When Architectural Record decided to organize a competition for architects who sketched on cocktail napkins, we knew we were being shamelessly retro. The competition would require a pen, a 5-inch-square paper napkin, and a stamp and envelope. Would anyone be interested in something so opposite of digital?

Our motives were to show that no matter how much we live by the web, we still believe in drawing by hand. And no matter how much we rely on the computer, when we are socializing in a bar, restaurant, or cafe, it is often easier to explain a concept to a friend or work out an idea with a colleague with a pen and nearest piece of paper than opening up a laptop.

We honor the stories about famous works of architecture resulting from such a seemingly effortless gesture. So we decided to hold the competition (as a grand prize the winning sketch will be published in the August 2010 issue of Record).

Now we find architects are responding. The AIA National Associates Committee will be hosting the Cocktail Napkin Sketch contest in its booth at the AIA Convention in Miami, June 10-12.  And we have been hearing about architects organizing cocktail parties in order to submit to the competition. So have a party!  Just remember that the deadline is June 21.

Click here for details.