You have drawings, and you have models, and you know the unique value of each. The following idea recognizes those values and carries them into the future:

Drawing is to modeling, as tangerine is to orchard

drawing : model
tangerine : orchard

An orchard, like a model, is an environment. To understand an environment we use techniques, or ways of looking at it, that support understanding, that articulate, that inform, techniques that create events that are consumable, that present things in ways that help us know what we can know (and should know), and do what we should do.

“Drawing” is about making things graspable in this way, about helping us internalize the meaning of a situation, understand a complex environment. Or in other words, a “drawing” is an “event” that makes understanding ready-at-hand, tangible, graspable. As it were, the very tangibility we need, faced with situations that otherwise overwhelm, environments that are too complex to grasp, make sense of, sort through, figure out, understand or put to practical use.

That’s the general nature of AEC models standalone. There are exceptions in which models stand alone well, but those exceptions are few and even those tend not to be pure exceptions on full examination. A model is, metaphorically, not unlike an orchard, an environment. And a drawing not unlike the orchard’s fruit. An orchard’s value and meaning, its essence, what it says to us, what it gives, is not known to us in any practical or useful way except by its fruit. A tangerine presents the orchard in a consumable way. It makes the value and meaning of the orchard ready at hand, graspable, tangible, consumable, useful. It makes the orchard, to us, something vital. It informs. The tangerine is communication, from the orchard, to whomever reaches out in search of meaning, understanding, insight.

Drawing and modeling are inseparable, like tangerine and orchard. They don’t exist, one, without the other. They exist always in interplay between themselves and with us and our need for understanding.

We believe in a full recognition of the meaning, function, value, and purpose embodied by “drawing”. We take it seriously and study its method and technique, and we anticipate and envision the expression of its function in powerful new ways within modeled environments. We believe this will lead to the future of media.

Future digital spatial environments will present within themselves various and diverse kinds of techniques that support understanding, of those environments. Future media will make tangible, graspable, ready at hand, the meaning and insight needed for making sense of complex environments. The future of media is a future of increased power of expression, increased effectiveness of communication, increased uptake of understanding.

Future media will make models more valuable and more understandable than they are presently. This kind of evolution is aligned with the future of computing. And it’s aligned with your practice and what you believe in. You produce drawings and models, so a productive fusion and evolution of these is what you’re looking for. And more generally, sense-making, putting insight in sight, ready at hand, graspable, making insight tangible, this is the constant drive of technology.

We believe in the future of media, evolving from a full understanding of the distinctive role and purpose of each of the two primary media of design and AEC:

  • “drawing”: a narrowing, a focusing, a technique used to make ready-at-hand a consumable tangible event that makes understanding graspable, within our reach, evoking understanding of the wider whole of an environment


  • “modeling”: a widening, a whole of an environment

Future media will make models more useful than they are today, by making them more intelligible, by creating new kinds of focusing event techniques and presenting those informative events in-situ within the environment.

Future environmental media will infuse the techniques needed for understanding the environment, into the environment.

That’s a future we can believe in.



2 Comments Add yours

  1. Very interesting comparison, maybe the word “drawing” in itself is a bit confusing for people, when “detail” might be the narrative of the building environment, in any possible way expressed – drawings, focused 3d illustrations or principles.
    Good job!

  2. Thank you so much Kristine Andrule.

    Any drawing draws twice. It draws from the morass of a whole environment (whether imaginary or digital), and, draws our attention to it, in a way that supports understanding.

    We have the opportunity now (as software companies recognize this) to recover the fuller meaning of the word “drawing”, and develop its fuller potential as any kind of technique that effectively draws attention and evokes understanding within any kind of digital spatial environment..

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