Sketches and Concepts

Concept drawings or sketches are drawings, often freehand, that are used by  architectural designers as a quick and simple way of exploring initial ideas for architectural designs. They are not intended to be accurate or definitive, merely a way of investigating and communicating design principles and aesthetic concepts.

Concept drawings can also be used to explore more technical aspects of a design, providing an initial response and possible solutions to problems, constraints and opportunities such as services layout, structure, method of construction, solar paths and shading, prevailing wind, patterns of circulation, relationships between aspects of the site and so on.

Preliminary sketches capture and communicate the essence of an idea, focusing on its driving features, and in the same way that an artist sketch is often more evocative than a finished painting, concept drawings can sometimes capture the sense of an idea more clearly than later drawings or even the completed building.

Concept drawings, using pencils or felt tip pens and paper can provide a more fluid, expressive and faster method for investigating a problem, than more hi-tech approaches such as computer aided design or building information modelling which can be restrictive in terms of the precision they require and the rules they impose on the way an image is constructed.