Joanna Petkowska
Role of Free­hand Drawing in an Archi­tec­tural and Urban Design Process Today

Joanna Petkowska

My PhD thesis is focused on the role of free­hand drawing in the archi­tec­tural and urban design process. The time context of the work is important, because we are now facing a profound change in the very design process. New digital design possi­bi­li­ties like Buil­ding Infor­ma­tion Mode­ling (BIM) and compu­ta­tional design have caused an epochal shift from drawing to compu­ta­tion, from repre­sen­ta­tional way of presen­ting ideas to simu­la­tion. This trans­for­ma­tion changes the approach to the design, making perfor­ma­tive criteria the essen­tial object of design. It also alters the architect’s posi­tion in a project where he/she emerges more as a coor­di­nator of infor­ma­tion rather than a creator of form.

Does it mean that the free­hand drawing is of no impor­t­ance nowa­days? The thesis shows the proper­ties of free­hand drawing which are unique and indis­pensable for the whole design process as well as the pre-phase of it (educa­tion). The value of this tradi­tional tool is presented with regard to phases of the design and based on the rese­arch about desi­gning process itself, human percep­tion and cogni­tion. The author’s expe­ri­ence in projects based on the char­rette method has been chosen as a back­ground for the consi­de­ra­tions. They end with conclu­sions of the role of free­hand drawing in the archi­tec­tural curri­culum.


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