Before man can create, he must first know how to imagine. Before man can design, he must first learn how to draw. Before man can make a building stand, he must first understand the laws of physics. Before architects become architects, they start off as draftsmen. Draftsmen or Architectural Drafters are people who work under architects. He or she would be creating blueprints and structural plans for the designs of the architect, putting a real life design of an infrastructure on paper. Architectural draftsmen are able to draw freehand or with Computer Aided Design and Drafting (CADD).
Draftsmen should have developed impressive skills in the fields of math, namely geometry and trigonometry, and science, specifically physics. They must also know how to handle computer aided design since modern architectural draftsmen are now made to use this method to make their jobs faster and easier. Of course, these individuals must be good in the fields of art and design. But they should also have a basic knowledge of manual technical drawing or drafting in case they are not tasked to use CADD.
Some universities offer two or three-year courses on architectural draftsmanship and many aspiring draftsmen take these courses to be able to land a job in their desired profession. Others take full-blown four to five-year architectural courses. Architects usually start off working under architects as draftsmen before becoming architects themselves. This is usually part of on-the-job trainings or internships. Draftsmanship is usually the training ground for many aspiring architects because it is in this profession that they learn patience and discipline when working with numerous drawing projects. In some countries, undergraduates of architectural courses work part-time as draftsmen to improve their skills, practicing to be the top caliber architect in the field.
A few famous names in the profession would have to be William Walcot and Hugh Ferris. William Walcot, a British architect in Russia, worked as a Draftsman, drawing other people’s designs. He was famous in the 1920s and 30s in his career as an architectural draftsman. Hugh Ferris was an American architect and delineator. He, too, drew for other people, creating perspectives for other architects’ designs before developing his own style. He may not have designed awe-worthy or extraordinary buildings but a colleague once said that “he influenced my generation of architects” after Ferriss died.
Indeed, draftsmanship is the basic foundation and stepping stone of any aspiring architects. It is a tedious profession, with days filled with nonstop drawing and model-making of designs not concocted by your own mind. But it is through this that one is able to learn to develop new skills and be introduced to styles that can be used as inspiration for personal design preferences in the future. Draftsmanship molds the builders and designers of the future. Draftsmanship is the profession of the hardworking and the persevering, the patient and the creative, the ambitious and the proud.
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