This initiative by the Scottish Government was part of a process to make Scottish planning information more visual and less word-orientated in its format, as well as increasing the graphic skills of planning officers. This drive required personnel within planning departments to increase their drawing skills and awareness of techniques that would help them communicate with images rather than in words.
A small team of architects with acknowledged drawing skills was assembled by the Scottish Government. This group was from four well-known Practices and a programme of training events developed. This was aimed at using drawing techniques to analyse and portray information through simple but effective diagrams, through to producing 3-dimensional information by use of axonometric and perspective. The emphasis was on hand drawing and producing information efficiently. This allows techniques to be used to informally convey information in meetings and also help planners to better understand drawings produced by architects and others.
The programme was devised as a series of courses for up to 30 people, held over a period of between one and three days and aimed at groups ranging from students to planning and transport officers. One part of the programme involved helping the teams producing the current Local Development Plans with suggested graphic techniques.
This was a valuable exercise and many large organisations would gain from carrying out a similar programme. These skills are universal and not only aid communication but foster creativity among project teams.