December 28, 2009 | John Berendzen | Extracurricular

The value of drawing by hand

Here at Fox, we have a tradition of meeting Friday mornings before work in the summer months  to sketch.  We generally choose an area of the city and return each week.  This year we started downtown and then went to Tower Grove Park.  TGP is a nice area with places to sketch under cover if it rains (always a good idea to have a few rain locations).

Hanging out sketching, you sometimes meet interesting people.  This year we met a local artist/muralist – Jeff Miller.  He was practicing yoga and came by to talk.  He brings a fresh approach to drawing – architects tend to draw (or look at things) in similar ways – Jeff works differently – he draws differently.  Drawing is like a fingerprint – your drawings define you.  Frank’s drawings are great – they are precise and measured, just like Frank.

Frank once told me that “what he writes down he remembers”.  I think it’s the same way with drawing – what you draw you understand in a deeper way than taking a photograph.  I think it makes you a better architect.  We are committed to digital design, but no matter how good you might be a some software there’s nothing like pencil on paper to flush out an idea.

This year we continued well into fall, but with the winter weather it’s just not possible to sketch comfortably outdoors. Jeff, Frank and I met for breakfast last week to catch up a bit.  Need to find a place to sketch next spring….

Here’s some sketches from last year.

Bandstand, FSR

Main Bandstand, Tower Grove Park – FSR

Old Post Office Plaza - JDB
Old Post Office Plaza - JDB
Jeff, John, Jessica Senne and Frank at TGP
Jeff, John, Jessica Senne and Frank at TGP

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