The early idea sketching involves controlled motor actions directed by higher level cognitive process trying to solve two things,
1] The spatial layout that answers effectively to the functional problems
2] Ensuring the correctness of perspective
“How can we ensure the correctness of perspective with minimal efforts and thus relieve part of the cognitive load to focus on design layout?”
Current work in cognitive psychology suggests that the entire body participates in the thinking process. The sketching programme proposed later encourages participation of the body in the act of sketching. It attempts this by controlling the postures and specific body movements. The idea is to ensure that you sense the movement of your body through kinesthetic feedback. If we can substantially identify the correctness of sketch by internally monitoring the movements of the body in the act of sketching, we can also learn to detect the mistakes. Though some of these movements initially look contrived, with practice they become almost natural and smooth. Design of some of these tasks ensures that you hide the pencil point using a shroud or look elsewhere when sketching and thus depend only on the kinesthetic feedback.
Hiding the pencil point using a shroud or not looking (or looking elsewhere) when sketching ensures dependence only on kinesthetic feedback
As we will see later, selectively dispensing with dependence on the visual feedback has many advantages. Once you learn to use the feedback of the motor actions in sketching through the kinesthetic sense, the eyes are free to react creatively to what you draw or even doodle!
Summing up: Act of Sketching
To sum up, the act of problem solving appears to rely heavily on mental processes like visualization (i.e. modeling of physical configuration mentally) or its surrogate like sketching. It can effectively support the creative thoughts and mental modeling only if the process of sketching becomes routinized. For this, the importance of the sketch has to be recognized. A sketch acts like an extension of the designer’s mind. It allows him to record his ideas and thus free his mind (short-term memory) to creatively react to what has been sketched so far and to explore new ideas. We also saw that if the sketch has to support the creative act, it is essential to use the action of the body and that its kinesthetic feedback is used effectively.
It is implied that the ‘naturalness’ reflected in routinized actions stems from our ability to perform a task with limited and occasional attention from the mind. The mind could be additionally engaged in other related or unrelated activity simultaneously. So this term would refer to the ability to execute relatively correct visual representations (often perspective sketches) quickly and effortlessly, particularly when the mind is preoccupied in developing creative design solutions. Working towards this goal, the following section [Sketching – As a Natural Act] deals with the next logical step: A kind of action plan to make the act of sketching a routine and near natural act.
These ideas were developed while teaching of sketching over several years to design students, which included students with an engineering background who had little formal background in sketching.
The programme offers several specially designed assignments that are based on how the Indian classical music is learned. It is also based on analysis of how coaching in sports utilize warm ups and specific sequence of workouts. So, like in music and sports, it does emphasize practice, but the focus is on structuring the practice sessions such that the learning is faster and more effective.