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IN PRACTICE - SUSAN DAWSON

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There's a mug of tea and a fresh set of detailed drawings on the dining room table, ready to be selected and condensed into the weekly AJ Working Details. Yesterday I went through the project with the architect and established which detail to use; this afternoon I will draw up a scale template to establish how it will look on the page. I usually make a freehand (4B pencil) isometric of the key detail which will then be drawn to scale; it helps me - and ultimately the reader - to get an instant grasp of the construction. To me it is vital that the published Working Details should demonstrate sound technological principles while showing that the process of working drawings can be creative (though not too creative - that's when readers' letters start flooding in). I am fortunate to witness - in a quite unique way - how architects think about design and construction. I used to do this at the AJ office in London; now - thanks to email - I can work with a view of my garden and the hills above the River Lune.

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