Sketching, concept development and automotive design

Mike Tovey, S. Porter, R. Newman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

152 Citations (Scopus)


Sketching and its key role in concept design are identified, and the particular circumstances of automotive design described. A brief summary of work in the general field of concept sketching and visual thinking is presented. The particular characteristics of automotive design sketches; form lines, crown lines, area lines, shading and colouring are described, and a de-layering analysis undertaken. This demonstrates the primacy of form lines in the automotive design sketch. Observations, by video, of post-graduate students and six professional designers while sketching confirm the importance of the form lines in the design process, the interactive and iterative nature of concept development and the central role of the activity of sketching in this process. It is proposed that the design of CAD systems to support concept development must take account of the importance of sketching activity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-153
JournalDesign Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2003

Bibliographical note

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  • conceptual design
  • drawing
  • visual thinking
  • automotive design
  • computer aided design


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