SHARE

Array

Apr 28, 2023

AKA the benefits of slow design.

Spend any time at a modern architecture firm, and you’ll quickly realize just how integral computer aided design (CAD) systems are to the process of creating and documenting any new project. From the earliest days of their integration, digital creation tools have elevated the efficiency and precision of the work done by architects and designers – but one seemingly antiquated method holds out despite. Through the flourishing of CAD tools, designers have always resorted to sketching by hand, even when designs are as complex as large-footprint building envelopes and specific architectural details.

One primary driver here is the simple element of time efficiency, as few tools can replace the speed of quickly rendering an idea with pen and paper. The less obvious reason is theĀ feeling of a hand-drawn idea. There’s an open-endedness to imprecise lines and flexible dimensions that keeps the conversation alive, giving both architect and client space to consider the decisions being made before things are set in stone. When sketching out a floor plan, you can give some extra line weight to the kitchen, just to emphasize the critical nature of that space, without belying the overall accuracy of the plans. This fluid nature baked into the analog method is key to the schematic stage of design, where the main ideas are molded and brought to life.

After the messier ideas are hashed out via analog means, the CAD software comes in to play, committing things to a far more accurate and repeatable state. But thanks to the looser strictures of hand-drawn ideas, that firmer reproductive method already has some life baked into it, setting the project off on the right foot.

All this to say, when a designer walks in with a roll of trace paper and a handful of pens, there’s more to it than simply being a well-curated accessory. This freer state of design is a key part of the language of design, and will stick around long into the era of computer design.

How to Choose a Contractor: First Questions

How to Choose a Contractor: First Questions

When it comes to creating quality architecture, finding the right contractor is crucial. The builder you choose can significantly impact the execution of your design vision. In this post, we'll highlight key criteria for making an informed decision. Experience in...

read more
Mass Timber Products Are Key to Green Design

Mass Timber Products Are Key to Green Design

Interest in mass timber is surging, and cross-laminated timber (CLT) is at the forefront of this movement. CLT, a type of engineered wood product, is strong enough to compete with concrete and steel. It's arguably the first major structural innovation since the...

read more
Bellingham GIS Tools

Bellingham GIS Tools

I wanted to share this amazing tool with you. It is a web application that shows the current and planned construction projects in Bellingham. You can access it here: COB Development Dashboard (arcgis.com) This tool is useful to the public because it allows you to see...

read more
Notable Vancouver, BC Architecture – AI Generated

Notable Vancouver, BC Architecture – AI Generated

I asked AI to provide me a list of notable published Vancouver, BC architecture projects. I also asked it to provide links to some of the articles. Here are some of the results I found: The Butterfly. The Butterfly is a residential skyscraper designed by Revery...

read more
Technology in Architecture

Technology in Architecture

Technology is transforming the way we design and build structures. From smart materials to digital tools, architects and engineers are using technology to create architecture that is more sustainable, efficient and responsive to the needs and preferences of the users....

read more
Missing Middle Housing

Missing Middle Housing

The housing shortage in the Pacific Northwest remains an issue. With that in mind, the state of Washington has enacted new policies and regulations that support the development of Missing Middle housing. The specifics of this can be discussed in another post, this...

read more
Adaptive Reuse Precendents

Adaptive Reuse Precendents

As we continue our work on a significant adaptive reuse project at the Bellingham waterfront, we look to other excellent projects that repurpose old buildings. Today, conserving resources and taking sustainable approaches is essential to the practice of architecture....

read more
Young Architects Guide- New Years Resolutions

Young Architects Guide- New Years Resolutions

Throughout my design career, I have always looked at the start of the new year as a chance to refresh and practice intentionality in my work and in my interactions. I take a moment to consider how I can improve my skills so that I can advance my career and expand my...

read more
Modular Construction Learning

Modular Construction Learning

We have recently been discussing modular construction at our meetings about new projects. As an office, we need to understand the technology that is emerging so that we can find ways to make the best buildings possible. In recent years, there have been major...

read more

Join our quarterly newsletter

Sign up for our free newsletter containing our latest projects, insights and resources.

Blog newsletter form