While appreciating that computer-aided design has ameliorated a number of processes in the design world, it has also constrained parts of the creative process and imparted a degree of indolence among designers.
For Tim Gosling of Gosling Ltd, a London-based bespoke furniture design company, the artistry of freehand sketching is “critical” in design as it provides clients with immediate visuals. Among other benefits, it spurs one’s inner creativity and allows for rapid concept development.
“People think that they must design the perfect image or the perfect line; a Michaelangelo or a Leonardo da Vinci,” explains Gosling, who will be sharing his top tips during a live sketching masterclass at The Superyacht Design Forum on Tuesday 26 June. “But a client doesn’t expect a Vitruvian Man when you are just trying to show them how a console table will look on their superyacht.
“What I see happening a lot today is designers noting down a brief from a client, and then going away and spending a significant amount of time coming up with all sorts of exciting ideas, and then it’s delivered to the client and it’s completely and utterly not what they had in mind – and then they lose faith,” Gosling explains.
"A client doesn’t expect a Vitruvian Man when you are just trying to show them how a console table will look."
But, if a design is sketched before their very eyes, the client is more involved in the birth of a product. “Not only are you showing them that you’ve listened to their brief and that you know what they want, but their admiration of your ability to sketch bestows trust,” he continues. “They care so much more about the outcome if they are more involved throughout the process, whereas if it’s purely the designer’s work, the client’s emotional connection to that project can fall a bit flat.”
Gosling recently attended a superyacht design event where groups of eight designers were given 40 minutes to draw a superyacht concept after receiving an imaginary brief, and to his surprise, only two of the designers were willing to draw.
At The Superyacht Design Forum next week, Gosling will start his session with a blank canvas and explain the process of starting lines; scaling up, understanding heights and measurements; and using the full range of a pencil.
“There are some really key moments when you are creating something bespoke, or something that doesn’t exist, and speed plays an increasingly important role because of the way we communicate,” Gosling says. “We’re creating one-off products with valuable and rare materials, and designers need to understand the framework they are putting them into.”
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