Attention to Detail

“The Details are not the design, they make the design.”

Details make the difference between a drawing on a paper and  a built project. If you cannot detail what you’ve drawn, you cannot build it.
Take for example a detail of a door. While everyone else sees “a door”, we tend to look into the details that keep the door in place. The frame, the hinges, the screws … The same way designers see colors, architects see details.

Our eyes are accustomed to see things and overlook details that do not matter. This tends to occur especially with places we are in the habit of revisiting on a regular basis. The next time we drop by, we’re seeing what our mind has already stored in our memory and not precisely what exists at that very moment.

When we try to explore details, we begin by training our minds to see beyond what our eyes see. Beyond the people, colors and things. This can be achieved by routine exercise that train our minds to pay more attention. I list some of the techniques I use below:

  1. One sketch a day.
    Sketches form the bridge between the visual and the actual world. When we sketch or draw something we document everything our eyes can capture. All the things we may have overlooked.
    It’s important to know that you don’t have to be a great artist to sketch objects. Sketching is a medium that anyone can use. And this will come handy when practiced on a daily basis. Draw something that lies within your reach or someplace you visited today. Do this again the next day, and the next, till it becomes a daily routine.
    A great tool you can use is this journal: http://www.amazon.com/One-Sketch-Day-Visual-Journal/dp/0811875342
    It’s a lovely journal, and it’s clear formatting makes it very easy to commit to a sketch a day.
  2. Neufert.
    Whenever you have the time- open your copy of neufert and look through some of the details in the book. The biggest library of details you’ll find is in neufert. If you’re looking for a way to understand details better without looking into dimensions, this is a good place to start.
    If you’re a student and find it tiring to keep a neufert in your backpack, you can always save a digital copy that you refer to in your e-reader.
  3. Look around.
    While looking at details can be important, seeing how things look in reality is almost as important. Sometimes if you cannot picture something in your mind it will be difficult to understand it. You wouldn’t want to spend your time learning details that you cannot understand. Where’s the fun in that anyways?
  4. Lumoisty.
    I’ve tried some of their games (http://www.lumosity.com/) one of them being attention games. You can also set daily reminders and notifications on your phone so you don’t miss a day.

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