Lately my students and others ask me if it is necessary as a designer to be a good sketch-artist. As always the truth lies somewhere in the middle. you don’t need to be the best sketcher to be a product designer, but it’s all about communication. Communicating what’s inside your head to the other teammembers, clients, production-personnel. Off course these days designers have other tools to visualize their ideas. CAD, prototyping and even rapid prototyping nowadays. These are all great assets that makes the job easier –but also more complex-. But in a society where time is money, a designer who knows how to sketch will have more ideas visualized then someone who soluly uses a CAD-program. No CAD application will let you throw down tens or even hundreds of different design ideas in half an hour! This is where creativity usually starts. A designer who can sketch can explore countless ideas in a day. As different and as wild as he or she pleases. When it comes to being the designer whos idea gets picked this is important. You can never be fully sure what it is your boss/client is looking for. If you put up a couple of well designed, well thought out design solutions from CAD, and the guy next to you is pinning up 100 equally well thought out design solutions, the simple odds say that the boss will find what he is looking for from the other guy. He has had more time to try different things, explore different creative avenues and solutions…This investigative function of sketching is tightly connected to the early research phase of a design project. Altough sketching can also be of importance to people who are more involved in the later phases of the project. It can be quite handy to fix a last-minute problem on the production floor and some sketches to communicate your ideas with the production-chief. Off course sketching is not easy and many students give up because it is a skill that needs to be exerciced a lot. After only one year sketching you may not be happy with what you are drawing. Do not give up though. Try looking at what you drew one year ago and compare it to what you draw now. If you can see an improvement then its OK. Just keep practicing. It can take some time but in the end it’s worth it.
These courses are aimed at Industrial design students and I’m hoping to teach you everything from the very basics to the more advanced and digital techniques of ID-sketching. But bare with me since this blog will not be finished any time soon.