Learning Through Drawing

 It seems insane how fast this semester has progressed; we are just a few inches away from going into full on fabrication mode. But before we get there we have to make sure we have an adequate set of construction drawings to go along with building. It’s pretty interesting how this project has paralleled the project that we just completed in our Woodshop/Product Design class. That project was a relatively small design of a box, constructed using simple joinery methods with wood. However, that was truly my first time designing a fully functional object at a 1:1 scale and then fabricating it.


One of the most important things I learned while making that box was that when it came time to fabricate the design, it was almost impossible to do so without having thought about each step before I did it. It really showed me the importance of the drawing to the designer. 3D models were great when I was in the design phase (and made me endlessly thankful that I was born after the rise of the computer), but in terms of construction, the 2D drawing is still the best tool. Drawing forces you to not only represent the way something will be built but also to interpret the construction method. In the context of the box, doing the drawings really solidified the design in my head and allowed me to figure out finer details that I had not considered before.


This semester I have also been interning at a local architecture firm. At the internship I often have to make drawings for projects that I have little to no previous understanding of. Through drawing these unfamiliar projects, I usually come to find that just by having to draw different aspects of the buildings I become pretty familiar with a lot of different aspects of the projects. So when it comes to making the construction drawings for the pavilion, they are not just drawings but almost another design project. Making the drawings means being extremely precise, and double-checking everything. It forced me to reconsider certain details and allowed me to learn about areas of the project that I was previously less familiar with. Now that we are getting these construction drawings made we can really firmly design and “set in stone” the fabrication methods and tiny details that we couldn’t possibly visualize before.


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