Norman Crowe and Paul Laseau’s Visual Notes is a classic text on the art of recording one’s ideas and observations in the form of pictures. Drawing and sketching is a very effective method of capturing and then communicating the essence of a person, place, or thing. It is also a key analytic tool for designers as they seek to deconstruct and make sense of what is happening around them.

“The foundation of design and, therefore, of note-taking, is the collection of information. Designing is difficult without practice at analyzing problems, developing solutions, and testing those solutions; but designing is impossible without information about the specific problem, design precedents, and the world in which we live. While it is true that the quality of our design process improves through practice, it is also true that the quality of the results, our designs, depends upon the quality and variety of our experience of environment and life.”

— Norman Crowe and Paul Laseau, Visual Notes for Architects and Designers

Our personal experiences in life influence what we see and how we design. A diversity of experience ensures a diversity of thought.

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