Architecture Study with minimal CAD



I am currently studying my Part 1 RIBA / ARB B.Arch, I already had a Interior degree prior to this one. In my current career I spend a lot of time on visualisation, and might be teaching CAD in the near future at another Uni, too. 

My question stems from the fact I have spent years using CAD, causing me to neglect hand drawing. As I am now studying alongside employment, I would like to forgo CAD as much as permissible and focus on my hand drawing (photoshop is an exception for adding colour etc). 

The hand drawing I have done to date on this course has been incredibly enjoyable and oddly therapeutic. I'm off the "messy lines" type.

I need to confirm the extent that CAD is required with my tutors, but should I go for it if I can keep cad to a minimum? 

How do people, especially tutors, perceive hand drawn visuals compared to 'shiny' CAD?

May 24, 20 8:08 am

Every tutor I know would prefer hand drawn over CAD (assuming the necessary information is still being communicated in the hand drawing). The thing about hand drawing is it leaves an air of 'unfinishedness' to a drawing which allows for reviewers/tutors to dive in my readily. CAD and photorealistic renders have an air of completeness to if the exploration has ended and thus, seems to stagnate review conversations a bit more.

Another option is to hand draw your working iterations of a detail and then perhaps have CAD as the 'final' version and present them as a set. Have seen colleagues do this and the conversation always naturally flows to hand drawing done right before switching to CAD.

Another option is to CAD your drawing but then hand-draw (or even Photoshop) over it, pulling out key components, adding shading/atmosphere, etc. Was encouraged to do this with a 1:20 section drawing last semester by a tutor and it turned out reasonably well. In the presentation I had the CAD version with all of the annotations and then the 'atmospheric' version sans annotations. The final review discussion used the atmospheric version and mostly ignored the 'technical' version (though the technical drawing was looked at in scrutiny in our tech class).

May 24, 20 8:23 am  · 
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I have found some interesting examples on google images of various hybrid drawing styles. Fading from hand-drawn to cad renders like as a gradient effect and several that have traced over lines as you mentioned etc. Thank you.

May 27, 20 5:20 am  · 

Hi @Jaetten - In the context of UK - great to see you committed to hand drawing. I wish more students had this ethos - keep it up.  The RIBA criteria requires you to demonstrate a range of media type (film, 2d, 3d, models, cad, had) so mixing it up will be a great way to understand the importance of communication medium. 

May 25, 20 5:29 am  · 
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Thank you! Reading through my course material, it does indeed list film, that looks like it'll be rather interesting to experiment with.

May 27, 20 5:24 am  · 

No opinion but these are pretty cool Frank Lloyd Wright.  Hand drafting complex designs takes a REALLY long time.  This "drawing" is actually produced with the exact science of perspective

May 26, 20 10:12 am  · 
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Actually that drawing was produced using the science of perspective views however it was 'fudged' in several areas to make it look better - The building wouldn't actually look like this IRL. FLR was notorious for doing this in the perspectives he had his team create. Just something to be aware of when doing hand drawn sketches/ perspectives.

May 26, 20 10:21 am  · 
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I sketch in drafted perspectives a lot. Once you learn, it doesn't take all that long.

May 26, 20 10:44 am  · 

Yup. It's even easier using a BIM file as a background for 'trace' sketch options. I personally prefer to design in perspective and section.

May 26, 20 11:16 am  · 

"I personally prefer to design in perspective and section." 

As one should. 

Great advice I got from a studio instructor: No one experiences a building in plan.

May 26, 20 11:31 am  · 

I sketch a perspective of every important view. It's a skill I chose to develop in lieu of BIM skills. I'm currently doing a job where it's all perspectives on 8.5x11 trace. I have about 6 hours invested in it. Meanwhile, this (admittedly totally different) CAD project takes 150 hours and 25 sheets.

May 26, 20 12:42 pm  · 

I agree about the sketch perspectives tintt. I do them all the time for important areas of buildings. I will admit though that I do use Revit quite a bit to assist me in the process - I find it faster.

May 26, 20 12:49 pm  · 

Hand drawing, BIM, and CAD are just tools used to show the design intent.  I think it's important to be able to use all of them so that your ability to 'draw' isn't the limiting factor in your design process.

As someone who dose a lot of hand sketching I personally find that it is a faster, more creative method to creating ideas and details.  I'm biased though I as I sketch out my thought process.  

May 26, 20 10:17 am  · 
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