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Why we need to bring back the Draft

Architectural drafting, that is.

In recent headlines, there has been mention of adding women to the Draft. It reminded me of a blog post I’ve long been planning to write. Why I want to bring back the draft—that is, the architectural kind.

There is something riveting about Revit, the way in which the structure comes alive. We can view and manipulate it at any angle. And how SketchUp gives us a sense of space. But now a days, I frequently encounter younger architects who can’t even remember the last time they drew something by hand (other than a doodle!).

Buildings, at the end of the day, are still built by our hands and once they are finished, they will be filled with people. Without a relationship between your hands, eyes and your idea, you remove an element of humanity. You forget the shoes that scruff, fingers that leave smudge marks. The space will never remain stark and its users will all be imperfect. This is an important element to understanding your structure and how it must exist.

Also, there’s a lingering memory with drawing by hand that cannot be replicated on a computer. I can visualize the first steps of all of my buildings, the thick black lines that would eventually lay out a new home or headquarters. Like on a computer, drafting by hand occurs through layers. Translucent sheets of paper laid across each other as they begin to weave a structure. In these early stages, we innately pick an angle, a focal point for our building. We are not yet connected to its three-dimensionality but rather its personality. What draws the eye? How does it fit into its site?

A computer can always solve the problems of a site, of a building. But it is rarely–if ever–an elegant solution. It is a cold and calculated one and usually ends up being inconvenient for the people who will share the space. Whenever I encounter the starkness of a building, inconvenient banisters, I can see an architect who has distanced themselves from the humanity of the building.



34 Comments Post a comment
  1. Interesting that you can see that element missing in some structures. What you wrote is so true and well said.

    March 14, 2017
  2. pamsfindinglife #

    This is so true for any craft. I can’t start typing away at a post or story until I have handwritten some form of plot-line to follow or sometimes even the whole thing. It’s time consuming, but so worth it.

    March 14, 2017
  3. Reblogged this on Site Title.

    March 14, 2017
  4. in search off #

    Completely agree!

    March 14, 2017
  5. I fully support

    March 14, 2017
  6. #

    The older i become the more I appreciate the traditional forms of architecture. I see the modern styles and feel something is missing or lost. You expressed it perfectly.

    March 14, 2017
  7. Liz #

    I have noticed that more and more toddlers are given tablets at earlier ages. I have seen kids in my classroom swipe paper to make letters appear. The move to expose kids to info earlier is leaving them bereft of fine motor skills. Many do not write their names at home as practice with oversized crayons and pencils in order to build small hand dexterity. I hardly see children with coloring books and sketch pads. When we “throw the baby out with the bath water”, the baby suffers. The future cries.

    March 14, 2017
  8. While I am not going to disagree with you on what you are saying, I will say this: computers are the next generation. The same way Industrial Revolution changed the world, computers have changed the way the world works.

    So maybe the old methods like drafting by hand (which works for you and may or may not be subjective) will be replaced by computer software. The trick would be to find the sense of humanity in the software to incorporate in the designs.

    I am not an expert on that though, no clue about Architecture.

    Great post!

    March 14, 2017
  9. Reblogged this on farbebekennen and commented:
    Great post! Completely agree!

    March 14, 2017
  10. canarias mola

    March 15, 2017
  11. This is true. When you draw with your hand, you tend to know every single details of the project in your head.

    March 15, 2017
  12. WordCatcher #

    reminds me of ayn rand’s fountainhead. humanity in designing. thanks for sharing

    March 15, 2017
  13. mvidyashree #

    Really interesting.
    Completely agree, great post

    March 15, 2017
  14. Maybe it is the element of ‘art’ which may be diluted by ‘technology’. 🙂

    March 15, 2017
  15. That’s pretty interesting! I like how you worded everything with your nice descriptions.

    March 15, 2017
  16. May may bao nguyen chuyen mua ban may may cong nghiep

    March 17, 2017
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      March 17, 2017
  17. May may bao nguyen chuyen mua ban cac loai may may cong nghiep .lo hoi ban hut .ep nhiet .ep keo vvv co nhu cau goi 01204667558.01264444705 de phuc vu tot hon gap mr nguyen

    March 17, 2017
  18. Agreed!!

    March 17, 2017
  19. AWESOME! U write Best….

    March 18, 2017
  20. I am not an architect but I have noticed this as well. The same with books vs. Ebooks. There’s a difference.

    March 18, 2017
  21. may may bao nguyen chuyen mua ban cac loai may may cong nghiep ..lo hoi ban hut .ep keo ep nhiet …….vvv
    co nhu cau lap dac tot hon .goi 01204667558.01264444705 mr nguyen

    March 19, 2017
  22. The parallel bar, the triangles, the scale, the eraser shield, the lead holder, and the lead pointer. I miss them all.

    March 20, 2017
  23. Jameson Davie #

    Reblogged this on Jameson Davie.

    April 4, 2017
  24. Dave Dally #

    Very interesting. Thanks!

    April 11, 2017
  25. Hello,I log on to your blog named “Why we need to bring back the Draft | Fougeron Architecture” like every week.Your writing style is awesome, keep up the good work! And you can look our website about powerful love spells.

    June 21, 2017
  26. This is very true! I am trying not to lose my custom of sketching before using the computer when i design. I also think urban-sketching is a great way of understanding architecture around you! most valuable lessons are learned by repeating the firt exercise original designers already made!

    May 25, 2018
  27. Very mind-boggling! Well, it is where every other method of carefully planning and creative visualization started after all! It is the origin of where art and technology meet. It only differs in time as the innovation & progression of technology continues.

    June 21, 2020
  28. That is awesome! I can think of a lot of things like that. Pinning.

    December 28, 2020
  29. This is such a cool idea. Thanks for sharing.

    December 29, 2020
  30. I’ve been searching for some decent stuff on the subject and haven´t had any luck up until this point, You just got a new biggest fan!

    April 6, 2021
  31. FEUDAL JR #

    Very true urban-sketching is a great way of understanding architecture around

    September 10, 2021

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  1. Why We Need to Bring Back the Draft | #StPsy
  2. Why we need to bring back the Draft — Fougeron Architecture – Semela Empire Agency

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