prior to the proliferation of computer-aided imaging and 3D modeling, there were a number of different kinds of drawings that architects would do to get to the truth of the building – axonometrics, exploded isometrics, parti diagrams, perspective sketches, etc.
The temptation with such powerful 3D computer programs is to rush directly to a kind of simulacrum of the final building. Where a lot of buildings suffered from being designed from a single marketing-related perspective, the dominance of 3D imaging has now engulfed the world of architectural design. Desaturated SketchUp images all look a bit alike, a dominant palette of grays and greens pervading every design presentation much like the hand-drawn entourage file scourge of the kid-with-balloon and guy-with-briefcase characters appeared in every cheesy hand rendering.
For as much as I like to draw, for me, architectural drawings have always been a means to an end, the necessary testing and documentation to get to building. However, maybe we shouldn’t so quickly jump to the end, the imaging of a three-dimensional building, even if it is tantalizingly close, just a click away. What is lost is the process than gleans information and inspiration along the path. Besides, begging to be used, I must have at least a thousand pencils, colored markers, lead holders, erasers, lead pointers . . .