Sketchaholics Anonymous: Preserving the Art of Hand Rendering

In an increasingly digital world, computer aided design – or CAD – is quickly becoming the most widely utilized tool for communicating architectural and design concepts to clients. While it is certainly powerful and precise in communicating developed design, CAD lacks a few key benefits that preserve hand-rendering’s place as a necessary skill in today’s world.

Unfortunately, with the ubiquity of CAD hand-rendering is becoming less prevalent and receives less emphasis throughout an architect’s education despite its usefulness. In an effort to combat this and preserve the art of putting pen and pencil to paper in the up-and-coming generation of architects, our design principal Nathan hosts a monthly class (affectionately referred to as “sketchaholics anonymous” among our team), focusing on different techniques and applications and with a variety of subjects.

Why is hand-rendering a critical skill?

At the core of our mission is jointly creating architecture that facilitates meaningful experiences, inspiring the human spirit to flourish and thrive. To do so, we delve deep into our client’s vision – drawing out not only the necessary functions of the space but also aspirational goals – the “if it were possibles” and the “it would be really cool ifs” – from each stakeholder.



As we do so, we sketch on the table right there with the client, a concept materializing for everyone to see, understand, provide feedback. It creates a truly iterative process and open dialogue. There is no lag time, no coming back in a few weeks with a digital rendering of what we hoped was communicated previously. This creates a true partnership with each client and stakeholder, giving them a front-row seat to the creative process from inception to completion.