Sketch Or SketchUp; Where Do Your Ideas Start?
An interesting post just crossed my screen that I think our designer/tinkerer (and/or designer-tinkerer) readers would probably be able to shed more light on than me.
Dr. James Self wrote at Core77 about his doctoral research into the different processes industrial designers use to move from concept to object. When is a sketch appropriate and when does someone use a computer in the very early stages of conceptualizing?
Basically, it varies.
Findings indicate that sketching continues to underpin design activity. Professional experience also influences the use of sketching in support of design activity. Less experienced design students tend to lack confidence in their sketch ability and they find the dynamic, unconstrained medium at odds with an approach to design activity that errs towards fixation and attachment to concept.
As part of my research I visited practicing designers at their places of work and interviewed them about their use of design tools. Interestingly, the designers often juxtaposed the affordance of sketching against the limitations of 3D CAD tools. Like many in design education, practitioners stressed the explorative, divergent affordance of sketching over the more constrained convergent nature of CAD. Of course they understood the value of CAD, but spoke of a concern for the ways it may limit student creativity, ‘a student’s design being too influenced by the constraints of this or that software.’
There is more in the piece regarding the timeline for introducing design tools to students. I’m curious, though: how do MakerBot operators use design tools? Many of our operators are not designers at all, and perhaps not so great with drawing. Turns out, they’re not alone; neither are many of our in-house designers.
I just popped by our design studio to find out how our team works, and it seems the answer is: everybody’s different. Some of them sketch everything before diving into any CAD work, while Michael Curry, our Design Superstar, does the “sketching” in his head, because, simply, he sucks at drawing. When he does draw, it’s to test a mechanical idea, to run a structural experiment in 2D.
So what about you? Do you sketch before you SketchUp? Is the idea of drawing something a little too free-form for you, or conversely is CAD too complex to the point of inhibiting an idea?
I’d love to know your process. If you’ve got something to say, perhaps there’s room for your advice on this very blog. So chime in!
|Tagged with||cad, design, industrial design, sketching, skimbal||8 comments|