Architectural Drawing: Notation, Reflection, Communication and Presentation

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In a time of computer aided design, computer graphics and parametric design tools, the art of architectural drawing is in a state of neglect. But design and drawing are inseparably linked in ways which often go unnoticed. Essentially, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to conceive of a design without being able to visualize it in drawing. Architectural design, in other words, to a large extent happens through drawing. Hence, to neglect drawing skills is to neglect an important capacity to create architectural design.

While the current-day argument for the depreciation of drawing skills is that computers can represent graphic ideas both faster and better than most medium-skilled draftsmen, drawing in design is not only about representing final designs. In fact, several steps involving the capacity to draw lie before the representation of a final design. Not only is drawing skills an important prerequisite for learning about the nature of existing objects and spaces, and thus to build a vocabulary of design. It is also a prerequisite for both reflecting and communicating about design ideas.

In this paper, a taxonomy of notation, reflection, communication and presentation drawing is presented, discussed and exemplified. The focus of the paper is the insights into architecture and design which may be acquired from these different modes of drawing. The paper is theoretical in nature, discussing ideas which have sprung from years of teaching architectural design and architectural drawing. While it is developed from empirical and partly introspective observations of the design process – from analysis over design development to the presentation of final designs – it seeks to corroborate these observations through literature on architectural drawing.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPPADD 2018 AUS : Process and Practice Across Design Disciplines
Number of pages7
PublisherAmerican University of Sharjah
Publication dateFeb 2018
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018
EventRepresentation: Process and Practice Across Design Disciplines - American University of Sharjah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
Duration: 15 Feb 201817 Feb 2018


LocationAmerican University of Sharjah
Country/TerritoryUnited Arab Emirates
Internet address

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