When I was a kid, everyone in the business drew. I grew up around a drafting table and design (drafting) studios. CAD (Computer Aided Design) came along and for the most part drawing stopped.
At the time it was a big deal. In the early nineties, a new desk top, LANDCAD software, and a plotter - a printer for 36" wide paper - was probably a $15,000 investment. Substantial if you are in "Design/Build" and not drawing full-time which I suspect made it a difficult expense to justify.
However, as I look back, the justification most likely would not have been found, in our case, in production increase or savings. It was the spirit of the times and anything that was done on a computer was - well - just more high tech and better. I might leap as far as to say, one didn't even need to know design, just show up to a client with something produced on a computer and you immediately had credentials and authority.
The problem for me, with the large scale design infrastructure, was that it was fixed in one place, the office. In landscape and construction (well, where I come from) you work in the field through the day and then meet with clients and draw in the evening. I never wanted to sit in the office all night. So I had a large graph pad and a couple templates that I would work with at my coffee table or kitchen counter at night.
And soon, I found one of those old unnecessary drafting tables and moved it into my dining room. That was in 1998. 5 residences later, that same drafting table sits in my "living room."
Landscape designer and Proprietor of Buffalo Horticulture