Conceptual Sketches in Architectural Design


Can you draw what you imagine?

For an architect, sketch is a practice for creation of space and realization of what is in his mind. This practice helps him to see and process the surrounding carefully and present his understanding as sketches. Sketching during design process, the architects draw result of their observations and understandings after passing through mental filter. They use what is available to create spaces. In fact, every sketch provides an opportunity for architects or architecture students to know more about structure and details of their design and act creatively.

By sketch, architects can connect mind and hand and empowers it day by day. Computer may provide better drawing facilities to architects but it may not replace a creative mind and a powerful hand. A correct connection should be established between designer’s mind and computer mind. Role of conceptual sketches in more correct relation with computer will be discussed in detail.

Sketch may not be practiced and yielded in a specific time. All times of a student should serve as a bed to architectural process during academic semester. For this purpose, the project design may be divided into several stages and the students are directed toward the final design in every class or out-of-class practices. In this case, the student may consider sketches more carefully and has an opportunity of trial and error. Generally, the students require several sessions to fertilize and direct their minds and creativity considering desired subject through practicing abstract and conceptual sketches (sometimes with the least connotation).


Sketch is a direct, immediate and also more humanistic way to produce ideas. It is more available way to recognize and evaluate space capabilities, embodiment of mental image and swift communication with site and project features.

Ali Khiabanian