educator, and author, Jim Leggitt, FAIA has been practicing
for over thirty years in Denver, Colorado. He conducts drawing
workshops and seminars at universities, architectural firms
and professional conferences throughout the United States
and Canada. Jim's popular drawing workshops at the past
four AIA National Conventions were scored the best workshops
at each conference. Architects are now gaining back their
drawing confidence through Leggitt's programs on "Tradigital
Imaging" - an innovative drawing process that merges
traditional hand drawing with computer assisted digital
imaging. Leggitt also teaches drawing courses to graduate
students at the University of Colorado at Denver College
of Architecture and Planning. Jim has served as President
of the Denver Chapter AIA and as director on the AIA Colorado
Chapter Board. Leggitt currently is working with RNL Design
authored DRAWING SHORTCUTS: Developing Quick Drawing
Skills Using Today's Technology, a 208-page full
color book published in 2002 by John Wiley and Sons. The
book has been translated in several languages and has been
adopted by over 60 universities.
Jim Leggitt Bio
the lack of hand drawing skills in architects and design students,
Jim Leggitt, FAIA has reintroduced the tradition of drawing
to our profession, teaching effective hand drawing techniques
that incorporate new digital technology in a highly innovative
Leggitt took his first drawing lesson at five years old,
courtesy of TV. There were two 'how to draw' programs being
broadcast in 1955. Winky Dink and Me and Jon Gnagy's
Learn to Draw gave Jim his first taste of a cutting-edge
combination of technology and hand drawing while tracing
televised drawings onto clear vinyl placed directly onto
his black and white TV screen. Fifty years later, Jim is
now reintroducing Jon Gnagy's passion for teaching traditional
drawing techniques, but with 21st century digital equipment,
high-speed computers and interactive monitors as tools to
assist in the drawing process.
the past three decades, Leggitt has practiced architecture
with two primary goals - to improve the practice of hand
drawing and to share his discoveries with others in the
profession. Jim has achieved those goals by developing new
hybrid drawing techniques that integrate digital technology
with traditional drawing processes saving time and money.
He published his findings in a book, and has successfully
promoted his "you can draw" message to national
and international audiences. Jim's likable teaching style
and enthusiasm for drawing has consistently been rated #1
at national conventions, his AIA lectures and drawing workshops
have earned over 10,000 AIA learning units for architects
across the country, and his successful book Drawing Shortcuts,
published in three languages, has already been adopted by
over 50 universities. Expanding his message, Leggitt is
now searching for new ways to re-establish 'hand drawing'
as a preferred communication skill not only for architects
and students, but also for allied professionals, teachers,
children and the general public.
the early 1990's, Jim Leggitt recognized that the architectural
profession was unfortunately shifting away from traditional
hand drawing in favor of computer visualization, a trend
he considered to be a significant threat to the foundations
of architectural design communication. Academia overhauled
their programs, replacing their traditional drawing courses
with new classes in Form Z, 3D StudioVIZ, Photoshop and
others. As a result of this trend, universities began graduating
architectural students with minimal or no hand drawing skills!
At the same time, practicing architects put away their pencils
and focused on creating 3D computer models and sophisticated
animations demanded by clients enamored with computer visualization.
It was at that time Jim developed his ambitious process
for educating others about the value of hand drawing. He
has accomplished this in four distinct ways:
New Drawing Techniques.
Leggitt has integrated the camera, copier and computer as
tools to assist with the hand drawing process. Employed
for over 15 years with RNL Design, the largest architectural
firm in the Rocky Mountain area, Leggitt has generated thousands
of architectural drawings and sketches, design guideline
images and he recently originated 'Tradigital Imaging'.
Many of Jim's drawings are incorporated in marketing collateral
for his firm.
Drawing on a National Level.
Jim teaches a broad range of 90-minute seminars, half-day
and full-day drawing workshops, and college level courses
on the subject of drawing for universities, AIA national
and regional conferences, architectural firms, allied organizations
and public programs throughout the United States and Canada.
In 2002 Leggitt authored Drawing Shortcuts: Developing
Quick Drawing Skills Using Today's Technology, the highly
successful 'how to draw' book published by John Wiley &
Sons in three languages, with over 10,000 copies sold worldwide.
He has authored numerous magazine and Internet articles
on the subject of drawing and maintains an active website
for updating architects with his new 'tradigital imaging'
Leggitt has served over ten years on Local AIA boards and
committees. He originated the AIA Denver Design Communication
Committee and organized local youth and teen drawing programs.
He formed the AIA Colorado Speakers' Committee for the 2001
AIA National Convention in Denver and served as AIA Denver
President during one of the most productive periods of the