003: Sketching

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Sketching is a hot topic regardless of the people having the discussion, but I have learned over the last nine years of writing this site that sketching is one of the more hotly contested topics. While few architects would dispute the value in sketching, HOW that sketch is generated seems to fall into camps of individuals: Team Analog versus Team Digital and I don't think anyone would be surprised to learn that the age of the individual seems to decide (more times than not, but not a guarantee) which camp an individual belongs.These are the show notes to accompany the 3rd Life of an Architect podcast, and I hope that these notes will help bridge the gap between a pure blog post and a pure podcast. Unlike some other podcast show notes, my goal - at least for the foreseeable future, is going to include as many graphics as possible to support the podcast content, so that even if you don't listen to the podcast, there is something here that is of value. I will also concede that after several lengthy conversations with my wife, I have finally conceded to her point that I should include links to the items I mention or reference so that you don't have to go hunt them down yourself. This was a practice that I have generally avoided since I started writing this blog, but hopefully, this is also of some value.So let's get to it![Note: If you are reading this via email, you will have to click here to access the on-site audio player] Architectural Sketching - or - How to Sketch like Bob Borson (6:40 mark) Without trying to present you with false modesty, I am fairly comfortable with my ability to sketch ... but this was not always the case. A friend of mine gave me a handful of tips that made a fundamental change to how my sketches appeared. While I don't typically draw perspectives or try to capture the mood of a space, I have been sketching almost daily to create the sorts of sketches I do produce.Sketchbook - (36:04 mark) My business partner Michael Malone is many things, and right at the very top of traits I would assign him is prolific sketcher. He literally is at it every single day and his sketches are rather amazing and absolutely recognizable in their style. I have no doubt that I could pick one of his sketches out amongst thousands of other sketches. The image above is a cabinet in Michael's office and you can see that lining a few of the shelves are loads and loads of sketchbooks. Towards the top are fairly simple, hardback covered volumes, whereas on the bottom are these incredibly nice leather-bound volumes - all of which represent decades worth of ideas and thoughts.Almost 4 years ago I wrote a post on sketchbooks and Michael's handiwork is on full display in this post - Architectural Sketchbooks.These leather-bound sketchbooks are ridiculously nice - almost too nice for me - but Michael uses these types of books to record meeting notes and other "this is what's going on in my life" sort of items. He has been buying these 8.75" x 11" leather journals from Graphic Image for decades - and they certainly have an archival feel to them.The pages are lined and while Michael does produce sketches in them, they are primarily used for record notes and for keeping track of other items ...Like parking passes, museum receipts ... even stickers from jeans. While it might sound a bit random, when taken in as a whole, they are ridiculously cool.And then there are the "regular" sketchbooks that both Michael and I use - they aren't anything fancy ...See? Nothing fancy and if I'm being honest, while they take a fair amount of abuse, they aren't indestructible. I have a few that are in fine working order that dates back to 1990 ... but they sorta look like they date back to 1990. Almost all of mine are 8.5" x 11" hardback books from Strathmore but Michael said he also buys Canson sketchbooks as well.In addition to design concept sketches, Michael will put anything that motivates him in these ske...

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