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Should Engineers learn to draw?

(HT David)

Should engineers learn to draw? Not cadd or sketchup but actual pencil to paper sketching? I think most engineers can sketch but drawing is usually not a part of the engineering curriculum.

I have tried to learn to draw and paint but my sketching is still awful.

In an article called “Doodling for Dollars”, it states that some companies are encouraging their people to learn to sketch.

Employees at a range of businesses are being encouraged by their companies to doodle their ideas and draw diagrams to explain complicated concepts to colleagues.

Firms are holding training sessions to teach employees the basics of what’s known as visual note taking. Others, like vacation-rental company HomeAway Inc. and retailer Zappos, are hiring graphic recorders, consultants who sketch what is discussed at meetings and conferences, cartoon-style, to keep employees engaged.

Doodling proponents say it can help generate ideas, fuel collaboration and simplify communication. It can be especially helpful among global colleagues who don’t share a common first language. Putting pen to paper also is seen as an antidote to the pervasiveness of digital culture, getting workers to look up from their devices. And studies show it can help workers retain more information.

To loosen up employees, meetings sometimes begin with participants sketching self-portraits. Although some engineers are skeptical and say they can’t draw, “it gets them in the mood,” Ms. Courage says.

Maybe it is time we make drawing a part of our engineering studies?

On another note I found this helpful guide to the differences between architects and engineers…….


1. Architecture is more into the creativity of designs. Civil engineering focuses on innovation to realize that design.

2. Architecture involves the design of structures with the focus on aesthetics and functionality. Civil engineering will not normally care about those things; Civil Engineers will rather deliberate and plan the methodology to construct the design.

3. Architecture initiates the project through architects’ drafts. Civil engineering involves studying drafts and examining the practicality of the design; civil engineers ensure that the design can withstand normal and extreme loading conditions.

4. Architects will need engineers help to make their designs work. Civil engineers will be guided by the architects outlines and dimensions.

One thought on “Should Engineers learn to draw?

  1. TBG,
    For inspiration, take your pick of sketches by various architects, engineers or multi-profession renaissance men here: (for background to this bridge)
    many other architects’ sketches via here: (see conclusion & page 13 of PDF)
    We can all do it. If your sketch turns out messy just say that you are using the Frank Gehry style.
    All you need to do is a scrap of paper & a pencil or pen in your pocket (or handbag?) for when the idea comes. Then sketch it quickly before you forget.

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