Within the 3D Digital Environment Using Hand-Drawing Techniques
Cezary Gajewski | University of Alberta
Many years ago, when computers became the standard tool in the industrial design studio and employers began looking for competent, computer-savvy designers, many design schools were eager to begin teaching with them. However, due to class-time limitations, teaching the new computerized systems was favored over the old (manual) techniques. With time, this meant that students became more and more competent computer users but were not equipped with the hand drawing techniques so important in rapid communication of ideas. Some of these basic drawing skills were replaced by sophisticated digital rendering whose realism and accuracy remain a necessary part of the design process but can be detrimental in the early stages of creation and exploration.
As more and more students entering the field of design have extensive computer knowledge and ability, many of them feel increasingly confident using that technology to express their designs than hand-drawing and rendering techniques. This can be problematic, however, as we begin to see the effects of computer driven design as opposed to designer driven work where students feel confident with the tool but lack the ability to realize their concepts due to their limited knowledge of the newly introduced software packages. Increasing the students’ ability and confidence using hand drawing, therefore, leads to enhanced creative freedom. By teaching students manual techniques in accordance with a particular scale or unit, they are better equipped to visualize objects within a three dimensional grid system and are more easily able to translate their ideas into 3D modeling software later.
There is no doubt that computer technology has improved and enhanced the abilities of the modern designer. In teaching creative drawing techniques, my aim is not to surpass or even match the capabilities of these modern machines, but to reintroduce an invaluable design tool that many of today’s young designers have lost: quick, cheap, accurate, and efficient communication.