John Sunderland

The curated works of the author & artist

Hand-Drawn Concept Sketches Bring Project Ideas to Life

An inveterate journal user throughout my career, my journal pages are where so many of my design and build projects began. A hand-drawn concept sketch is really the birthing of an idea for me. Sometimes with no more than a squiggle, a whole scheme may be envisioned.

So many of my 23 design and build projects for exhibitions and museums, including the buildings that contain them, initially appear more by instinct and intuition than coherent thought; that follows later.

An advanced concept at a more detailed stage allowed me to present my ideas for a particular design to my client. Many times such sketches would win a commission based on not much more than a loose sketch (such as those shown here) and a presentation in person.

In my experience, the birthing of a project idea is the most exciting and sometimes the most frightening and daunting moment in the development of a scheme. I didn’t always know where a concept would come from and once I got it whether or not it would work. Many times there would be no rationale for the origin of a concept. It sort of bubbled up from inside via some unconscious catalytic process. Only later in its development would I know whether that first egg of an idea would hatch (or make a chicken)!

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