ASID Icon - January/February 2009 - (Page 32)
CONTRAST/ A Sketchy Conversation DESPITE THE WIDE AVAILABILITY OF DRAWING SOFTWARE, HAND SKETCHING IS STILL HIGHLY VALUED BY MOST DESIGNERS—AND REQUIRED FOR THE NCIDQ EXAM/ YOU WOULDN’T THINK that the capacity to render in one- or two-point perspective could generate controversy, but responses to a recent informal ASID e-mail survey indicate that there are a few folks out there who think that sketching by hand is a thing of the past. Others, however, ﬁrmly believe this age-old skill to be an essential tool for conveying design ideas and conceptualizing spur-ofthe-moment project changes when meeting with clients or contractors. And “coffee shop napkins” seem to be high on the list of favored media. Cases in point: “As impressive as a slick computer presentation may be, nothing beats a quick sketch on a napkin for the ‘wow’ factor,” says Laurie Lamont Murray, ASID. “Many times the idea sketched on a napkin … is brought back [to the ofﬁce] and used for ﬁnal drawings,” agrees Linda Pittam, ASID. And Celia Barrett, ASID, IIDA, believes that “the ability to ‘think on the coffee shop napkin’ will always be the ﬁrst strike in a design solution.” Whether a sketching proponent or an advocate of AutoCAD, Revit or SketchUp, for the time being, you can’t pass the NCIDQ practicum without a minimum of render- turn in their “trace,” or working drawings, with the ﬁnal drawing so that jurors can “see their problem solving.” Jeffrey F. Kenney, NCIDQ Executive Director, says that those taking the test must be able to convey their problem solving abilities even if their drafting is not the most artistic. Although King points out that CIDA standards “are rigorous” and require that students must demonstrate competence in “illustrative sketching,” Kenney says, “We do train our jurors to look at content rather than [drawing] ability.” According to King, one reason those who sit for the exam must draw their answers to the practicum is that there are logistical difficulties identifying a drawing software program that all who might take the exam are competent in. Kenney, who says this issue is really about costs, adds that NCIDQ has plans in 2009 to study the feasibility of universal computer testing in the near future. In the meantime, sketching is something King refers to as a “softer skill,” but one that has value for students and professionals alike. Although “you do sell your project with the glossy CAD drawing,” King feels strongly that hand All Illustrations courtesy of Vaki Mawema, Project Designer, Gensler Wacom Cintiq © 2008 Wacom ing skills. This portion of the exam, which encompasses a full day, requires those taking it to solve a space planning problem on tracing paper or vellum and then to demonstrate through drawing an understanding of more technical details, such as lighting plans and elevations of millwork. And this is where emerging professionals’ drawing abilities—or lack thereof—are revealed. “NCIDQ is the group that can see the problem,” says Gera King, ASID, who has been an educator for more than 20 years and an NCIDQ juror for more than a decade. King, who is director of the interior design program at Scottsdale (Arizona) Community College, where drawing and color rendering are an integral part of the curriculum, recently began a three-year term as a Phoenix NCIDQ jury leader. She explains that for the NCIDQ practicum, students must sketching is an essential visual communication tool that all designers need to have. Many respondents to the ASID query—from students to those with extensive experience— agree. A number of designers feel that a competence in hand drawing must precede the ability to draw in an electronic format. Dennis Veatch, an industrial designer and ASID Industry Partner representative, equates the debate to the “same mentality of math skills being unnecessary because we have calculators.” Celeste Mariotti, Allied Member ASID, says “In my ﬁrm, I only do hand drafting, and my clients love it! I have experimented using both methods, and the sketching wins every time.” Carla Aston, ASID, RID, who also frequently relies on hand sketching, says, “I could not be a designer without this skill.” Although she always presents a ﬁnished sketch 32 icon january/february/09 the magazine of the american society of interior designers
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ASID Icon - January/February 2009
ASID Icon - January/February 2009
Getting it Right
Design for Life
ASID Icon - January/February 2009
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