An architect's sketchbook is many things: a journal, a safe place to work through a design, a travel companion, basically an extension of our brain that we carry in our hand. Above all else, it is a way for us to document our thoughts and mental images to a tangible reality. The presence of technology in every nearly facet of our lives [computer renderings, BIM, emails instead of phone calls, even our grocery list is an app] makes it even more important for us to ground ourselves by putting pen to paper regularly. Our sketchbooks aren't perfect - there are a lot of scribbles, notes, emerging and discarded design ideas, fingerprints, ink smudges - but perhaps that makes it better. There is a "realness" inside a sketchbook; an intimate look at process or a moment in time.
This excerpt from the Sketchbook Curator Blog sums it up perfectly.
"It’s often the physical act of drawing that artists get inspiration from. It’s the openness of a blank page that gives all the freedom for the artist to draw, paint, paste, and damage. It’s those papers bound together that gives perhaps the disconnected, random sketches a sequence, narrative, or an identity as a whole. Sketchbook, either as private or public entity, is a space of freedom and expression for any artist; it is their companion and reflection of their identity."