Studio Esinam Courtesy of Studio Esinam +10

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

10:30 - 5 May, 2015
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, London
Designs for Truro Cathedral, 1878 Artist: William Burges. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum, London

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.