Bearing in mind the dearth of research into the phenomenological dimension of the act of drawing by hand, this study considers and explores how drawing may produce humanising effects—including the reflexivity and metacognition that may contribute to nurturing empathy—rather than just cognitive skills such as the ability to draw. To achieve this aim, this study explores hand-drawing as a site for coping, caring, shaping, and connecting. Objectives for this study are formulated and addressed along these lines.
To begin with, hand-drawing is framed as a coping strategy that helps designers to deal with ‘wicked problems’. Secondly, with reference to the phenomenology of Martin Heidegger, the relationship between the hand, drawing and care is considered. Thirdly, with reference to the philosophy of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, the relationship between drawing and a phenomen-ology of shaping is explored. Finally, with reference to George Lakoff and Mark Johnson’s embodied perspective of metaphorical thought, hand-drawing is articulated as a site where connections are made and empathy is nurtured. To bolster its phenomenological perspective, this study refers to recent research by drawing practitioners.