Speculative Sketching

Drawing by Otto A. Chanyakorn

I see the benefits of using drawing or sketching in design process in two functions. first, I use drawing as a communication outlet. Besides verbal communication, drawings are one of the most important method of communication in architectural design that I normally use to convey my ideas.  A type of drawings that we produce after we have developed a clear ideas in our head. They need to be concise in order to convey  our imagination to the viewers. They also take a longer time to produce. Most of the time, I utilized computer aid software to produce this type of drawings.  Second, I always use drawing as a tool to visualize my imagination and conjure up my creativity. It is an open-ended type of sketching that could let us to a further discovery in our design journey or even for future references.

At the beginning the design process, we will not have a clear pictures what  we actually want in mind. Ideas will continue to flow to our mind constantly. The only method that allows me to capture them and keep up with my imagination  is sketching.  There is no definite types of drawings that I use to visualize my ideas. They could be diagrams, thumbnail sketches or anything that serves the purpose of capturing my thoughts. It is ways of thinking and working that formalized or clarifies  my ideas.

In Vinod Goel the author of “Sketches of Thought, he discovered that implementing freehand sketching as a primary tool for preliminary stages of design optimized exploration, and produced variation of design ideas. Freehand sketching enhances a high level of ambiguity, which optimizes design solutions. The intimate connection and processes of embodying a design task without an interruption from external tools are vital for the initial phase of the design process.

To develop the fluency in speculative sketching, one must practice on a regular basis until the circularity of mind and hand become unify. Practice is an answer. We will need to practice until drawing each line down on paper is a natural response to we are picturing  in our mind.