Sketching as a Tool for Seeing: A Method for Teaching Drawing to Architecture and Interior Design Students

By Stephanie Travis.

Published by The International Journal of Design Education

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: May 16, 2014 $US5.00

As the increase in technology within the fields of architecture and interior design continues, the debate over hand drawing versus computer drawing has become a relevant topic both in the professional environment and the academic arena. And while the computer is a dominant tool in design education, it is important that professors emphasize freehand sketching in universities to create designers with skills that combine the artistry and technical sides of the design field. Sketching empowers creativity throughout the design process, as a means for communication, and most significantly a tool for “seeing.” This paper gives a pedagogical method for teaching freehand drawing to architecture and interior design students, beginning with furniture and expanding in scale to interiors and architecture. It explores the basic elements of drawing such as line, composition, perspective, shade/shadow, composition, and color, while relating to them specifically to constructed space. This methodological approach gives architecture and interior design faculty the ability to incorporate drawing into their studios and courses; accentuating the substantive act of freehand drawing as a way to approach seeing in a new way.

Keywords: Freehand Drawing, Design Education

The International Journal of Design Education, Volume 7, Issue 3, May 2014, pp.63-74. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: May 16, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 967.643KB)).

Prof. Stephanie Travis

Director and Associate Professor, Interior Design, Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, The George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA

Stephanie received her bachelor of science in architecture and master of architecture from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor). She is currently the director of the interior design program at The George Washington University in Washington DC, which has CIDA accredited undergraduate and graduate programs. Prior to teaching, Stephanie worked for some of the leading architecture and interior design firms, including Gensler and Vicente Wolf Associates--both in New York City. Her teaching focuses on studio courses in commercial and residential design as well as free-hand sketching, 3D drawing and rendering, and history of 20th Century architecture and design. She is also NCIDQ certified and LEED accredited.