I have always been a big fan of Michael Graves (b. 1934) who is an American architect and designer of universal products. I had the opportunity to attend a lecture he gave in 1986 outlining his design theories which included the extensive use of color on the exterior of buildings.
Today his greatest fame is with his universal designs for domestic household items sold at retail stores. It is exciting for me find that he agrees with my theory that hand drawing is an important aspect of the creative design process. Above is a freehand sketch of the south facade of the Denver Central Library that he designed.
In The New York Times, Sunday Review, The Opinion Pages, September 1, 2012 Michael Graves weighs in on the importance of hand drawing called Architecture and the Lost Art of Drawing. Check out this quote in the middle of his article: “Architecture cannot divorce itself from drawing, no matter how impressive the technology gets. Drawings are not just end products: they are part of the thought process of architectural design. Drawings express the interaction of our minds, eyes and hands. This last statement is absolutely crucial to the difference between those who draw to conceptualize architecture and those who use the computer.
Of course, in some sense drawing can’t be dead: there is a vast market for the original work of respected architects. I have had several one-man shows in galleries and museums in New York and elsewhere, and my drawings can be found in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art and the Cooper-Hewitt.
But can the value of drawings be simply that of a collector’s artifact or a pretty picture? No. I have a real purpose in making each drawing, either to remember something or to study something. Each one is part of a process and not an end in itself. I’m personally fascinated not just by what architects choose to draw but also by what they choose not to draw.”
Read more of this article where he identifies three types of architectural drawings, the”Referential Sketch”, the “Preparatory Study” and the “Definitive Drawing”. The image on the left is his design of the St. Coletta School in Washington D.C. Check out his product and architecture design on his website Michael Graves & Associates .