“Drawing” is the act of taking a closer look

“Drawing” is the act of taking a closer look.

I think that’s really the best way of describing it that I can come up with.

It creates a problem for some people though, a self-created problem. Many people, certain kinds of tech enthusiasts usually (strange as it may seem if you think about it, though I can understand why it happens) have glommed themselves onto some kind of “ideology”. Or, not “ideology” really. Rather, it’s just a single idea: “models are great; drawings are bad, archaic, obsolete, should be abandoned, and would be abandoned if not for a bunch of old people stuck in their old ways who should retire.”

This idea is held passionately by many. I mentioned a personal anecdote related to this in an earlier post here: the-field-of-play-iii

As I was speaking, at a conference, talking about what I believe is relevant about the function of drawing, it’s purpose…, someone, who apparently had just walked past the room as I talked, entered, sat down, then YELLED:

“I just can’t believe, at a tech conference, after all these years, we’re STILL, talking about drawings!”

And yelled with real passion and the kind of irritation that can be interpreted as anger. That’s truly something indeed. But common, a common humanness. People are prone to passion in their beliefs, whatever they are. They’re tribe-oriented. They’re prone to over-investment, and over-emotional investment in whatever tribes or flags or beliefs they invest their identity in. Even on trivial things like brand loyalties, shoe brands, CAD software brands! BIM!

Prone to hyperventilating.

I’m not aloof. I’ve done it too.

But we have brains, and we can think. And I try to think (we all do I hope).

There will come a time, very soon I’m convinced, that this hyperventilating about the need to toss “drawing” into the dustbin of history, will come to an end.

The idea is fundamentally wrong. I’ve written and talked about why it’s wrong for years. I won’t repeat the reasons here, except to say it again in the simplest way I know how:

  • If someone says: Drawing is obsolete, and must be abandoned.
  • And if I say, Drawing is the act of taking a closer look 

Then the word “is” means “=, equals

Substituting then, the first line reads:

  • “the act of taking a closer look is obsolete, and must be abandoned.”

^^^^^^ THAT, that idea, that’s an absurd idea. That should be obvious, right? What happens to people who state the obvious? They may not be popular. But this needs to be said. The idea of abandoning drawings, is a completely nonsensical idea. It’s absurd, now and always. Always will be.

“The act of taking a closer look” (a.k.a “drawing”), is not something that’s going away, ever. It’s fundamental. Rather than go away, it’s going to evolve. But, it CANNOT evolve, as long as people believe that “the act of taking a closer look” (a.k.a “drawing”) is obsolete and must be abandoned.

Now is the time to abandon, not drawing, but this idea of abandoning drawing.

A much better idea is this: Let’s understand what “drawing” actually is, what it’s for, its purpose, how it does what it does, what it means for us to “take a closer look“, why that matters, how it facilitates the growth of understanding of anything complex, including highly complex spatial visual environments like the real world and digital models (of all kinds).

When we take this seriously, then we turn our attention to innovations that will help develop and advance this function of “taking a closer look”, this function and act of “drawing”, and we can carry that act into the future, and see it evolve, improve, flourish.

This is my passion.

I’ve done some important innovations, have 3 patents and commercialized my earlier work at a major software company (see here). Since then, independently in 2016, I conceptualized new innovations in spatial visual media, innovations based on a fusion of drawing and modeling (after first re-imagining what drawing “is”).

Media innovation has come from fusion before. For example: the fusion of sound into silent film 100 years ago. When media itself improves (through fusion), it improves our ability to see, understand, think, express, communicate…

At my startup company, Tangerine, we think our innovations in media will offer these kinds of improvements, and also, may contribute to cognitive computing, machine intelligence.

We need a software company partner interested in what we’ve done, and what we say, to develop and commercialize these new innovations. If you work at such a software company, Contact Us

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