Sketches of scale figures can be seen as an architectural signature. These miniature stand-ins for human life not only bring scale and understanding to a sketch, they also offer a glimpse into the architect’s personality. Some designers automatically go for realistic, anatomically correct people, while others have more abstract interpretations of the human body. But what exactly do these predilections say about their illustrator? Read on to find out:
Figures with tiny, tiny heads
For some reason, figures with tiny heads, often neckless and floating, make frequent appearances in architectural drawings. It’s just a thing. If these figures are your go-to, you’re someone who’s happy to go with the flow, even if it’s kind of a weird flow featuring hovering miniature heads.
Super abstract, at least a bit messy
These vague scribbles and blobs say one of two things. Either you see yourself as a misunderstood genius who’s way ahead of your time, or you ran out of time or just couldn’t be bothered, and hope the abstract approach comes across as "intentional creativity" rather than "last-minute panic."
Wow, these figures have body parts that are all in proportion to each other! Just like a real person! These figures suggest an architect who’s put together, organized and responsible. If this is you, you probably also enjoy a fulfilling career, good work-life balance, and even go jogging on your lunch break. How inspirational! Good for you! We're definitely not envious at all!
It’s what’s on the inside that counts—or not, with these outline-only figures. If you’re an empty outliner you have no room for excess in your life, especially not 2D representations of depth. Who has time for that? Not you! You are also likely to have no unnecessary items on your desk, wear crisp, neat clothing and are always annoyingly early for appointments.
Sketchy, moody figures
Cross-hatching is the black leather jacket of architectural drawing. Such wistful figures could only have been sketched by a deep, brooding individual. In the studio you keep silent, appearing cool and aloof. Underneath it all, however, you just hope that someone will notice the forlornness of your scale figures and listen to you talk about your own feelings. Aww.
Figures that actually have facial features
No way! Figures that can smile because they actually have a mouth! And eyes, ears, and a nose... such a rare sight in design drawings. And their head is connected to their shoulders too! Did you even go to architecture school?
You are a clever individual who is well aware of the fact that you can’t draw people to save your life. Column-to-beam details, yes. Perspective interiors, yes. People, no. Thus, you know to hide this fact from others by using magazine cutouts instead, with your sketches also benefiting from an effortless retro aesthetic. Smart!
Many architecture schools will drill into you early on that stick figures are a huge no-no. So if you're using stick figures this can only mean you are either a) a brave individual whose design is so convincing that it doesn’t matter at all what else you draw, or b) three years old.
Really well-dressed figures
Whether it’s a sketch of a house, a tree-laden outdoor site, or a detailed doorframe, your trendy scale figures always distract instead of assist. Do you really need seven people wearing haute couture walking through a drawing of a single door? If you’re getting more compliments on your stylish, but overdressed and out of place figures, perhaps it’s time to given fashion school a think. Make it work!
Every figure has your face
There’s a fine line between self-love and narcissism. When it comes to figures with your own face, they most definitely fall into the latter category. While it’s great that you clearly love yourself (a lot), the seas of people drawn in your likeness that you think are cute are just a bit weird for everyone else. Sorry.
Every figure is wearing a cap and holding a skateboard
You’re not like other architects, you’re a cool architect. If these are what your scale figures look like, then you’re either an architect wanting to relate to the young hip kids, or you are the young hip kid. Sick. 100 emoji flame emoji clapping hands emoji.