Why do designers draw?

Many great creations start with a drawing. Theo Blankley, who teaches in the Bachelor of Design, explains why drawing is an important part of the design process in this bite-sized lecture.

Imagine your favourite piece of furniture. What material is it made from? What kind of textures does it have? Have you styled it to make it your own? How does it fit into the space around you?

No matter how clear the image is in your head, it’s impossible for others to picture. That’s where drawing comes in.

Designers draw to express or communicate an idea or desired outcome.

During this bite-sized lecture, Theo explains that “Design, as a noun, originates in middle French, meaning a scheme or plan in the mind, an intention to act in a particular way.”

By drawing, we can convert a “plan in (our) mind” into a tangible form that is accessible to others. “Drawing, as a medium for expression, is vital in the representation of ideas, thoughts, composition, form, materiality and sensation in the discipline of Design,” says Theo.

It’s clear that drawing is an important part of the design process, but what goes into it?

As a Design student at the University of Melbourne, through the first-year subject Foundations of Design Representation you will begin to develop your 2D drawing skills by hand, before moving onto digital 3D design, circling back to a physical manifestation of your designs through model making, then cementing the skills you have built upon by exploring and demonstrating the fourth dimension of your design, time and atmosphere.

Design may start by putting pen to paper, but it draws on so much more than that.

Designers draw on theory, history, their own interests and skills, perspective, logic and atmosphere.

“Design is about relationships, about weaving ideas, extracting information, referencing the past, the future and the present”, says Theo.

What is it that you draw upon and how will you draw your ideas into existence?


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