Tagged: sketching

Smaller is Better. Really.


There is an old saw in the mountain biking world. Attributed to Keith Bontrager it goes something like this: “Light, strong, cheap – Pick any two.” This is actually an expression of a much more universal law of design and it is nowhere more true than it in construction.

For instance, if the size of a building is determined by its function and the cost is determined by the available budget, then the quality of the construction is already established. Conversely, if a project is seen as being too expensive and the program can’t be reduced then it can only be brought into budget by reducing the quality.

There’s another arrangement of this rule that is often overlooked and it’s the one that a good architect will always try to encourage a client to pursue. So please: “Let’s make your project as small as we can make it so that we can make it as nice as we can make it.”

Oh, and the sketch is entirely unrelated to this post.


Another Sketch

ImageI promised a better scan but I didn’t promise a better sketch.

When I’m sketching, it’s not usually anything important – just whatever I’m thinking about at the time.  In this case, how to keep rain off of my firewood.  I’ve discovered that knowing I’m going to post is good discipline, however.  I made a little effort to get some line weights on there and I even included a few notes and labels.  When drawing for my own benefit I don’t usually bother.

Before anyone gets too critical of the spans or other technical details let me add a few disclaimers: First, this is for myself and I’m perfectly willing to experiment on myself.  Second, this is a long way from being a finished construction document.  For a client I would draw and detail a lot more and be more conservative overall.  For myself though I’ve many times built more with less.