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Design, Imagination & Sketching

January 24, 2011

It’s a bright, sunny day in a residential development circumscribed by large high rise office towers and shopping arcades. All buildings are connected by air conditioned pedestrian corridors and bridges. They intertwine like ‘snakes’ above the terrain creating landscape enclaves and pockets of treasured and manicured plant species, but never a resting space for shoppers or visitors. There is lush vegetation and heavily detailed facades throughout the ground and first floor levels. The pedestrian corridors extend like radiating arms towards the river, crossing the waterfront promenade and cantilever a great distance beyond the shore line. There are people everywhere; busily going somewhere; listening to the fiddler; shopping at the kiosk; or just watching the tide go by.

The background structure of the perspective sets the ‘infrastructure’ of the sketch, but the illustration of the activity and the vision of the complex comes from imagination during the development of the sketching process. One event leads to another, scaled to capture the scene in the ‘neighborhood’ of that specific part of the drawing. Sketching without erasing speeds up the execution of the conceptual story; one can even ‘see’ people speaking to one another.

The architecture at the pedestrian levels is varied and elaborate but there is a detail that ties the overall design together. And then there are the intersections and meeting points of the bridges and buildings. These are special junctions that allow access between the elements as well as connections to the lower grade level. Design interest also extends into the make up of the landscape. Trees are naturally combined in clusters rather than in an artificial matrix while the hard landscape finishes carves the direction for the visitors.

As I sketch, my mind races through visions that I ‘see’ as I continue to sketch each and every item in the perspective. Sketching instead of Photoshop rendering allows you to create ‘real life’ incidents rather than artificial ‘zombie’ images often seen in today’s architectural renderings. Sketching in architectural renderings allows the creative expression of the architect to be illustrated as if the ‘picture’ is captured from a ‘time period’. The image becomes ‘timeless’ and inspirational.

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