In a time where new technologies seem to be released every week, people may wonder what will happen to industries that have relied on paper copies for so many years.

Architectural design services may have different opinions as to whether architects still need to draw or not, and we will explore those opinions today.

Differences in drawings

First, we need to define a few types of drawings used in architectural designs. When people think of architectural drawings, the first thing that may come to mind is a sketch.

A sketch is a rapidly executed freehand drawing done by an architect. Sketches are not intended as final products and are often just a physical record of an idea. Sketches are a great way for architects to show clients an idea before putting more work into it.

Although a sketch is relatively inaccurate, it acts as a starting point for more intricate designs that will follow it.

A sketch can be revised and reworked into a more presentable drawing. There is a great deal of planning that goes into architectural designs, so it is important that drawings can be revisited and revised if needed.

A more detailed architectural drawing is known as a technical drawing. Technical drawings act as graphic representations for buildings.

Technical drawings are composed of sketches, diagrams, and plans that follow the scale and projection of a structure. These drawings are essential to the planning stage and are necessary for the construction of a building.

Artistic skill in architecture

Architecture should be considered a form of art, but architects themselves do not have to be the next Pablo Picasso.

During architectural design courses and classes, architects will learn the basics of architectural drawings. As mentioned above, sketches are in no way perfect and truly do not take much artistic ability.

Rather than being great at drawing, it is more important for architects to have an artistic eye. Having an artistic eye means that you can see things in a different way. This can be anything from imagining a building placed on an empty lot, redoing the interior of a home, or making connections between two things that seemingly have nothing in common.

Architects with artistic eyes will be able to communicate with clients effectively and show them exactly how their dreams can become a reality. Artistic eyes have the ability to take an ordinary space and reimagine it, which is especially helpful during the interior design process.

Technology in architecture

Computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided architectural design (CAAD) technologies are widely used by architectural design services that practice residential, commercial, interior, and landscape design.

In the 1960s, CAD was developed to help architects save time on drawing blueprints and was later redesigned as CAAD to provide more tools to architects. CAAD software programs include comprehensive records of buildings.

CAAD differs from the original CAD in that it has an explicit database of building parts and supports the creation of architectural objects. CAAD also allows users to create three-dimensional renderings from two-dimensional representations.

CAAD systems give architects maximum control over visual elements via a graphic approach. These systems are constantly being updated, giving architects a vast array of resources to plan projects digitally.

One of the most beneficial updates to CAD since the 1990s is called Building Information Modeling (BIM). BIM allows users to put together sets of drawings to construct a three-dimensional model.

BIM technology allows architects to work efficiently with others on the job- mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, lighting designers, and landscape architects.

Up-and-coming technologies

Virtual reality (VR)  systems have been popping up around the world over the past few years. Architects have taken notice of the experiences VR can offer, and some architectural design services with vast economic resources have started to incorporate VR into their business.

Showing clients or potential clients realistic renderings of projects via VR is quite possibly the best way to show yet-to-be constructed buildings and designs.

VR systems will also be beneficial to architects working on projects. Being able to “walk through” a possible construction will allow their artistic eye to envision what could be.

If architect firms want to incorporate new technologies like VR into their practice, having help from an IT technician or graphic designer would be helpful. Working in conjunction with architectural designers, this team will be able to create an immersive experience for clients and designers alike.

So, what do architects think?

Many architects agree that you do not have to be a great artist to practice architecture. Many architects themselves say their drawing skills are not the best, but are good enough to properly record an idea on paper.

Sketches are allowed to be messy and disorganized, and a messy sketch is proof that it can constantly be worked on and improved. Drawing is most certainly a skill that can be improved upon over time, but with the integration of technology into architecture, it is not necessary.

An architect is really a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to skills. Communication is key for architects when working with clients, engineering teams, and construction teams. Architects need to be able to effectively convey ideas in order for a project to come to life.

Being a good team member goes hand-in-hand with being a good communicator. Every project will encounter roadblocks, and architects will need to problem-solve with all project members.

Architects must also have some technical skills in order to work with computer systems in the architecture industry. These skills can be sharpened with practice, and architects will see that each project will be better than the last.

The bottom line

Here is the answer you are looking for: no, architects do not need to draw. Well, they do not need to draw skillfully, at least.

No matter how much technology evolves in the future, making physical sketches with pen and paper will always be essential in architecture.

There is so much that goes on behind the scenes of architectural projects, which comes along with a broad range of skills that architects must-have.