Hand Craft

fehrenbacker sketch book

Robert Fehrenbacker, a project manager from our Idaho Falls office, set out to sketch every day for a year. His medium is watercolor pencils.

A couple of months ago, we posted a blog on “Why We Draw”, outlining why CRSA thinks hand drawing is still a relevant part of the architectural profession. This month, we revisit that theme, not so much to argue a point but to celebrate the practice. In our professional and daily work, CRSA employees draw. Below is a small collection of the magic that happens when hand and paper meet.

Drawing as a way of guiding

Though its role is small, CRSA Founding Principal Allen Roberts still argues that hand drafting has a place in the profession. And his technical drafting still has a quality that a computer simply cannot replicate.


With hundreds of projects to his credit, Allen Roberts still does all his drafting by hand.



Project Architect Ken Wheadon demonstrates the unique “solid-but-sketchy” line quality hand drafting allows on a recent mixed use project.

Drawing as a way of documenting

We have cameras and we love them as a way of recording our travels, but sketching a place is a wholly unique way of capturing an experience.



Intern Architect Kyle Borchert documents his study in Italy, relying on quick but striking pen and ink sketches.


Marketing Coordinator Nathan Shaw captures the details of daily life in Morocco via simple thumbnail sketches.

Drawing as a way of thinking

Quick and fluid, a diagram is often the most efficient way to dialogue and think with a client. It is a portable, self-documenting system with its own kind of charm.

SLCC path sketch

A simple sketch by CRSA’s SITE Studio to help describe a pathway for a college master plan.


Project Manager Ryan Wallace created this quick sketch of a proposed addition Downtown to help describe a number of factors working together at once.

Project Manager Ryan Wallace created this quick sketch of a proposed addition Downtown to help explain a number of factors working together at once.

Drawing as a way of imagining

In spite of the truly remarkable advancements in digital rendering, we still like to dream with watercolor. There remains something human but fantastical about the simple medium and it is often these watercolors which win the most approval in design discussions.


Intern Architect Matt Metcalf created this delicate rendering to capture the atmosphere of a Bus Transit Line in Provo.



CRSA’s master illustrator Donald Buaku created this rendering to help envision USU’s new Brigham City Campus.


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