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Behind the Scenes | Sketch Books

Three architects let us in on their special tools of the trade.

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ARTHUR ANDERSSON

of Andersson-Wise

  • The Notebook: Piazzesi Bookbindery in Venice—the shop is 162 years old, and the books and paper are made by hand by local artisans.
  • The Pencil: Berol Draughting® 314 Untipped Thick Lead Pencils. They don’t make them anymore.
  • Favorite Place to Sketch: Wherever there's something that piques my interest enough to record a drawing. Sketches are the initial seeds of invention.
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Mell Lawrence

of Mell Lawrence Architects

  • The Notebooks: A Rollbahn small spiral notebook (5.5 x 7 inches) is best overall. A Moleskine pocket sized notebook (3.5 x 5.5 inches or 4 x 5 inches) travels well, anywhere, and a standard generic grid pad (8.5 x 11 inches) while at my desk.
  • The Pencil: Craft Design Technology's HB and the Mirado Black Warrior HB.
  • Favorite Place to Sketch: That place where you can't sharpen your pencil enough times and there are not enough erasers and pages in your sketchbook and your mind is spinning, spinning, spinning with ideas that you can't get out fast enough. You can go anywhere with a pencil. You can express anything literally, figuratively, and best of all emotionally. You can infer and emphasize and explore and it all happens fast and you cover so much ground exploring design ideas and making decisions.
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Emily Little

of Clayton & Little

  • The Notebook: The traditional moleskin black sketchbook, (5 x 8 inches).
  • The Pencil: A black pen, usually fine point for travel sketches and broad tip for conceptual design.
  • Favorite Place to Sketch: Anywhere, especially traveling. Sketching is like a companion who is always nice to have around. When facing a tough design problem, I often sketch quickly in bed at night. I lay out some quick ideas and usually when I wake up those ideas have percolated into something better in the morning. Sketching is very liberating.

Credits

Photography by Bill Sallans

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