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Architects' Sketchbooks

Will Jones


Reproduces the sketchbooks of over 80 architects and studios, showing how they use the medium of drawing to express their spatial ideas while revealing their individual methods


Drawing by hand is making a big comeback. Tired of ubiquitous slick computer renderings, architects are returning to the basics: seeing the built world and recasting it through their imagination and visual skill.

This is the first survey to present the private sketchbooks of a wide international spectrum of architects, from such starchitects as Will Alsop, Shigeru Ban, Norman Foster and Eva Jiricna to rising talents from all over the world.

Will Jones's introduction explores the artistry behind the built world, and the importance of sketching as part of the design process; the sketches themselves range from simple pencil line drawings and clear perspectives to abstract compositions in pastel and collage, from quick freehand to measured mapping, from spontaneous squiggles on napkins to careful drawings on art paper.

Densely packed with over 750 illustrations, Architects' Sketchbooks is a joyful celebration of how a sketch can become the start of a skyscraper.

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'Offers a rare glimpse of the architectural creative processes'

'A fascinating insight into 'the blood, sweat and pencil lead' that go into designing the world we live in'
i Magazine

'With 500 illustrations rendered in every conceivable media the reader is left wondering why these ‘sketches’ aren’t displayed in galleries, and imagining the wonderful environment we’d live in if these flights of fancy were actually granted planning permission'
125 Magazine

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Further Details


Format: PLC (no jacket)

Size: 22.0 x 29.7 cm

Extent: 352 pp

Publication date: 7 March 2011

ISBN: 9780500342688

Contents List

Introduction: Blood, Sweat + Pencil Lead • 85 Architects’ Sketchbooks Architects’ Websites

About the Author

Will Jones is a journalist and writer specializing in architecture and design. His articles have appeared in the RIBA Journal, the Financial Times and Blueprint, and he is the author of several books including Architects’ Sketchbooks.

Narinder Sagoo is a partner at Foster + Partners and trustee of the Campaign for Drawing, an independent charity that aims to raise the profile of drawing as a tool of thought and creativity.

List of Contributors

Narinder Sagoo