31. Squiggly Line Drawings

What makes a good sketch? Most people would name things like line weight, proportion or observation skills. Others may say that a good sketch is simple, quick, and rough. While these things may be true, only an architect knows the true secret behind a good sketch: squiggly lines. It has been a well kept secret of architects for many centuries that a good drawing is made up not of straight lines, but of squiggly lines.

Architect Squiggly Line Drawings

Architect Squiggly Line Drawings

Everyone knows architects are artists of the highest degree, and they must be allowed to draw and scribble their thoughts unrestrained. Straight lines are too mainstream; too conformist. Architects are free spirits and must rid themselves of the constraints that straight lines impose – otherwise known as mediocrity. By using only the squiggliest of lines, architects are empowered to throw off the chains of conventional wisdom, buck the prescribed methods of ‘coloring inside the lines’ and fully embrace their inner ego. Only those too weak to say ‘no’ to the status quo are left drawing straight lines for the rest of their lives. Straight lines are over rated. Squiggly lines stand for purpose – for freedom, originality and individualism; the lifeblood of the architect. Architects don’t need to deal with boring things like ‘structures’ or ‘precision’. That’s what engineers and interns are for! They’ll figure out what my scribbles mean and my building will turn out magnificently.

We architects must uphold the tradition of the squiggle. It doesn’t matter that we all draw with the same squiggly lines, it’s the fact that my squiggle is different from yours that makes it unique. Now let’s transfer those squiggly drawings into CAD and complain about how engineers are taking our jobs and interns don’t know how to put buildings together…

 



Written by:



  • Jake

    hahahah!

  • Jeremiah

    I need to see more examples, please. πŸ™‚

    • Maybe I’ll make a coffee table book of squiggly line sketches… I think a quick browse through Bob’s site will give you a great idea of what squiggly sketches look like πŸ˜‰

      • Jeremiah

        I know what squiggly line sketches look like. I was saying I want to see more of yours. πŸ™‚
        A coffee table book of sketches would be awesome. I’ve thought of taking my Instagram sketch photos and making a small notebook out of them through Blurb.

        • I love blurb! I have a list of ‘stuff I want to make’, but it tends to fall to the bottom as more important things come up. I’ll see if I can’t move ‘sketches collection’ to the top (and hopefully produce some more in the near future!). Maybe if enough people pester me about it, I’ll get to it faster πŸ˜‰

        • I love blurb! I have a list of ‘stuff I want to make’, but it tends to fall to the bottom as more important things come up. I’ll see if I can’t move ‘sketches collection’ to the top (and hopefully produce some more in the near future!). Maybe if enough people pester me about it, I’ll get to it faster πŸ˜‰

  • Pingback: All I want for Christmas… - architangent()

  • but how to sketch with CAD anyway? :p

  • Hilarious! I feel liberated. Now I know where my squiggly lines come from. I still remember the day in college when David Lewis of Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis taught me the value of the squiggly line in first year studio.

    • You learned the secret of the squiggle that early on?! Wow, lucky you! πŸ˜‰ I didn’t get introduced until graduate school.

      • Yeah, shhh…it’s my secret weapon of success. It didn’t take long in architecture school for me to realize that my straight-line sketches were NOT cool. I quietly retired them to the circular file. Life has been great ever since.

        Oh yea, although I still can’t figure out if the squiggles were just due to my professors after caffeine dip.

  • Anonymous

    yes grasshopper…I too know the secret…architects cannot draw straight lines anyway, so the squiggle hides that without anyone knowing.

  • Oh, so all those drawings I’ve been drawing for years are actually the correct way.Β  Makes so much more sense now.Β  I feel like a true artist.

    • Also, coloring outside the lines is more than acceptable πŸ˜‰

  • Pingback: Only the Beginning: The Best is Yet to Come for this Blog()

  • Polecat

    I went to school a long time to learn now to scribble neatly. Β Just sayin’…

  • guest

    A prof of mine once said that straight lines make a client think that the project is complete and exactly like it will be in the end. When a client sees squiggly lines, he understands that it is only a sketch that will develop into a final idea.

    • Smart professor! Generally speaking, the more realistic something looks, the more the client will assume that it can’t be altered or changed.