As an architect I do a lot of drafting, that is floor plans, elevations, sections and construction details. It does include perspectives, and lots of rough sketches, investigations to find the right solution. It's time consuming work and it is all about producing a correct accurate set of plans to construct a building. Once the building is there, the drawings are done with, nothing to feel precious about, especially now since they are computer drawn. No beautifully considered hand drawings on tracing paper, those days are gone.
What has this got to do with urban sketching? To me it is integral, I place my urban sketching in the same category as my design sketches. A means to an end. Investigations to help me design. Not directly for particular projects but it is more about feeling, getting connected with the things that inspire me.
It is an established thing for architects that when they travel, they should sketch. Sketching those famous buildings, an analysis essentially, better than just a photo. As we know drawing takes time and you will get to know a building better from sketching. For me firstly, when I am somewhere I have longed to visit, I take my time just looking around. Then take some photos and if I have the time, do some sketching. The problem is, there is never enough time. So instead I will often leave the camera at home, now I have no choice but to sketch.
|the main street of Gulgong, New South Wales, Australia|
Urban Sketchers has also been a huge influence. When I accidentally found the Urban Sketcher Flickr group I was excited, I soon discovered it was full of terrific people, sharing wonderful insights from all over the world, through drawings. This immediately motivated me to begin sketching my neighbourhood, and begin sharing back.