ARCH105 Architectural Drawing I, Sylvie Duvernoy, Spring 2020 | SACI College of Art & Design Florence

ARCH105 Architectural Drawing I, Sylvie Duvernoy, Spring 2020

Architectural drawing is a fundamental subject matter of the first year of studies in architecture and design. This course is open to all students that need to learn to draw in order to become successful in their future careers, and to art students who want to experiment another kind of professional drawing.

Architectural drawing is an international communication language that has its own rules and grammar. It makes connections and exchanges possible between parties working in different geographical areas and different cultural contexts. Architectural drawings may be divided into two categories: abstract representation and simulation of visual perception. Both kinds of drawing can be done by hand (free-hand) or using digital technology (computer-aided drawing). Regardless of the kind of representation technique, the plastic aspect of an architectural drawing depends on the personal commitment and energy devoted to its making. The emotion embodied in technical drawings meant for builders is usually inferior to the emotion enshrined in presentation drawings that have to be submitted to the approval of a referee. The higher the expectations, the more sophisticated the artistic quality of the drawing. Drafting tools and techniques are chosen on the basis of their suitability for the specific purpose of each drawing. Computer-aided drafting is more popular nowadays for presentation drawings, while free-hand drawing is still the quicker and most expressive way to outline study sketches, conceptual diagrams and travel sketches.

This course is not a digital CAD drawing course but a hand drawing course.


Please note: the schedule below is subject to change and adjustments due to weather conditions or on-going work

Week 1

Monday, Jan. 13
Program presentation
The many kinds of architectural drawing

Wednesday, Jan. 15
Sketch in class or on-site

Week 2

Monday, Jan. 20
2D drawing: Lesson 1 - orthographic projections (plan /elevation / section) Exercise no. 1: 2D representation, scale drawings of one object

Wednesday, Jan. 22
Work in class

Week 3

Monday Jan.. 27
Exercise no. 1 - end

Wednesday, Jan. 29
Sketch in class or on-site

Week 4

Monday, Feb. 3
Lesson: the concept of “Proportions”

Wednesday, Feb. 5
Exercise no. 2 (Midterm assignment)

Week 5

Monday, Feb. 10
Work in class

Wednesday, Feb. 12
Work in class

Week 6

Monday, Feb. 17
Work in class

Wednesday, Feb. 19
Work in class

Week 7

Monday, Feb. 24
Exercise n. 2 - end

Wednesday, Feb. 26
Midterm review


Week 8

MIDTERM BREAK (February 29 - March 8)


Week 9

Monday, March 9
3D representation: Lesson 1 (axonometric views/perspective)

Wednesday, March 11
Sketch in class or on-site

Week 10

Monday, March 16
3D representation: Lesson 2

Wednesday, March 18
Exercise no. 3

Week 11

Monday, March 23
Work in class

Wednesday, March 25
Exercise no.3 - end

Week 12

Monday, March 30
Exercise n. 4: final assignment

Wednesday, Apr. 1
Work in class

Week 13

Monday, Apr. 6
Work in class

Wednesday, Apr. 8
Work in class

Week 14

Monday, Apr. 13
Work in class

Wednesday, Apr. 15
Work in class - End of Exercise no. 4
(previous works shown at SACI exhibition of student work)

Friday, Apr. 17
SACI End-of-Term Design exhibition opening at Palazzo Maidoff: 7.00 pm

Week 15

Monday, Apr. 20
Sketch on site

Wednesday, Apr. 22
Sketch on site


Exercise no. 1:
Draw the top view, side view and front view of one among the various objects of Italian design:

  • Bialetti coffee machine
  • Alessi boiler
  • Alessi design by Michael Graves
  • Alessi design by Philippe Starck
  • etc…

Exercise no. 2 (Midterm assignment):
Draw the 2D orthographic projections (plan / elevation / section) of one histrorical building in Florence:

  • ​Palazzo Antinori
  • Palazzo Strozzi
  • Palazzo Bartolini-Salimbeni
  • Palazzo Uguccioni

Exercise no. 3:
Draw one 3D sketch of a building:

  • Loggia del Pesce
  • Baptistery
  • or else ...

Exercise no. 4 (final assignment):
​Draw one 3D view in color of one building:

  • ​Palazzo Antinori
  • Palazzo Strozzi
  • Palazzo Bartolini-Salimbeni

Students attending the Interior Design course may draw a 3D view in color of their own project designed for Interior Design studio. This drawing has to be approached as an additional task respect to those required by the Interior Design instructor.

Final Evaluation Criteria

Each exercise will be graded, and the final grade at the end of the course will depend on the results of the various exercises but also on the progress made throughout the course.

Graduate Students
​Students in MFA, MA, and Post-Bac programs are expected to complete additional assignments and to produce work at a level appropriate for students in a graduate program. They are graded accordingly and, if they successfully complete all course requirements for graduate students, receive graduate-level credit for the course.

Recommended Reading

In compliance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act Textbook Provision, SACI provides, when possible, the International Standard Book Number (ISBN) and retail price of required and recommended reading. Note: Many required and recommended texts are available for loan or can be consulted in the SACI Worthington Library.

Ching, Francis D.K., Architectural Graphics, John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 2009.
ISBN: 9780470399118 (Retail price: $49.95)

Zell, Mo, Architectural Drawing Course: Tools and Techniques for 2D and 3D Representation, Barron's Educational Series, 2008.
ISBN: 9780764138140 (Retail price: $23.99)

Duvernoy, Sylvie, Elementi di Disegno: 12 lezioni di disegno dell'architettura (text in English and Italian), Le Lettere, 2011.
ISBN: 9788860873873 (Retail price: €35)

Yee, Rendow, Architectural Drawing: A Visual Compendium of Types and Methods, Wiley, 2012.
ISBN: 9781118012871 (Retail price $80)

Required Supplies

  • One A4 sketchbook
  • Several A2 sheets of drawing paper
  • Pencils (H-HB-B), eraser, sharpener
  • Colored pencils
  • One ruler, two squares (90-45-45 and 90-30-60)

(Computers and Photoshop software are provided by SACI)

General Safety & Emergency Instructions

Click here for a pdf of SACI's General Safety & Emergency instructions.

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