Drawing in architectural practice
THE FINDINGS: DRAWING AND ABSTRACT THOUGHT PROCESSES Without exception all of the architects questioned acknowledge the symbiotic relationship between thinking, drawing and designing. However, not all thought that drawing was a prerequisite for design: many architects, including Cullinan, Grimshaw, Alsop and Foster, often arrived at an initial design idea in their head before they committed a line to paper. These early design ideas were generated spontaneously, perhaps whilst jogging in Foster’s case, cutting logs in Cullinan’s or painting in Alsop’s. The subsequent drawings prepared,
cognitive processes already undertaken. As Cullinan puts it, ‘drawing allows me to express what is already in my mind’s eye’. Likewise, Grimshaw admits that he not only generally draws an idea already partially formed in his head but he uses drawings to clarify spatial structures lodged in the imagination. Similarly Alsop states that ‘drawing tests an idea which is already in my head’, but to make sure he is thinking conceptually (rather than just problem solving) he prefers not to draw too soon. This view is shared by Farrell, who states that design is a mental process that remains more fluid in your head, and although line is fluid it is not as fluid as the first design idea.