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.