Drafting Supplies and Real Architecture
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Gifts for Real Architects

Architecture Supplies

Why “drafting” supplies don’t really help you in architecture.

When you first get started in architecture, you may feel overwhelmed by all the tools and kits out there that claim to have everything you need to get started. Some of them carry things you need, while many others do not, and the majority of the “kits” out there contain things that aren’t really used anymore. They were created with all the tools you need if you were hand-drafting, but nobody does that anymore. You still draw and sketch, but nobody is putting together construction documents using these sets.

Here is one example of a “drafting kit” offered in most stores:

Architects Drafting Kit

Let’s see what they got there:

  • Compass – I don’t ever use that.
  • Triangles – Use them every couple of years, and only if I’m doing a precise sketch.
  • Protractor – Nope, don’t use that.
  • French Curve – Use every once in a while.
  • Sketch Pad – That’s tiny! I’ll just use a regular sketch pad.
  • Lead Holder – Most architects draw using much more than a pencil, mostly markers and pens.
  • Eraser – See above.
  • Architects Scale – Use this all the time, and thus I’d rather get a more durable scale than this cheap plastic one.

If you are going to get serious about doing architecture, here is what you really need to get started:

  1. Aluminum Architect Scale – Strong and durable for everyday use.
  2. Faber-Castell Pitt Brush Pen – Everyone has a particular pen they like, and I really like the brush type pen for their fluid drawing ability.
  3. Prismacolor Markers – Along with the right pen, you need a good set of markers, I like the Prismacolor sets and the two-sided pens.
  4. Small Sketch Pad – Small enough to take with you everywhere. Get three to keep in various places.
  5. Trace Paper – Trace Paper, Bumwad, Butter Paper…whatever you call it, you will use this everyday to layover different options, ideas and drawings. A must for any architect.

If you are looking to get started in real architecture, forget those “drafting kits” and make your own starting kit. These are just the basics, but will get you much further than any other “kit” out there.

What have you found that is helpful in your daily routine? What would you include in the list? Let me know in the comments.

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