Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Construction Drawings

Not, one would think, a subject of much debate.

Wrong. Designers have strong opinions about how to give the information - graphic and written - needed to build a set. At the moment there is no standard.

I saw an interesting set of drawings by another scenic designer: beautiful, large, free-hand pencil drawings - lovely confident sweeping lines with almost no dimensions or notes - plus a small, crisp, information-packed computer-drafted or CAD plan. Right there you see the clash of the old standard with the new.

The ex-standard was hand-drawn drafting done in pencil on largish sheets of paper, copied in blueline (used to be blueprint). Blueprint has been archaic for about 30 years. And blueline? It's really really hard to find a Diazo machine anymore, so that's out. Xerographic copying still works. Or computer plotting. That plan I saw was a plot.

Pencil is sorta... disappearing. It's almost gone in architecture, fading fast in theater. Computer drafting will be the standard any second now. Sad. Pencil can be beautiful and artistic and quite fast.

My own drawings? I like a small format - 11" x 17" (because it fits any copier )and hand-drawing in ink (for better copying).

(The plan above was for Glass Menagerie at WaterTower Theatre)

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