Have design tools evolved much?

evolution of design tools

It’s a chilly Saturday afternoon I find myself surrounded by the western world’s greatest collection of Egyptian artifacts at the Egyptian Museum of Turin. It houses over 20,000 antiquities and beautiful design, which initially amazed me considering the fact that all these artifacts actually belonged to Egypt at a point. In the midst of all the great design collections, one specific showcase catches my attention: The Tomb of Kha. An architect in Deir El-Medina, Egypt, Kha was a supervisor of some projects completed during the reigns of three kings of the 18th Dynasty (approximately 1440-1350 BC).

Ancient design tool

After admiring his drawings and ancient architectural tools for over an hour, one thing became clear:

The only things that have changed in design after over a 1,000 years of civilization are the tools used but not so much the end-product.

The Ancient Egyptians were known to have used wooden corner rulers and had their own units of measurement such as the royal cubit. Fast forward to the 21st century, rulers and other drawing tools are still a basic necessity where precision is required. All designers initiate their creative processes with the most intimate form of putting down ideas:  sketching.

Basic design tool

Everything from logos, car designs, architecture and product design involve the use of this intrinsic skill. The rising need for efficiency and the collaborative nature of the design industry has given rise to a number of computer aided drawing (CAD) software. These go a long way to harmonize and standardize what would have remained just a stroke of a pencil in sketchbook.

Modern day design softwareModern day design

What can we make of the back and forth process between computer-aided design and more traditional design methods? Neither one of them can function effectively without the other! Every designer needs to find a balance between the two to achieve a satisfactory result for their clients and themselves.

Love history? Read http://www.theworkspaceglobal.com/the-colour-wheel-theories-and-evolution/

Evolution of design tools’ by Ekow A. Inkoom for the THRIVE blog on www.theworkspaceglobal.com. The writer is finishing up his Masters degree in Architecture in Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy.