The Illinois Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA-IL) recently held a two-part workshop focused on freehand drawing and visualization skills for planners led by architectural illustrator Bruce Bondy of Bondy Studio.
It was a wonderful refresher on the importance of “productive doodling” and the lost art of sketching. I think many of us either forgot, never learned, or are intimidated by sketching but it has many applications (even with all of the fancy computer programs out there). It can be a very quick and effective way to communicate an idea (akin to “back of the envelope” analysis) from a small group setting to public workshops or charrettes. Those who regularly sketch spaces and places develop a deeper understanding of important issues such as scale, proportion, and context which is useful for anyone working with the built environment.