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Ming Pao Interviews Errol Patrick Hugh

November 24, 2013

HK architectural students do not really understand what hand drawing mean to an architect—even art lesson performance is not that essential for the architectural entrance examination. Errol Patrick Hugh who is keen about hand drawing since his childhood does not agree with this. He has never doubt the power of hand drawing, especially for an architect. What a pity. It seems most professionals in the field, as well as most university students and professors, totally rely on producing CAD drawings and not hand drawings, which lacks personal artistic touch.

 “Over the years I have interviewed many local architectural students and I discovered that they are only trained to use CAD software while totally neglecting sketching or hand-drawing. They all presented computer CAD drawings at their interviews. I even met three interviewees who presented identical drawings, and each could not explain what they contributed. It seems that they never understood that drawings produced from computer have no personal style.” Hugh started his architectural career in the 1960s and for the past half a century he maintained the habit of sketching. “I usually draw several sketches before building up a model on the computer.”

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It is always a long-lasting battle to go against the trend. In 2009 Hugh started his “Sketching Journey” blog to encourage and revive the art of hand sketching. What he enters in each of his post are architectural sketches with several explanation lines. For example his early posts “Simple Lines” and “Framed View” shows how the building envelope comes alive with only a few simple lines. More sophisticated free-hand sketches are then shown in later posts. Those who visit Hugh’s blog regularly will have clues to his sketching style. In this highly technological modern world architects now designs with CAD; and most people carry their cameras during travelling to memorize the remarkable scenes by taking shots. CAD drawings and photos are really superficial. “Only ‘line by line’ hand-drawings can make a complete connection with the scenery,” Hugh says so.

Hugh described sketching as a harmonious connection between viewing, sensing, understanding, exploring and executing. “Sketching helps you deeply understand an object, a building and even the view of a city. You can’t draw unless you see clearly,” Hugh said, “Before you draw, you must see clearly the surrounding, the outline, and the details, otherwise there will be something missing if you are only doing a quick shot.”

This book comprises of 147 blogs; correspondence between Hugh and readers are also included besides posts and drawings, which make the book more personal. “What makes blog different from a book is that, a blog creates conversation between readers and author.” Sometimes the author even raises a question purposely to communicate with the reader. “Such conversation brings vitality to my blog, which a book can not do.” Said Hugh.

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One Comment
  1. Errol Hugh permalink

    Reblogged this on Archi Blog.

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