Why Drawing Matters to Design in the Digital Age

Architect Michael Graves pens an opinion piece for <em>The New York Times</em> that explores the effect that computers are having on the architectural creative process. Does the decline in hand drawing result in a diminished ability for speculation?
September 4, 2012, 11am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Graves makes a forceful argument that the supposed "death of drawing" in architecture at the hands of the computer is a loss for the creative process. "Architecture cannot divorce itself from drawing," he argues, "no matter how impressive the technology gets. Drawings are not just end products: they are part of the thought process of architectural design."

Graves is willing to accept the role of computers in producing "definitive drawings," construction documents, and presentations. However, he sees the hand drawing as a irreplaceable tool in the first phases of architectural drawing: the "referential sketch," and the "preparatory study."    

Do his ruminations represent the musings of a luddite designer who's been practicing for nearly five decades, or do his experience observing the scope of the technological changes that have impacted the field give him a unique perspective from which to advise? 

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Published on Saturday, September 1, 2012 in The New York Times
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