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What is Drawing?

Drawing is a tool which can be used in a multitude of contexts. The act of drawing is usually done alone although people in a group can draw each other or collaborative activities could take place.

Why is Drawing Useful?

In relation to design, drawing can be used for:


Drawing as a tool for coming up with and mashing together ideas. One example of this would be a kind of ‘automatic’ drawing but with the subject matter in mind. The design brief might be to do with designing a new kind of mobile architecture for cities.

The drawer may keep in mind the city location, movement, structure, dwelling, habitation, dwellers and these themes can be mixed with freely associated ideas which come during the drawing process.

Specific objects and ontological contexts can be included into the drawing- e.g. a football, and then perhaps the systemic structures associated with the football’s construction, use, purchase, raw material extraction, manufacturer. These other ideas can feed in like adding ingredients to a recipe.


Drawing can be used to observe a location, context, object, and / or activity in detail. The drawer has to concentrate on the subject matter and so looks in more detail than they may normally do.

Creating prototypes

It can be used to sketch to develop ideas.

It can construct a narrative. It is something which requires dedication and time to practice and therefore a story unfolds over time whether it is an improvement in the drawing skills or looking ever closer at and around the subject matter.

It is something which I often find surprising. Perhaps I will begin doodling without any rational reason or predefined idea and by the end of the doodle, when I have filled the page, I will be surprised by how much meaning can be extracted from the image, or how an image of thoughts, information, knowledge I couldn’t consciously stitch together in language is created.