Drawn language is the perfect means of communication: this is why so many architects are rediscovering the drawing power

Language is probably the most perfect way to think and communicate with other people. But, written – or spoken – language has its limits. Because words leave room for the imagination.

If we talk about a building, sure, it's easy for everyone to imagine it.

But how do you imagine it? Each of us will view it differently. And this is where drawing comes into play.

What is architectural drawing for?

The architectural drawing therefore turns out to be the perfect means of communication. A visual, imaginative and especially emotional communication.

A drawing helps strengthen thinking, connect emotionally, and combine personal experiences.

Mikkel Frost, Danish architect partner of the studio Cebra, is a active supporter of the sketch, of the architectural drawing by hand, of the simple sketched line.

“Drawing by hand is by far the fastest way to illustrate what you have in mind,” he explains. “At a construction site or meeting, a few rough scribbles in a notebook will strongly support any message. And if a great idea wakes you up in the middle of the night, surely a sketch on a post-it note is more natural than turning on the laptop”, he smiles.

Hand drawing is like music

Mikkel Frost likes to compare drawing to music. “Imagine a musician trying to explain a new song to a customer by having them read the notes. Complicated. Surely it's more instantaneous to pick up the guitar and play it”. And the same thing happens with the pencil: drawing adds authority.

Simple hand-drawn drawings are open to free interpretation, they manage to involve clients or collaborators, allowing the viewer to read their dreams in the sketch and become co-designers.

An immediate musician. “If you have something to share let your fingers do the talking” underlines Mikkel.

Drawing as a new way to present projects

Frost is not alone in believing in the communicative power of hand drawing. Several architects, designers and creatives have warmly embraced this return to basics.

Thanks to artistic storytellers who are encroaching on the world of design and architecture, drawing is once again the new way of presenting a project. Architectural concepts and ideas are represented with artistic drawings, small handmade works, with brushes, pencils and watercolours.

And here the cheerful watercolours that David Flack conceived, in close collaboration with a watercolor artist, for the concept design phase of the new Ace Hotels in Sydney.

People, colours, nuances, objects and details enliven spaces that have not yet been built, giving real tactility and authenticity. Watching the video announcing the winner of the Powerhouse Museum, also in Sydney, it is curious to see how many hand drawings were used to develop the winning idea.

Furniture brands and hand drawing

Traveling from one hemisphere to another, Italy too pays homage to hand-drawn strokes. Small, simple gestures.

Lines, visual references to materials, colors and finishes, collages, hinted words that translate ideas and transfer the message of the project. Alongside architecture, the world of interiors also comes alive thanks to hand-drawn. During London Design Week, Lema invited the 'artist-illustrator Hatty Pedder portraying furnishings, people and showrooms live.

Creating, thanks to her extravagant and surreal style, a Lema collection of small works of art.

Curious that Poltrona Frau has decided to use an original design from the Ottanta designed by Studio Baroni to celebrate 40 years and the relaunch of Ouverture, the avant-garde sofa by Pierluigi Cerri.

Read also: the architect Pierluigi Cerri passed away

Architecture as a stage on which to build stories

Architecture is like a stage and provides the landscape for the stories that happen on or in it” - says Josephin Ritschel.

German storyteller who works with various design studios, including Neometer, giving her intimate and personal way of interpreting the technical project. She draws capable of captivating and immersing the visitor in space, thanks to the real tactility and authenticity of the sketches.

“I find that drawing is the best way to see” – explains Antonia Pesenti of studio Fable – “it slows you down and forces you to look and understand. I use sketches in so many different ways: to think, to test, to make sense of ideas.” Antonia, who was recently commissioned by the Art Gallery of Sydney to document the making of the new wing, used her drawings to bring This Place to life.

A book of drawings-sketch-collage-photographs hypnotic. “A sketch is much more powerful than a photograph” – she continues – “It is the record of a time gone by. In fact, my drawings are not created in an instant like a photographic image, my drawings contain my thoughts, my listening and my gaze. The sketches are a record of what it feels like to be in a space.”

So in addition to the idea and the technicality, emotions become an integral element for the success of a project. And the design is an accomplice active. Because drawing helps you think. Drawing creates freedom. Drawing is a simple, almost primitive act of presenting a project. Drawing connects people and awakens emotions. Welcome back drawing power.