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Drawing and Digital Drawing

What does the modern drafting table look like? Designers use a mix of multimedia tools and techniques when modelling a space and its interior during each stage of the design process, including conception, presentation, and construction. Manual drafting, digitally and by hand, demands a broad skillset from designers that combines creativity and precision with proficiency, both in the technology they use and their technique. This is our guide to drawing in the twenty-first century.



Architect engineer drawing plans on a blueprint
Hand drafting

Presentation is everything. Whether you are a designer pitching presentation sheets to potential clients or drafting construction documents for contractors, clarity, style and precision are vital. The essential elements of these two types of hand-drafted drawings are summarized in this concise, demonstrative explainer for new practitioners. From title blocks to partition and ceiling plans, this chapter’s hand-drawn illustrations are themselves a great index for how to index your designs.


Shot of a young businesswoman working with blueprints in an office
Computer-aided design (CAD)

AutoCAD is one of the key computer programs for designers when manual drafting and an important tool for sketching digitally. Step-by-step visual instructions layout the roadmap to creating your digital drawings and the journey that designers take when navigating AutoCAD’s user-interface. Explore how to use Dynamic Inputs, the Command Prompt function, and the interactive resources available to you as part of the virtual drafting table.


Image representing the Revit Architecture interior design computer program
Revit 2020

Architectural design, by its nature, poses complex three-dimensional problems. Building Information Modeling (BIM for short) collects large datasets that describe every aspect of a building, and Revit Architecture is the most popular interior design computer program for organising and presenting this complex information in a single database. Read about Revit 2020 in this comprehensive introduction to the program.


half blueprint, half 3D-rendered image of an empty large retro restaurant bar with arched ceiling, large rounded windows, tables and bar stools
Merging hand sketching into digital

Hand-drawing and digital design are not mutually exclusive but compatible processes in manual drafting. “Proficiency in multiple media gives the designer the best of both worlds: the beauty and control of manual work paired with the power and speed of the computer”, writes Lydia Sloan Cline. In this in-depth, multidisciplinary chapter, readers will learn the fundamentals of a combined approach alongside the benefits of flexibly interchanging – and further merging – virtual and physical design.

Images above and on the homepage are courtesy of Getty Images.

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