Hand Drafting vs. CAD


I'm sure this has been a topic a million times, but is hand drafting becoming obsolete in professional practice? And if not, why not, what is so appealing about hand drafting?

Feb 13, 05 6:58 pm

Hand drafting is much more tactile. No limitation of screen size...freedom to draw. I enjoy both and think it good to go back and forth between the two.

Where I work we only do design drawings, using vectorworks, and all of the earlier conceptual work is mostly hand drawn, though not with detail in mind...almost all of the mayline's are gone...which actually can be a big pain in the ass, because they are still very usefull for all sorts of production.

Feb 13, 05 7:19 pm

Our local reprographics place tells us that 1 in 20 sets that they see are still drafted by hand - but that these are very small sets from aging architects in 1 or 2-person firms.

I don't think our clients would stand for hand-drafted sets. Even our small, residential clients are "sophisticated" enough that they expect to send us CAD files from their surveyors, receive emailed 3D models that they can spin around on their home computers, etc. Larger clients expect full integration with their existing CAD-based facilities drawings. Some local zoning offices even require CAD drawings from us.

I think it would be difficult to find younger employees these days who have really strong manual drafting skills. Older architects talk about internships in which they were required to spend 2 hours per day for several months just practicing lettering and lineweights before they were allowed to touch an actual CD set. And those were people who had taken multiple drafting courses and had to hand-draft all their studio projects for several years before they even got to the firms.
These days students have one semester of manual drafting at the absolute most (and many have none.)

There's a huge range of how much freehand sketching happens in various firms, and these skills are still be very important to many.

Feb 13, 05 7:25 pm

i remember at one point these guys did hand drawings almost exclusively, although it may have changed...

Feb 13, 05 7:40 pm

twbta is all cad now. i saw a bilie tsien lecture recently where she talked about it. funny thing is i saw a lecture a few years ago where she said they would never change

Feb 13, 05 8:38 pm

i saw her do a lecture a few years ago and she said the same thing, funny how things change...

Feb 13, 05 8:45 pm

i personally like it when the hand and computer medias are mixed. like scanning in a hand drawn section or perspective and adding stuff to it in autocad/photoshop/illustrator, etc. i'm not sure if these guys exactly work that way, but it looks like it, and it sure looks bad ass...

Feb 13, 05 9:01 pm

i just go to the site and inscribe a few lines in the sand with a stick. When i come back in a few weeks, a building is there.

Feb 13, 05 10:39 pm

In my opinion lewis.tsurmaki.lewis [see link by Cris] produce some of the best drawings/renderings out there. They are only recently completing most of there original designs [or at least posting photographs on their site] and the work seems to compare. These guys are great.

Feb 14, 05 3:33 am
David Cuthbert

I couldn't live without CAD as a tool for production drawings. However there are times esp when giving out variations that I want a manual draft sketch over the existing drawing....a certain clarity to it.

I mean I've gone through the "sit down and trace the letters of the alphabet on a A4 sheet" inbetween making copies with the ammonia - but that was years ago, and I think I've finally removed the taste of the ammonia out of my lungs

Feb 14, 05 7:23 am

my proj architect does all his drawings by hand (doesn't know cad), and they are some of the most informative and didactic drawings i've ever seen. his drawings are so wonderfully beautiful that, if i want, i could simply scan his drawings, lay them out with our office titleblock, and voila, the drawing set is done. needless to say, i've started a small "art collection" of his drawings.

Feb 14, 05 12:33 pm

i think glenn murcutt only does hand drawings. i love hand drawing, but you can't beat the efficiency of the computer.

Feb 14, 05 12:47 pm

some of my experiences of hand drafting:
decisions made slower but they are more permanent, they are less efficient in terms of changes, they are more accurate (as in; you are more aware of existing conditions or location of transitional points as you manually arrange objects/materials one by one), you only put necessary info on the drawings, tracing paper is the pimp who brings ideas and decisions together.
disloyal bitch who fucks you up for internal error, walmart of lines, indications, and highly calculated moves of the moment, more tools in it than an architect possibly learn, makes projects more complete than they actually are, there is no tracing paper therefore no pimp, resulting in uncontrolled amount of business.
my 42" parallel bar still attached to hollow core door in storage.

Feb 14, 05 1:25 pm

i still use my 42" parallel attached to a hollow core door. it's not the tool that makes the artist/designer/architect. it's the mind.

Feb 14, 05 1:49 pm

But in turn, the mind chooses the appropriate tool

Feb 14, 05 1:58 pm
David Cuthbert

I had a groovy 40" very rare (its actually for metric use) and its alos attached to a door in my old studio back at home.

btw e, Glenn Murcutt does do his drawings by hand, simply because he wants to. He also works secretary no associates, nothing. But his drawings are perhaps the most complicated I've ever seen layers and layers of things are to be set up and the use of equipment (line and plumb...he could almost give a lecture about that) - his good pal lepastrier is the same way

Feb 14, 05 2:35 pm

thanks for confirming that jam. obviously, the scale of his work allows him to do it too. the early denari drawings are nice too. not sure if he still works by hand.

Feb 14, 05 2:40 pm
vado retro

they both hurt my eyes neck and back...

Feb 14, 05 8:18 pm

i have to agree with vado on that...either way your gonna feel those hours of drafting.

Feb 14, 05 8:31 pm

Is L.T.L. using Sketch Up to produce those drawings? anybody knows?

Feb 15, 05 1:33 pm

Print this essay by W&T and enjoy!



for Nexus in 2G issue n.9 1999

In an earlier edition of 2G devoted to Arne Jacobson, Knud Aerbo, one of his former associates, spoke of Jacobson's office:

What we had when we worked with Arne Jacobson: A drawing table -a 90 x 160 cm uneven table top - a side chair with a straw bottom. Our own T-square and a pencil which had to be sharpened with a knife....Drawing pins to hold the paper; tape was not invented yet.... If you look at it today , you will have to say: it could not be done. But luckily we did not know then.

Recently, one of the architects in our studio put down the telephone and said incredulously, "No more leads!" Calling to place an order for new "F" leads, he was told that Faber Castell was no longer making them. People apparently do not draw enough anymore to make it worth their while. This is just the latest disappearance. And it seems to be happening more and more often to more and more tools that we use. Lettering and shape templates are disappearing. In 1993 we were told that there were only 144 more Dietzgen lettering templates in all the warehouses in the United States. So, we bought twenty. The "S"s and "4"s on these templates are wearing out, breaking, and there are no more templates to be had. Because we hear that they too are being phased out, we are hoarding ink pens. It is isolating and disorienting; a very strange feeling, rather like waking up to find that that the tide has come in, and familiar landmarks are submerged. Slowly, the tools of the hand disappear.

In the United States, the practice of architecture has come to rely on the computer. In offices the word efficiency is always mentioned, and in design schools the capability to create and rotate complex forms in space is lauded. So, with surprising speed, the tools of the hand are becoming extinct.

* clutch pencil, lead and lead pointer

*bunny bag


* erasing shield

* lettering template

*soon to disappear

This is a lamentation for lost tools and a quiet manifesto describing our desire for slowness. We write not in opposition to computers- in fact we are in the midst of bringing them into our studio- but rather it is a discussion about the importance of slowness. We write in support of slowness.

"There is a secret bond between slowness and memory, between speed and forgetting. Consider this utterly commonplace situation: a man is walking down the street. At a certain moment, he tries to recall something, but the recollection escapes him. Automatically, he slows down. Meanwhile, a person who wants to forget a disagreeable incident he has just lived through starts unconsciously to speed up his pace, as if he were trying to distance himself from a thing still too close to him in time. In existential mathematics, that experience takes the form of two basic equations: the degree of slowness is directly proportional to the intensity of memory; the degree of speed is directly proportional to the intensity of forgetting." Slowness Milan Kundera

Slowness of Method
Our desire to continue to use the tools of the hand, even as we may begin to use the computer, has to do with their connection to our bodies. Buildings are still constructed with hands, and it seems that the hand still knows best what the hand is capable of doing. As our hands move, we have the time to think and to observe our actions. We draw using pencil and ink, on mylar and on vellum. When we make changes, they occur with effort and a fair amount of tedious scrubbing with erasers, erasing shields, and spit. We have to sift back through previous drawings and bring them to agreement. So, decisions are made slowly, after thoughtful investigation, because they are a commitment that has consequence. It is better to be slow.

We like to keep the stack of finished and unfinished drawings nearby so that the whole project can be reviewed easily. Their physical presence is evidence of work done, and a reminder of what there is to do. The grime that builds up from being worked over is poignant and satisfying. We see the history of the presence of our hand. To have the actual drawings in reach allows us to understand the project in a more complete and comprehensive way. In the buildings we design, we struggle to achieve a unity and sense of wholeness that can come from a balance of individual gestures within a larger and more singular container. The focus of a computer screen feels too compartmentalized and tight to see and understand the whole. And if every time a change is made, a new printout is made, there is the problem that the printouts are too clean. They don't show the scrubbed and messy sections of erasure, so there is no evidence to indicate the history of the development of an idea. Crucial to creating wholeness is the understanding of the development of the idea.

We work together, 12 people in one room without divisions. Much like a family, we expect that others will help whenever we need them, and however we need them. So there is no division of labor into design, production, model making or interiors. Each architect is involved in the making of contracts, billing, and writing of letters. Since we have no secretary, the phone is answered by whoever has the least patience with the ringing. Because each person must be a generalist, a certain amount of efficiency is lost, as each person must learn all the tasks of the office. We ask that people constantly shift their attention between their particular task and one which helps the office as a whole. What this rather casual approach to office management accomplishes is that everyone knows what is going on around them. If there is a problem, it is shared, and of course we try to share the joys as well. The sense of well being in the studio must be supported and nurtured by each member.

So our way of working allows us to have the experience of slowness. Tools are connected to the slower capacity of the hand; the presence of hand drawn pages documents both the path of thought and the destination; the generalization of tasks means the office works not as an efficient machine, but as a loose and independent and somewhat inefficient family. The slowness of method allows us breath and breadth.

We have written a Mission Statement for the office: Whatever we design must be of use, but at the same time transcend its use. It must be rooted in time and site and client needs but it must transcend time and site and client needs. We do not want to develop a style or specialize in any project type. It is our hope to continue to work on only a few projects at a time, with intense personal involvement in all parts of the design and construction. We want the studio to be a good place to work, and learn, and grow, both for the people who work in the office, and for ourselves. The metaphor for the office is a family. Each person must take responsibility for their own work , but as well must be responsible for the good of the whole. We do not believe in the separation or specialization of skills. Each architect in the office will work through all aspects of a project. We would like to be financially stable, but this will not outweigh artistic or ethical beliefs, which will always come first. The work should reflect optimism and love. The spiritual aspect of the work will emerge if the work is done well.

Slowness of Design
In a public forum we were asked, "What is your design strategy?" We were at a loss for words. There is no strategy for either an ascendant career, or more importantly, for the way that we design. It is so easy to use the cushion of past thoughts to soften the terrifying free fall of starting a new project. It is inevitable that as we accumulate a longer design history we repeat things unconsciously. Still, perhaps naively, but in earnest, we try to start each project with a blank slate. The design is incremental - small steps that are made in response to the site, the client, the builder, and our own intuition. We try to fight through what we have learned, toward the freedom found in innocence. The design is a slow and often uneven accumulation of stitches, that are often ripped out part way through while we struggle to make clear, or to understand what the pattern and organization might be, even as we avoid as much as possible knowing what the final image might be.

So, the first intuitive drawings are usually very rough plan forms which might demonstrate the gesture of the body's movement and how that is expressed by a mass in relationship to the land. We always show these drawings to the client because we want them to understand the intuition or gesture that is the genesis of the design. It is also a way of saying "I don't know what I am doing yet, but I do have a feeling about it."

Often, as the plans are worked through, an idea about a section or a detail or a piece of cabinetwork will come to mind. And for a while the plans are put aside and the stray thought is pursued. Progress is a stutter step not a forward march --- three steps forward, two to the side, and one step back. It is a choreography that somehow pulls itself together. With each project, it feels as though we are infants learning how to walk. We pull ourselves up, wobble, take a few steps, and fall down.

This way of developing the design mirrors the working method of the office - moving back and forth between advancing the particular task and attending to the myriad details that are the sidetrack. One generally thinks that to be "sidetracked" is a bad condition, but we think that it is enriching. The sidetrack is simply a parallel route. It has been said that architecture is the mother of all the arts - meaning, one supposes, that it is the generative root. We prefer to think that architecture is like a mother caring for a toddler, who must keep hold of the larger vision of the adult whom the child will become, while stopping to clean up fingerprints and wipe noses.

For us, elevations are always the last part of a building to be developed. Often we are at the end of design development before we even begin to rough out the elevations. This is because elevation drawings close down the process of questioning by making the image of the building too clear, too "graspable" and therefore too final. Clients, magazines, in fact, we as architects and human beings, all want an easy and clear answer. But it is better not to provide one before the interior habitation and the structure of the building has been given enough time to develop as the logic for the facade.

In our current practice, the construction drawings are produced on 30" x 42" mylar sheets using pencil and ink. Notes are typed up on the computer and xeroxed onto what we call "stickyback," which is an acetate with an adhesive surface. This is glued to each page. The working drawings consist of the typical site plan, plans, reflected ceiling plans, wall sections and general details. At the same time, and continuing through almost the entire construction process, is a sketch book. The page size is 11"x17", which is the largest sheet size that our xerox machine can duplicate. Divided into sections of cabinetwork, miscellaneous metals, window details, roofing details, and miscellaneous building details; the sketch book can often run up to two hundred pages. Based on previous experience we try to have the contractor set an allowance for certain trades like cabinetwork or metal fabrication. There are several reasons why the sketchbook is useful. It allows several people to work on parts of a specific section at the same time. It means that questions can be answered quickly by issuing a sketch sheet rather than by going back to the large drawing set. Most importantly though, it means that we don't have to stop designing at the issuance of construction documents. It allows us to continue to develop drawings and details even as the project is being built and constructed.

Finally, during the construction period, the project architect-who has been involved since the beginning intuitive drawings- supervises the construction. Often on larger projects the project architect has moved to the site for as long as a year and half. In this way as questions come up during the course of the project, the choices that are made are made with a sense of the history of the idea and they are true design decisions that accrue to wholeness. They are not simply the result of expediency in the field.

This position of "not knowing a priori" is antithetical to the general model of the architect as hero. This is a damaging model because it discourages the slowness of process that comes from the patient search. Certainty is a prison.

Slowness of Perception
As our work matures, the perception of it is less and less understandable through photographs. One can only understand it by being there and moving and staying still. One reason is that we have been trying to integrate our buildings into the landscape. Thus, often the most important space is the empty space that is contained by the built forms. This empty space is the heart of the project at the Neurosciences Institute in La Jolla. It is the invisible magnet which holds together the separate buildings, and provides the coherence which makes the project feel whole. So what is not there is equally important, perhaps more important than what is there. How does one photograph nothing? One experiences it.

And because we develop our facades as late as we can, we are not relying on a flat plane to carry the strength of the building or to transmit a sense of the place. So it is difficult to shoot the facade of a building because it is only seen by itself, and not, as your eyes see it, in relation to the buildings next to it, in relation to the empty space next to it.

So there is no quick take on our work; no singular powerful image that is able to sum it all up..

We are not sure how to present our work. We know that the answer is not a computer generated "fly-through," or even a video of the real thing. The pacing and the viewpoint of these methods are still too consistent. They are machine-like lenses, cold, that follow a too logical sequence of movement. A human eye scans panoramically, and then suddenly focuses down on a tiny point. You see the ocean, and then you see a grain of oddly colored sand. The boundaries of what one chooses to perceive are constantly expanding and contracting. And of course there are the myriad stray thoughts, memories, and images that are called up by what you see that color and shade the actual space. There are the distractions ( and perhaps one can also see them as positive additions) of sound, smell, shifting light, and the conversations of passers by. This can only happen when you are there. So, we suppose we can only offer this monograph of our work as a suggestion of what we do, or perhaps even as a pack of lies which must be proven or disproven by your own feet and eyes.

slowness of method
slowness of design
slowness of perception

Feb 15, 05 2:46 pm

damn, i went to a couple of stores on saturday looking for leads. couldn't find any. no wonder. thanks for that tid bit suture.

Feb 15, 05 2:58 pm
vado retro

personally i cant wait for telepathic drafting

Feb 15, 05 3:24 pm

rock on Suture! great post. viva slowness!

Feb 15, 05 7:15 pm


Gonna see a lecture by LTL tomorrow. I'll let you know.

Feb 15, 05 8:12 pm

awesome frit. where are they lecturing?

Feb 15, 05 9:47 pm

not to be a dick, but i think in a competitive world slowness is just going to mean lesser projects, lesser opportunities and in the end would trickle down to unpaid interns

Feb 15, 05 10:01 pm
Dazed and Confused

If God had intended Man to draft by hand he would have put as many inches in a foot as there are fingers to count on with his hand.

Feb 15, 05 10:28 pm

dazed you never cease to amaze me, you swoop in add your comment, and then poof you are out. you are a genius of picking your time to shine. you sir, are my favorite poster here.

thank you.

Feb 15, 05 10:42 pm

Discussion member sameolddoctor,

What are you competing in? A sprint? a marathon? a horse race? Coney Island's hot dog eating contest? How fast you can pump out mall car garages, the efficiency of building anonymous office park 5 level office "towers" iced in red and yellow EIFS? Is the competition about how many McMansions you can stuff per acre...?????? What is the game?

Indeed, in certain competitive worlds, the idea of "Slowness" will translate to working on fewer projects per year. However, design firms (as opposed to service oriented firms) who engage and strive for thoughtfully crafted work like TWBTA purposefully do fewer projects so that the quality of their work remains high.

One of the great moments in Nathaniel Kahn's amazing documentary was when he interviewed IM Pei. When commenting about the elegance of Kahn's work, Pei, in a very resigned and almost defeated tone compared his work as being about quantity over quality. And this is Pei mind you, who is no architectural slouch himself.

Slowness is not about

hand-drafting vs Cad drafting
slick animations vs balsa wood models
blob vs meisian box
Black vs celery green

its about a the way one has an ethic and passion towards creating compelling designs.

i beseech you visit the salk institute and the american folk art museum. Being in those amazing spaces will quickly give you a visceral understanding of what "Slowness" is about.

Feb 16, 05 12:22 am

nice suture.

Feb 16, 05 1:03 am


Feb 16, 05 3:10 pm

love that facade. got see it the next time i'm in nyc.

Feb 16, 05 4:11 pm

Paper or plastic?

Professionally -- plastic is being used more and more often.
Quicker, easier, looks the same as everyone elses, and more expensive.

Scholastically -- paper is the way to go in my opinon.
emotionally envolved, skillful, time consuming, and still expensive.

Feb 16, 05 4:38 pm
Sir Arthur Braagadocio

the end product is all that matters in architecture, otherwise its just theory! whatever works for you.

i personally hate drafting and sketching as it is a complete waste of my time. if i can already see the final product from every angle, every space within, every material at everytime of the day, like a dream, why waste time drawing a i have no patience for model building, i do it all in the computer and voila i'm done. then there's the touch up to make it look maybe more LTL like (which i will argue is the future trend of Computer Renderings, sketch-up, less real and bland, and more sketchy, but done in the computer)

Feb 16, 05 9:13 pm

wow, you hate sketching? i understand why you might embrace the computer and hate drafting, but no sketching? are there others that feel the same? is this the way the profession is now moving with everything being computerized?

Feb 16, 05 9:18 pm

i can draw plans, sections, elevations and details both with pencil and computer.and, can built crude models. thats all i need to get my ideas and methods cross to clients, building department and builders.
i don't care too much about 3d computer modelling, those are done to promote the projects.
once you have a real project you can design and develop it with plans, sections and elevations. some clients can not visualise so built them a model. more real this way and architectural drawings are standartized for centuries for a good reason. same method is used world over. you might not speak the same language of your counterpart but your architectural drawings will be understood. i don't want to see hyper real 3d pictures of the work. sometime few surprises makes the work all the livelier and opens doors for unplanned moves.
i wish i could draw good quick perspectives. it gets better when i do it for few weeks, then i stop and i am back to stick figures.
i don't think i'll be technicaly ready if the standart method of arch. drawings change to 3d diagrams, if it does, i'll be hiring my first ever employee.
in real projects, end result is the king. one should get there whatever means necessary and it is most of the time two dimensional diagrams that show the intent, quantity, method and limitations, in a set of documents easily understood by trades people and governing authority.
so far using autocad for 5 years, i haven't draw anything different than what i was drawing with pencil or pen. and my command vocabulary in acad is around 20 commands.
i've completed a dozen or so buildings with my limited knowledge of electronic medium. it is really good for getting prints, making adjustments and mobility it provides in terms of taking your work in a disk and keep working on it wherever.
sometimes you make important drawings on a pice of wood with a broken piece of gypsium board.
if you want to explore ideas, other tools are also available ; conversations, writing, reading and occasional hashish smoking (weed in california).

Feb 16, 05 10:25 pm
Dazed and Confused

No! thank you!
. . . . .
I don't understand about slowness though. I have seen projects benefit from "massaging" - to a point. Too much massaging and the thing either turns into a ball of goo or reverts to square one again.

I'd offer that there is a slowness in gaining the skill necessary to make a perfect gesture - but the gesture can happen in an instant.

Feb 16, 05 10:42 pm

I love LTL and D+S style. Apparently it's drawn in CAD, then plotter, traced, scanned and manipulated. There are some decent looking faking programs for Rhino and 3DS.

Feb 16, 05 11:22 pm
Sir Arthur Braagadocio

Dazed and Confused is on the money and often a genius.

If it takes you 20 years to come up with a perfect gesture for a project, you chose the wrong career. As much as you religious art zealots would like to argue that art is one of kind field that produces magically and spiritually, let me burst your bubble for you...

rate of production is the measurement of success in any field in which an object is the final outcome of thought. the more artistic you are the more perfrect gesture you can create per hour, if you need 400 books of theory, a graduate degree, 9000 sketches, and a zillion oppurtunties to come up with the perfect gesture - YOU SUCK! you should've been an accountant or cashier.

Hasselhoff try the Ink and Paint texture map in 3D max, or convert 3DS images to the squigly extended lines in Sketch-Up and import back into Max, pretty sweet effects, more or less the same effect at LTL and D+S.

Feb 17, 05 8:15 am
Sir Arthur Braagadocio


draw more pictures and think...

once again my ego and superiority fascist complex is at work again...

if you need to draw to think more, your thinking is weak. imagination! do you have it? or do you need to draw to see to think to draw to see to think? i'm terribly sorry you're not gifted, and yes plenty of architects have managed to have success through hours of drawing and the inability to think without the pen... i worked for one, and i am sure of it, he had no vision.

analogy: (29*99)/49 = what? can you do this in your head? well, if you can then what do you need the pen for? architecture is no different.

Feb 17, 05 8:19 am


To your credit, you have it halfway right. I agree that without VISION it wont matter if you draw with a stick in the sand, a chisel pounded on stone , 4B pencils on richly textured paper, or a cordless mouse on an Apple cinema screen running the latest program currently in fashion.

The tools at our disposal are constantly evolving and being made obsolete even as we sleep- the case becoming more prononced with the advent of 6 month shelf life rendering program. With the technology moving at breakneck speeds, what the great architects have in common, is an ability to concisely communicate their thoughts no matter the tool at hand.

Look at Peter's early axonometric diagrams and compare them to what he has recently done. Or study the trajectory of Danny's work. His early compositions were Maya-esque in terms of intricacy. Vastly diifferent means of production across time, but surely the hand and mind is always thinking in tandem.

Because this horse deserves mercy, i will close by suggesting you re-read the essay in a more critical way. I will give you a hint and tell you that its not an advocacy for lead holders and mylar, rather is is an elegant rhetoric about the means of communications-both between the architect and mind and Architecture and the world.

Have the VISION to open your eyes , see beyond your (mis)conceptions of what it means to be "gifted" and you will see the light. You too may soon be able to "draw" or keystroke in many new ways.

Feb 17, 05 10:42 am
Sir Arthur Braagadocio


I apologize, I didn't read the article yet, this is just a touchy subject for me. I more or less lost a job based on the CAD and Drafting/Sketching arguement, so I tend to fly off the handle a bit.

I will read the article and give a new conclusion. As far as my vision goes, my eyes are always open, but my inherent trait is to quickly critisize and rip whatever new theory is put to the forefront apart. I have no intentions of ever becoming PC and positive, as this is abundant in our society. Fascist Nihilistic Negativity is my style, deconstruction at its finest.

Back to production architecture.

Feb 17, 05 11:21 am

"what the great architects have in common, is an ability to concisely communicate their thoughts no matter the tool at hand." << this point sums up this thread for me.

meta, i hear you, but i don't think that's what suture is saying. there are just as many inept designers behind the mouse as there are contemplating what could be with paper and pencil.

i once worked for a large corp firm consisting of 4 unnamed dead white guys. this one guy headed design for the entire office. we were doing a renovation/extention to large pucblic structure while adding a base isolation system in underneath. we debated, sketched, made lists of pros and cons, and debated some more of whether the new stairs we were inserting into the building should be made of steel or concrete. this went on for 4 months. i quit in frustration without having another job lined up. it was the most disheartening experience i have ever had. no vision or ability to communicate at all. wtf? how did this guy get into the position he was in? i've never seen such a waste of time and money.

Feb 17, 05 11:27 am

Hand drawing was utilitarian at most when it was at it's prime. Done so much for so long, it became so perfect and beautiful that it was done quickly by only those who were good at it. But by necessity.

Now in age- it is still beautiful. But since most are not fluent at it- we take our time in producing it. It takes me at least a couple days to finish a fine hand drawing as an addition to whatever project i'm working on and its considered a piece of art once completed.

CAD is for production, but can be used in a similar fashion- and never the same thing.

Feb 17, 05 12:19 pm
Sir Arthur Braagadocio

i'll second e on Sutures point "what the great architects have in common, is an ability to concisely communicate their thoughts no matter the tool at hand."

still haven't read the article...if i get holding talking to the IRS...must work late....

Feb 17, 05 2:17 pm

I would like to thank everyone who contributed to this thread for their valid feedback on this subject. I am a student, and an aspiring architect, I am writing a paper on "The Effects of CAD on Architecture"
This has been the absolute best resourse I have come across.

Sep 23, 07 7:01 pm
won and done williams

Rkest, no offense to you or the participants of this discussion which i just read in its entirety and found very engaging, but if a discussion by a bunch of archinecteurs is the best resource you can find on the topic, that's a little scary. how do you quote from an archinect discussion?

"If God had intended Man to draft by hand he would have put as many inches in a foot as there are fingers to count on with his hand."

-Dazed and Confused, 02/15/05 19:28, "Hand Drafting vs. CAD,"

for more academic papers you could also include entry and comment counts.

-Dazed and Confused, Total Entries: 15; Total Comments: 408, 02/15/05 19:28, "Hand Drafting vs. CAD,"

Sep 23, 07 8:24 pm
won and done williams

that came out more snarky than i intended it, because i don't doubt that this thread may be the best source of information out there on that particular topic, but it does have interesting implications on how to write an academic paper with wiki/web 2.0 type sources and what is a credible source these days.

Sep 23, 07 8:31 pm

I would take no offense, if there was a good argument made. In this case there isn't. No offense.

Did I say best? Maybe I used the wrong word here, perhaps "Most informative to the subject at hand" would be more appropriate. Then again, when doing research, wouldn't "the most informative resourse" you could find be the best resourse as well?

So it is known I do not intent to quote anybody from this thread.

Sep 23, 07 8:45 pm

Well now things have changed again.. =) good day...

Sep 23, 07 8:51 pm

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