Architecture: hand drawings or computer modeling?

Today’s Topics

  • Hand drawings
  • Computer models
  • What about both?

As we are becoming more technologically advanced, the way in which we design has begun a transformation period. We still value the reason and logic that come with drawing by hand, but design is a very different world with the use of technology.

Hand Drawings

When comparing these two subjects I like to think of hand drawing as nature, and computer modeling as man-made.

Hand drawings can be considered as a wide variety of work in many different phases of design. Sometimes a simple sketch, concept idea or site plans for a project.

Believe it or not, architects in the past completed their work with hand drawings. Although this seems to be a much slower process, it allows you to build a connection with your work. It allows you to understand more deeply the ideas that you come up with in the stroke of your brush.

Hand drawings allow you to be free flowing with the way you think from start to finish. You can carry a sense of question or have abstract qualities in the art of design.

There is no error button telling you that your line is not straight, or no extra step you have to take to change your stroke. There is nothing holding you back from your desires but you.

What makes it special is that you only have one chance to make your impression on your design before starting another. So everything that you draw is an effort that was thought about to perfection.

Computer Models

Being part of this current generation, it is hard for us to imagine life without technology.

Computer modeling gives us capability. A greater way of thinking. It is a cohesive process that is meant to join together our ideas of space into the technology that we use.

There are endless opportunities to make mistakes, undo, redo, copy and paste that we would not get back from just pen and paper alone.

This method allows us to design in a 3 dimensional space. Where we can have settings to certain angles, lengths and even units.

3D modeling is a way for us to visualize a space in a similar manner in which we view real life. Completing this work is a way for us to see objects like they are physically there.

What About Both?

There is no rule that says you can only use hand drawings or computer modeling. So why not use both?

In planning out my own designs I move in different phases that incorporate both of these concepts.

I generally start off with concept designs by hand in my sketchbook. This is an easy way to jot down all of my ideas in a quick fashion as they come to me.

Once I am sold on my idea I then transform it to a computer model. this allows me the ability to edit and transform my design.

Once I am finished, I can then save and print out my work ready for presentation.

Utilizing both hand drawing and computer modeling allows me to have a wide variety of tools available to me without any limitations in my design but encouraging me to always edit my design to be better.

Thank you for tuning into this week’s blog post. Remember to leave any comments or suggestions at the bottom and don’t forget to subscribe. As always, Dream Big!

Published by Alonzo Colon

Architecture Student at Virginia Tech

5 thoughts on “Architecture: hand drawings or computer modeling?

  1. This is very good information Alonzo. Thanks for sharing your expertise. It’s fun to watch you grow. 🙂

  2. Good points and great topic! I agree using pencil and paper, while slower, does give a certain connection to the work that is hard to get just from using computer. I don’t think we should ever get rid of pencil and paper (or physical books for that matter). It’s nice to see the connection between drawing and using a computer for designs and how the two can go together. Both are beneficial and bring their own uniqueness to the table to create something beautiful. 🤔Hmmmm….makes me think about people. Let me not get too deep. 😂

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