Sketches of a Modernist Designer

Sketching is incredibly important in industrial design nowadays however it has certainly changed since the beginning of modernist industrial design. One thing that I found interesting in Bill Green’s class was that Walter Gropius, the creator of the Bauhaus school, could not draw. He had someone else do all his drawings for him. I thought it was also cool to see some of the sketches of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, who created the Barcelona chair. He could sketch well when he wanted to, but a lot of his sketches are very rough, far from the copic marker sketches we draw today. Here’s a few sketches of his that I found.

You can tell lots of his sketches are done just to get the gesture of the form across like in his Barcelona chair sketches. He also has a very interesting way of making perspective sketches. Bill might call them “wiggly.” I think Mies van der Rohe’s sketches are valuable to see because they show that not every one of our sketches has to be a beautiful work of art. When you just need to get the idea down, it doesn’t need to be perfect.

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