Before the widespread use of computer aided drafting tools in the mid to late 90s, creating a precise curve meant using compasses, circle templates, protractors and Lyman radius curves.
One of the more difficult challenges for a drafter were multi-radius curves, or splines, such as those used in boat building.
For these, specific (and maybe even cumbersome) tools were needed. Introducing… the wood spline strip and the spline weights they were paired with.
How do they work? The wood strip is bent to the desired radius and the spline weights are used to maintain or hold the radius in position. The weights – which are now considered collectors’ items – were often finished with a rough, uneven surface to add grip and make the device more tactile.
While drafting has adapted to use digital tools instead of these beautiful physical objects, it’s also important to remember the continuing role of physical drawing in design. There’s an elasticity and flow that is conveyed when one translates a visual in the mind to a sketch created by hand. Digital drafting, conversely, can come off as restrictive and overly precise in nature, losing a human element in the design.
Here at Land Concern, we still do quite a bit of landscape planning and design by hand, as seen below in our planting design sketch and the drafted end product that came from it.
In the conceptual stage, it’s hard to compete with the warm and speed of a sketch versus a polished rendering. There’s a comforting and inclusive energy that clients, stakeholders and designers benefit from when integrated.
See how we turned a conceptual rendering into a brand new table for our Land Concern kitchen.