the importance of sketching
Thursday, 12 April 2012
I’ve often talked to students, young designers, and colleagues about the importance of sketching as a part of the design process, whatever flavor of design that might be. I like to think that I practice what I preach, but sometimes I forget.
I have been struggling with the design of an enclosure for my CNC mill that would allow me to use flood coolant and contain the mess of metal and plastic chips this machine can create. I had a rough idea in my head, and looked around at existing enclosures, so I immediately jumped into CAD to sort out the design. For days I iterated on-screen, unhappy with the results but trudging through each new concept until I hit a wall.
So last night as I sat on the couch I opened up my laptop to give it another go, only to find technical issues that kept me from launching my CAD software. Frustrated, I shut the laptop and pulled out my sketchbook. Within minutes I was teasing out the solutions that were so elusive on screen, and by the time I shut off the lights I had my design roughed out.
So, one more time, especially so I remember: Never underestimate the importance of sketching. CAD is an invaluable tool, as are rendering packages and Illustrator and Photoshop, etc. But for quick ideation, brainstorming, breaking through a mental block, or simply communicating with your fellow designer/engineer/marketing person, nothing beats sketching.
Thanks for humoring me. And stay tuned for my next rant, titled mock it up before you fock it up…