When we think of great visual artists of the past and present, what attracts us is not what they say, or think: It’s what they draw, paint or sculpt that attracts. As Le Corbusier said: “I prefer drawing to talking. Drawing is faster, and leaves less room for lies.”
In my near forty years of practice, I have found that I cannot produce architecture without a pencil or pen in my hand, exploring the fundamentals of form, space and function. Speech cannot express what the coordination of the mind, the heart and the hand produce when thinking about a project.
I draw every day… Without that, I feel unfulfilled with my work. It is also a great thrill to visualize new spaces unfolding before your hand. I draw during client meetings, consultant meetings, construction meetings… There is always a need to express thoughts by a universal language understood by all. In China and other places in the world where I cannot converse in words, I drew at restaurants to order food. Everyone understands drawings…
As an architect, I believe my understanding of architecture is clarified through drawing. Ideas and thoughts gleaned from the mind become more real as they are filtered through sketches and later refined in drawings to convey the intent to builders.
- Manuel Oncina, Architect