Old School and High Tech

Design Post 2.2

I was educated in the late 60's. Hand drawing was still a point of pride and a way to differentiate an Architectural Student from anyone else on campus. Our pen and ink hero was named Helmut Jacoby and he was our idol. We looked in amazement at his books and renderings and only hoped that we could emulate his style on trees, buildings, shade and shadow. A few of us could duplicate the detail, some of us could work at it and get most of it but most simply never developed the talent and patience. There were more than a few totally cold-cocked by plugged up Rapidiograph pen points. We slaved over our presentations pulling all nighters like they were Kleenex from a box. Once we graduated, it was the same way with drafting and lettering skills when I took my first intern job. There was always an indirect relationship between speed, accuracy and clarity. As my employer often said, "if you are going to take the time to make the drawing, make it right, accurate and legible" a concept lost on several interns who took speed as the priority. Much of their work ended up in eraser dust on the studio floor.

I carried the craft of drawing and lettering on into my career and found that I could capture the imagination of clients and amaze others with my hand sketches done while we discussed the design and planning issues. My lettering has remained crisp and beautiful to this day. In the office, my primary task was to refine plans and design and deliver to scale, hand sketched details to my staff to reproduce in Autocad. You could look around the studio and see my sketches clipped and pinned to the panels as inspiration. The more they posted, the more I produced. I enjoyed preparing a butter paper alternate or quarter scale detail mono-chromatically rendered in Carmine Red Pencil, to overlay during a presentation to a client. The clients do love to see us dance.

Well, we live in a much different world now and we are still dancing, but to a different tune. I could look around the studio and see 3D models spinning on screens. We papered the walls with gorgeous renderings of future projects. We had a model shop that produced stunning miniature basswood models with removable roofs or variable design elements. Animations , walk-throughs and fly-overs flash with sexy allure on large ever thinner flat screen monitors in our conference rooms. I have acquiesced. Of course a beautiful CG 3D image of a design is a stunning item to take to a presentation and they do have their place, however never underestimate the power of a client seeing a design evolve on butter paper with pen and ink right in front of their eyes. Anyone have any Sticky dots?