From Esquisse to Analytique: Learning Design Composition through Analytical Sketching & Measured Drawings

2016_Esquisse to Analytique

From Esquisse to Analytique

Learning Design Composition through Analytical Sketching & Measured Drawings

Together with several of my colleagues, I was privileged to participate in giving an invited presentation to a group of design professionals (+40) at VCBO Architecture’s office in Salt Lake City.

The presentation explored classical theories of architecture, such as design composition through analytical sketching and measured drawings. Embedded in the Ecole des Beaux-Arts curriculum was the esquisse and analytique.The esquisse was a quick design exercise capturing the “parti” of a building and included a floor plan, elevation, section, and perspective. An analytique, on the other hand, was a codified design problem that dealt with the elements of architectural design. It consisted of a single page composition of items such as a floor plan, elevation, detail, ornament, rendering, etc.

Learning from these two types of design methodologies, the presentation discussed at length the value of precedent analysis to inform design decisions on new projects. We looked at Andrea Palladio’s field sketches of Roman baths and temples and how those influenced his later projects. The presentation also discussed how hand sketching can be used as an important part of the design process. It was concluded that developing those hand drawing skills were still key to success as a design professional in the twenty-first century.