Home Design: Hand Sketching vs Architectural Drawing – Talk to the Hand!

November 16, 2016Architecture

Architectural Drawing vs Hand Sketching in Home Design – Talk to the Hand!

Architects throughout history have been trained in drafting techniques that communicate three-dimensional ideas on a two dimensional surface, i.e., a sheet of paper. When designing, architects use drawing standards to ensure communication is consistent between their drawing sets and those that their colleagues in the field are building with. These standards are just that…standards, and although drawing standards are followed, the architects also use their “hand” throughout the process via hand sketching to help illustrate design concepts.

It is the precise nature of these architectural standards in combination with the human “hand” that produces architectural designs that are both technical and a work of art. This, I would argue, is the core of architecture.

Hand sketch showing one design option for proposed kitchen remodel

We often use hand sketches to convey concepts, as we feel there is a tactility to experiencing design ideas with the designers “hand” present. It may be subconscious, but the hand sketches emote the feeling of the home. In residential design especially, we want the home to not only function well, we want it to feel good too.

Hand Drawn Sketch of Proposed Garage Addition and Remodel

As a designer with an architecture background, taking the time to hand draw uses a different part of the brain as well. It allows us to move away from the screen (the technical), slow down a bit and think about the design solution differently. It allows for time to let the design resonate on both a logical and emotional level. For me this is the “magic” of architecture — where the brain and the heart meet.

Learn more about our design process on our process overview page.

By Jen Hinesman