Tea Time with Britney Gildea
As architects and designers we spend a lot of time thinking about the environments we design and often end up sketching them out. The simple act of drawing something in front of us, however, is a different kind of exercise and proved more challenging than we expected. Ready, Set, Sketch is a fun, comical and, we found out, somewhat stressful drawing exercise in which an image appears on a screen and the audience does their best to sketch the image on a sticky note in only two minutes. We did a series of 15, two-minute, sketches back-to-back.
A colorful back bar, a storm trooper, a wire wastebasket, Steph Curry and Disney Land to name a few. One “30 second warning” every two minutes produced sighs of frustration, knowing the image would soon be gone forever – no matter the ‘finished’ nature of your drawing. We posted them up on the wall afterwards and admired our efforts. While sharing a few laughs and pondering ‘how my colleague captured that bowl of Cheerios so well’ – the exercise brought up how our differing perspectives and design direction can produce such varied and exciting results, even within a small drawing challenge. Some chose to use a hatch mark technique and went into detailed shading. Some used a single line for each element composing the object as a collection of flat, minimal shapes. There was even variety in who drew the whole picture versus who honed in on one area and focused all their attention on a single detail.
It’s not often that designers produce an image without the intent of a finished product – this exercise was the exact opposite – the simple practice of capturing the essence of an image with no particular goal except the experience itself.