Sketching for Designers, Pt. 2

After learning about the plan view, our next step was to study isometric sketching. This subsequent tutorial video on the process from PBS Design Squad helped guide us through the process. Isometric sketches are ones that allow you to see 3 views for an object at the same time – front, side, and top. For this activity I distributed some isometric grid paper that I downloaded for free, and the students learned to sketch in this style step-by-step along with me as my paper was under a document camera attached to the classroom projector. Some easy objects to start with are cubes, chairs, tables, laptops, etc. Visualizing this way can be tricky for many students at first, so give them time, encouragement, and room to make mistakes. Rectangular prisms are recommended first sketching subjects. Find time to show them some isometric drawings that you find from a Web search (examples).

Sketching for Designers, Pt. 1

We jump from understanding the design process to developing skills that support idea visualization and communication. During our first video study of the invention process, we saw that engineers often make diagrams and must go “back to the drawing board” while looping through the design cycle to improve their prototypes. I led the students through some guided sketching practice this week after watching this great tutorial from PBS Design Squad titled How to Sketch (…like an engineer). For this basic sketching activity we used traditional 2D graph paper and practiced drawing the same objects in 3 views: front, side, and top. Sometimes this is referred to as the plan view. Find time to show them some plan view drawings that you find from a Web search (example).