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The AART of sketching in the digital age

by Anders Tyrrestrup, co-founding partner

We always strive to keep one step ahead of digital development and the architectural opportunities it provides. However, we have never left freehand drawing behind. It was – and still is – a vital tool with which to explore, conceptualise, and communicate our projects as they take shape.

Conveying ideas

Architecture is a profession whose practitioners, keeping up with digital development, have turned from masters of the pen and slide rule into 3D-visualisation experts. At any rate, this is the typical story. However, if you delve deeper and rummage through the desk drawers of our digital workstations you will discover supplies of paper and fine-point pens.

This is because, alongside our digital transformation, we have preserved our sketching skills. In fact, we have developed them further. We have done so deliberately, because experience has taught us time and time again that sketching has the power to convey ideas and bring people together. This is true not only within our own team, but also when we meet clients and collaborators. Drawing ideas on-site brings the design process closer to them, simply and clearly.

AART KBH 2019 05 H
Analogue sketches and digital visualisations go hand in hand at our Copenhagen office.
Sketching has the power to bring people together. This is true not only within our own team, but also when we meet our clients. Drawing ideas on-site brings the design process closer to them, simply and clearly.
Anders Tyrrestrup
KSM3999
Anders Tyrrestrup putting his thoughts onto paper at one of our own team meetings.

Taking you on a creative journey

Sketching is a multi-layered process. Instead of formulating a conclusion, it takes you and other members of the team on a creative journey, in which you see and think about a concept, explore its possibilities, and create the perfect setting to bring it to life. It is an iterative process, from the first rough draft of a concept to the final detailing. At AART, we thus continually revisit our projects – through sketching – as they take shape by which analogue sketching and digital model building becomes two parallel processes. We do this to enrich our architecture with as many perspectives as possible.

In this way there is something liberating about sketching. Because, sketching is an analogue working method which – concurrently with digital model building – gives you the freedom to come up with an idea, revisit it, and explore it further, whether individually or with clients and colleagues. The physical nature of it allows for spontaneous reflection, as well as natural curiosity, which is a vital part of the architectural profession.

AART aarhus 2017 KSM 05
Discussing and sketching ideas at one of our own team meetings.

We have gathered 20 stories exploring the last 20 years of our practice.

Explore our anniversary website