An interview with Architecture Ireland

AI: How can you describe your relationship with the drawing process? 

DC: It's a cyclical relationship which doesn't stop and start with the pen, the image of the sketch gets lodged in your head and supports the making of future drawings.

AI: Is it the small thumbnail sketches or larger, more articulate drawings, that you find most helpful in your work?
DC: I did some finely shaded drawings back in college but now it is mostly thumbnail or overlaid sketches done on A4 sheets torn from sketch roll or in sketchbooks.

AI: Do you collect your drawings or do you part with them as soon as they are done?
DC: It's important to keep your drawings as a record of the thought process but more importantly, if you don't, you may come to the conclusion that what you are doing is worthless. So I do archive my drawings, yes.

AI: Were you passionate about drawing before you became an architect?
DC: Yes, I was. Before I started studying architecture I was lucky to do a short animation course at Ballyfermot College which had a strong emphasis on life drawing and that interest has continued.

AI: Do you also draw at your leisure? 
DC: I find that drawing can be a release from problems and at the same time a way to solve them. For me drawing is not really about the outcome on paper, it is about the solution it might offer. 

AI: What advice would you give to architecture students and to young architects on how to  bring together the free-hand drawing and CAD techniques in their work?
DC: When I worked in London for Patrick Lynch, he would often place a sheet of sketch paper directly over my computer screen and draw straight on it with felt pen - once or twice there was no paper used at all. I admire that efficiency! Whatever works to get you closer to the solution.

AI: What would be your final thoughts on drawing that you would like to share with the  readers?
DC: Josef Albers said"the ratio of effort to effect" and Vittorio Gregotti said "Precision is not rigidity; instead it is the instrument for exploring the limits of ambiguity in a project." So I interpret that as; sketches should be quick, precise, effective and open. 


Published September 2014