The benefits of drawing
The sketchbook provided a form of research and a library of plans and details to crib at a later stage. Because the architect is not necessarily aiming only at documentary representation, the sketches were often searching and analytical. Many of the drawings prepared found their way into later designs. The English architect C.R. Cockerell used pocket-sized sketchbooks and filled them with drawings not only of sites in Italy and Greece, but also of cities in Britain. His sketchbooks, which survive at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), show that a direct link existed between Cockerell’s field
studies and his commissions as an architect. Later architects such as Alvar Aalto, Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn employed the sketchbook in a similar fashion, though to different ends. Lord Foster (opposite) continues with this tradition.