SKETCHING VS TECHNOLOGY

HOW TO EMBRACE NEW TECHNOLOGIES AND IMPROVE THE DESIGN PROCESS

CUBE DESIGN d.o.o. Sarajevo

Large offices, big drawing tables, classical music in the background and lots of architects and technicians in white coats sketching and drawing on large formats of paper โ€“ this was the picture of a typical architectural studio in the 90-ties and earlier. Not that long ago, but a lot has changed by now. How did we get to 3-4 people at architecture studios, architects working in HUBs, designing from home, or even meeting in a cafe discussing ideas on laptops and tablets? Technology changed not only the way we work, it also changed the way we think.

Sketching is essential at the beginning of the design process. It boosts creativity, enables new ideas and gives unlimited possibilities to the designer at the very first step of each project. Digital era affected this stage the most. As much as we try to fight it and insist on traditional methods, students and young architects use technologies more and more in all stages of projects. Since a variety of different apps are available they โ€žrefuseโ€œ to use sketch paper. Is it wrong to ask millennials, who grew up with their mobile phones and computers, to go back to traditional methods? Maybe not only tools change by time, maybe our minds are different too.

At our studio we try to encourage young architects to show their creativity and present their ideas in different ways. We want to recognize each individuals' talents and interests and give them courage to express their ideas in any form they feel is the most convenient. After a long time of insisting on โ€žold fashionedโ€œ sketching by hand, we were positively surprised how this new approach woke up confidence and positive competitiveness in the office. The most important thing, once we decided to experiment and accept new forms of design process, we were amazed with the results we got. We started to discuss ideas on models, diagrams, mood boards, 3d models and animations, or real material samples combined with hand sketches and blueprints. We decided to try not to force millennials who think in โ€žzeros and onesโ€œ to convert all their ideas on raw paper, since it may be even impossible in some cases. After all, our goal is to awaken each individuals' creativity and embrace new ideas. Even if it means that we, as mentors and employers, need to learn from students and adapt to new ways of the design process.

Thinking outside of the box, in our practice, did not get us new ideas, it also improved our presentations, gave new highlights to our projects, and impressed our Investors who were present during the whole process. This does not mean we gave up sketching completely, we just added each individualโ€™s specific mark to projects, we accepted new possibilities and used them to upgrade our design.

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