Category Archives: DES 121 Intro to Design

Drawing and Designing – Causeway City

Most drawing in school is based on life drawing; you learn to look and draw what is in front of you. In the case of ‘Design’ that is rarely the situation. More often you are attempting to draw something that is not in front of you, not even made yet, because you are trying to Design it. As a Designer you are giving the thing it its form. You can of course base your design on a different but similar thing that is in front of you. A designer of a wineglass might for example base his design on a plant. In other situations however you need to form an idea entirely in your head, then quickly draw it before it goes out of your head.

There is a common simple mistake. The tendency to draw stuff you are trying to design without thinking about what it is you are drawing. Very often people blame their lack of ability to draw and offer that as the reason why the design has not appeared on the page as it were – by itself. This is like trying to do life drawing without looking at the model.

Although this is a simple mistake and it is easy to describe it, and it sounds almost trite, it is a mistake that nearly everyone makes. I think that the only people that don’t make this mistake are people who have never tried to design something.

Here is a simple strategy for Designing something using drawing as method for figuring out the design.

  1. Think of it – then draw it
  2. Seek inspiration or information about the problem
  3. Armed with the inspiration or information think of it again – then draw it.

I have now introduced a secondary but related issue. What information do you need to solve the design problem?

In the case of the Causeway City project what information do you need to solve the sub problems of:

  1. The landscape drawing
  2. The concept for the City
  3. Composition
  4. City details


Arrangements for Causeway City project presentations (wk 12)

  • A2 (594 x 420) size drawing flush mounted on foam core board.
  • Line drawing only (no colour)
  • Can be pencil or ink, can include ink wash/cool grey markers
  • Entry fee £1. Winner takes all.
  • Keep an eye on twitter @anto_hutton

NB: Class on Wk 12, 10/12/14 will start at 11.15

Reminder: Why Designers draw?

Causeway City – drawing project

Brief: Create an A2 line drawing of a city imagined on a landscape of huge Giants Causeway land formations.

This is a drawing challenge and a design challenge. Here are some items to consider:

•Basic drawing of landscape – observation of causeway
•Architecture, design and structure of city
•Composition of picture
•Fineness of drawing
•Use of sources
•Ambition vs Ability
•Level of work – amount of hours
•Determination and true grit
•Willingness to win

Here is the class group from 2013 and some of their drawings


7 reasons why designers draw!


To get an idea that is in your head out of your head so that you can think of another idea.



To store an idea so that you can refer to it later.



To help resolve a partially formed idea. Ideas are often incomplete – drawing the incomplete idea out helps to resolve the unfinished parts of the idea. By putting down what you know you can fill in the blanks.


To get another idea. Once an idea is drawn its presence on paper helps to evoke another idea.


To act as a guide while you are manufacturing the artefact.section


To show other people to get their help and viewpoints about your idea.archery


To maintain a record of ideas enabling you to understand your own idea developmental progress.