I don't like the idea of designing something on a computer that i'm going to be making. I like pencils. I've been using them for a good number of years now and feel comfortable using them. The more comfortable you are with your tools, the more they become like a part of your hand and I don't think it is quite time for the world to behold the terrible and awesome spectacle of laptop-hands McCann.. or trackpad-hands McCann. Just create that image in your mind and hold it there for a moment. Now, I feel like a truly cumbersome beast when trying to create even the simplest things using a drawing program. So what?
The truth is that while it is not the best way for me to get my ideas out initially, these drawing programs do certain things better than I can do with just a pencil, no matter how hard I practice. Real physical measurements are accurately represented automatically with them and when working with a client to come up with a design, suddenly there a proportionally accurate sketch you can both refer back to.
I just finished a project that is a little bigger and more built-in than I usually work on and I used a sketching program to help the design process along. It was extremely helpful. Small changes could easily be made without effecting the other parts of the design and this allowed me, step by step, to arrive at exactly what the client wanted, very clearly, before anything physical was actually made. Here are two images that show the results. The first is the final drawing done in Sketchup and the second is from Monday's installation of the piece. Cushions are being upholstered.