Rendering courtesy of Studio Heimat

Introducing the Photo Essay

Dec. 19, 2023
Here's a sneak peek at one of our new columns to come in 2024. Here, we offer up a beautiful journey through the sketchbooks of five visionaries that show us the importance of "stop and take a look around."

Here’s a little sneak of what’s to come in 2024: the Photo Essay column. Here we’ll feature a beautiful array of pictures, art, sketches that will effortlessly tell a story all their own with minimal wording needed to guide you. 

Here, we’re featuring the hand drawings of legendary minds like Roger Thomas to up and coming influencers like Chanel Dehond, global director of HLW’s brandx (the firm’s wayfinding, signage and branding experience team) and Rachel Robinson, architect and founder of the design offices of durodeco.

Our hope is that these will make their way onto your vision boards across the country. If you do pin them up, send us a shot of it. We’d love to feature it on our social media pages! 

Woogmaster Studio 

These sketches are the work of Alex Woogmaster for his namesake firm. They feature various resort pool complexes as the firm specializes in luxury hospitality and residential projects.

Roger Thomas

Designed for Fromental (known for its artistically-driven wallpapers) and their new decorative objects line, the Roger Thomas line of needlepoint pillows were all inspired by his sketches, such as these featured, of shapes seen in Venetian architecture. The cushions are embroidered by hand in Fromental’s Calcutta studio.


These sketches were done by durodeco Founder Rachel Robinson while on a 6-week stay in northern Italy to study architecture and drawing. 

“The idea behind drawing them, as opposed to snapping a quick photo, was to be able to analyze and understand the architecture better through the process of drawing by hand and then take those lessons forward into future design work. Drawing by hand enabled me to look at every detail and notice the intricacies and decisions that were made by the designer in a deeper way.” 


Global Director Chanel Dehond has evolved into a master of branded graphics, always looking for ways to use 2D illustration to affect how we engage with a 3D space. She’s worked with major brands like Meta, Amazon and Discovery. These hand-drawings were all a celebration of the Big Apple, done for various NYC locations such as HLW’s office, Fordham University and the law firm Venable. 

Rafael Arana and Studio Heimat

Studio Heimat employed the amazing talents of mural artist Rafael Arana to add a very special touch to San Francisco’s Eco Terreno Urban Tasting Room. Initially inspired by the pencil sketches of Ethan Murrow, the team sent Arana some internal rough sketches and interior elevations of the space as well as photos of the property’s vineyard. A portrait of the vineyard’s landscape, drawn in grayscale by Arana on wallpaper sits behind a main seating area. Read more about this property.

About the Author

AnnMarie Martin | Editor-in-Chief

AnnMarie has been covering the commercial design space since 2005 and has been on the editorial staff at i+s since 2011. Her style and vision has helped the brand evolve into a thought leader in purpose-driven design and cultural movements shaping the way we live and work. She returned to the role of editor in chief at the start of 2023 and her journalism and fiction writing background have helped to craft bi-monthly issues that don’t just report the latest industry news, but tell a cohesive tale of some of the biggest topics facing designers today.

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