twitter youtube facebook linkedin email
Connect with:


Erman Özdemir is an independent architect, interior designer, urban designer and architectural illustrator.

Learn more about Erman at:

The use of sketches in architectural design is particularly important for the visual thinking process.  It provides a designer the ability to reflect what is in his mind to actual physical dimension and constraints, particularly in the early stages.  Architectural design requires visual thinking in both 2 and 3 dimensions. 

The traditional and often still the most effective way to begin a project is with the plan view, adding  height values to the plan, and then to develop the design in the 3rd dimension. With the efficiencies of modern CAD tools, the process has moved into the computer environment very early.  This, in turn, has created new opportunities for designers to harness technical drawings and 3D assets to drive greater creativity and more accurate conceptual design. Where sketching has traditionally been regarded as the starting point, technical programs can now providing the preliminary studies from which creative design are built upon; blurring the boundaries of  CAD and artistic integrity.

Digital sketching in SketchBook lets a designer to work in the same computer environment as other architectural applications, enabling them to switch between tools and leveraging the one most effective for any given task.  Architectural sketches created using these techniques not only help a designer reach final decisions faster, it keeps the artistic and technical aspects of design in sync and helps avoid mis-interpretation.


In this video, I created a fast example of using AutoCAD and SketchBook. From a simple plan, the 3d model was prepared with only the slabs and rough walls. This geometry provides more accurate data to work on top of. The next step depends entirely on the creativity of the architect; You can sketch the desired changes on the mass or you can express far more detailed facade layouts. You can study different angles of the design that you have created and make your preliminary design decisions on the interior and exterior of your building and pave the way for the next processes.

There are many ways of doing architectural design and a variety of techniques to facilitate it. This example is only one of the methods, but one that I use frequently and effectively. I encourage every designer to find the method that works best for their themselves!

Featured Links

Colin Smith

Colin is a Sr. Product Manager on the Automotive and Conceptual Design Team at Autodesk. During his 25-year career in the CAD industry he has worked in customer support, training, consulting and as a product manager for Alias and Fusion 360. Currently, he works on SketchBook Pro and Create VR and is based in Toronto, Canada.