People often ask “do architects still use a drawings board?” Well I can say yes they do…
I often use computer aided design (CAD) software to prepare a lot of my drawings, especially on projects such as Wellington Lane where the proposed building is square and regular, or in other cases such as SOPHA where a lot of technical information about the construction is required and contained within the digital model. More about this approach, called BIM in the industry, another time.
But sometimes it just feels right to get the drawing board out, not just for the early concept and sketch design stage, but to proceed right through the design process to planning permission and even for the technical/construction drawings.
I quite often work on old buildings, for example thatched cottages in Cornwall and Devon, where the walls are never square, floors are not level and the materials have aged over time to bring natural curves to the internal and external surfaces. Drawing straight lines on CAD, not only doesn’t capture the essence of the building, but can force an inaccuracy to the representation which will be a problem later down the line.
If I am undertaking work to listed buildings, it is important to look closely at the building and understand the qualities of the existing building which makes it special. A conservation officer looking at drawings will want to be assured that the building has been recognised as special and will be dealt with sensitively by the design team, client and the building contractors.