Designer's Sketchbook: Courtyard Studies

I carry my sketchbook with me everywhere. It helps me quickly jot down visual ideas about design and I find that I learn and remember better from something I've drawn myself instead of from a photo. Lately, I have been sketching small courtyards around Houston and taking notes on how the spaces are organized and how the container plants or small in-ground plants grow within the space. These quick drawings help me learn what works and what could be done better in small urban gardens at homes, businesses, and restaurants. The best courtyard gardens feel intimate, like secret gardens, and also inviting. The trick is to use the vertical surfaces in a smart and efficient way so that the space is private and quiet. Here is a selection of recent courtyard drawings from my sketchbook: