Sketch Series: Draw Architecture with Patrick Cunningham Recap

Design Museum LIVE • May 2020

By Sabaat Kareem

Design Museum Everywhere’s May Design Museum LIVE Sketch Series featured Patrick Cunningham of Perkins and Will and his lesson on architectural sketching. The sketch series highlighted Patrick’s major drawing tips and led the viewers through the process of creating an architecturally styled drawing, even if it’s not a building.


Patrick’s Tips and Techniques to Improve Your Sketching 
  • Don’t treat sketches like precious artifacts: draw messy, draw fast, don’t get obsessed. Sketching is to record fleeting ideas.
  • Use sketches to understand other designers’ ideas—visit buildings and draw them while you’re there.
  • Architectural drawing unlocks a couple “super powers.” It allows you to see through forms, slice through objects, and move pieces around in ways you could not in real life.
  • Make sure to draw a building in perspective as well as from above to observe your building in real life viewpoints.
  • Feel free to hold your pencil and adjust your paper in whatever way feels most natural and allows you to make the strokes you want to make—there are no rules!
  • Add marks to your drawing to put emphasis on certain aspects of your drawing—for example add a shadowy foreground to bring out texture in the object.
  • To anyone just starting out in architecture, try a lot of different things and find the drawing tools that really work for you.