Ancona  (include  space)   1   Alex Ancona Professor Malcolm Campbell English 1103 6 November 2012 Has Drawing Gone

the Way of the Dodo? Technology’s Effects the Use of Drawing in Architecture Architecture is something that surrounds us everywhere we go, from the grocery store and church, to school and work. The buildings that we move past and through all define architecture in their own ways. Some are poor designs, the product of cheapness and demand, while others are masterpieces and considerably, works of art. The wellknown buildings of Frank Lloyd Wright, who dotted the American landscape, and others from a more modern age, like the building of skyscrapers in big cities have something in common. They all underwent an excruciating and extremely tedious design process. But today, instead of using pencil and paper, most architects are turning to the benefits of computers and the latest software to assist in the design of a building. These programs have their perks, like quickening design processes and allowing more elaborate forms. But could they lead to the downfall of drawing in the practice of Architecture? With computers doing all the work, why use pencil and paper? Drawing, although somewhat old-fashioned, still is necessary and is an indispensible tool. What could a piece of paper and a pencil possibly be useful for? (Great!!) For as long as buildings have been in existence drawing has been used to plan and develop their designs. From the simple diagram to the up close detail, drawings represent how we see and show information (another word) that otherwise might be invisible. As an

Ancona  (include  space)   2   architecture student myself drawing is a way to visualize and view the effects of the design choices I have made. According to the New York Times, Michael Graves, who is a practicing architect explains that, “Drawings are not just end products: they are part of the thought process of architectural design. Drawings express the interaction of our minds, eyes and hands” (Graves). The easiest way to see what I am thinking as a student is to draw. Just as writers jot down ideas and scribble outlines, architects draw to make note of ideas. Graves goes on further to define the three types of drawings he does, “the ‘referential sketch,’ the ‘preparatory study’ and the ‘definitive drawing’, “ each with their own purpose and uses (Graves). Definitive drawings are the clean, crisp lines on fancy glossy paper you see hanging on the walls of studios or presented before a client. But surely an architect doesn’t just begin and end those. A referential sketch may be the beginning for a design, an idea seen elsewhere, and is a source of inspiration. “The referential sketch serves as a visual diary, a record of an architect’s discovery…It’s not likely to represent ‘reality,’ but rather to capture an idea” (Graves). When a drawing is done, it forces the artist to analyze and criticize their work; they are recording and building information. The studio desk of any architect is probably not what would be expected. Other than ordered and organized, paper and sketches are the occupants, showing the chronology of drawing after drawing. They show a process that results in a “personal, emotional connection with the work,” (site) something that a computer just won’t do. Technology results in a design that is done more by the computer itself rather than the architect. Graves supports this in saying, “Buildings are no longer just designed visually and spatially; they are ‘computed’ via interconnected databases” (Graves).

Ancona  (include  space)   3   Architects have made it clear that technology has its benefits. It has spread into many of the firms across the country and is part of the education that many aspiring architects get. Besides we’ll take any assistance we can get in shortening the work from an all-nighter to a couple of hours. The first reason that Architects use programs is just that it is quicker! Computers, with their automated steps and processes assist the architect in almost every imaginable way. It can rotate a piece of the design, cut a section, show a certain view; anything the Architect wants, the computer can do it. But does the shorter amount of time spent actually designing mean that the thought is less? Architect and Assistant Professor at the University of Miami, Jacob Brillhart, says in an article from Classicist, “The blind dependence on CAD and other software and other tools increases after architecture school as young designers continue to design things they do not understand. Working under sever time constraints, they make maximum use of the copy and paste commands, pulling details, elevations and wall sections from past projects and reassembling them” (Brillhart). indent With a computer, one can simply input a few keystrokes and the task is instantaneously done. A “drawing” is done without once looking at the consequences and results. He goes on to add, “When one draws, one understands and remembers; when one uses the right click command, one does neither” (Brillhart). Although  more  efficient  in  a  way,   programs  that  replace  drawing  take  away  part  of  the  architectural  design  process.   So  is  drawing  heading  the  way  of  the  dodo  (expand  on  idea/thoughts)?  Is  

there  a  possibility  that  computers  will  inevitably  replace  the  pencil  as  the  primary   tool  in  an  architect’s  office?  For  some  the  answer  seems  quite  obvious.  In  an  article  

Ancona  (include  space)   4   from  the  Chronicle  for  Higher  Education,  Paul  S.  Anderson  says  "The  discipline  could   be  in  the  midst  of  an  enormous  shift…I  don't  think  this  will  necessarily  happen,  but  I   could  certainly  anticipate,  20  years  from  now,  never  seeing  anyone  drawing  by   hand”  (Read).    Fortunately  for  many  this  is  a  scary  thought.  Micheal  Graves  says,   “Architecture  cannot  divorce  itself  from  drawing,  no  matter  how  impressive   technology  gets”  (Graves).    Hopefully  this  remains  true,  as  drawing  has  already   played  an  important  role  in  my  Architecture  education  as  well  as  being  a  rewarding   experience,  whether  in  design  or  observation.  Drawing  has  been  a  form  of   expression;  part  of  art  for  centuries  and  it  is  the  combination  of  this  age-­‐old  skill   with  the  technologies  of  today  that  makes  Architecture  the  interesting  and   intriguing  field  that  it  is.  It  is  a  balance  between  the  two  that  will  result  in  the  best   Architecture.        

Ancona  (include  space)   5   Works  Cited     Brillhart, Jacob. “Architectural Drawing in the Digital Age.” Classicist. 9. (2010): 114121. Print.   Graves, Michael. “Architecture and the Lost Art of Drawing.” The New York Times 1 Sep. 2012. Web.   Read, Brock. “Planning With Pixels, Not Pencils.” Chronicle of Higher Education 50.12 (2003): A29. Web. Delete specify • Is  the  A  in  Architecture  capitalized?   • Limit  use  of  quotes-­‐explain  more;  put  types  of  programs  maybe?   • Good  ties  to  personal  experiences-­‐expand  more  on  stories  (difficult   programs/easy  to  use?)   • Make  sure  you  make  it  to  7  pages  long   • Check  over  citations  and  make  sure  you  have  at  least  4  sources   • Make  sure  you  add  citations  at  the  end  of  the  paragraphs  based  on  what   sources  you  used  in  the  paragraph   • Explain  dodo-­‐soo  confused     • Can’t  figure  out  what  type  of  essay  this  is—maybe  add  either  more   persuasive  statements  or  add  your  “journey  of  discovery”   • Flow  of  quotes  are  generally  great!     I  really  enjoyed  reading  about  architecture.    I  love  art  and  appreciate  the   different  building  designs  in  each  city.    I  never  thought  about  how  technology   affected  architecture  until  your  essay.    I  would  love  for  you  to  expand  on   some  thoughts.    You  might  need  to  add  some  more  dynamics/info  to  this   essay.    Could  technology  be  affecting  the  whole  part  of  architecture,  like  their   pay  or  lack  of  artistic  ability  due  to  technology  taking  over  the  drawing  part?