People use sketches to express and record their ideas in many domains, including mechanical engineering, software design, and information architecture. Unfortunately, most computer programs cannot interpret free-hand sketches; designers transfer their sketches into computer design tools through menu-based interfaces. The few existing sketch recognition systems either tightly constrain the user’s drawing style or are fragile and difficult to construct. In previous work we found that domain knowledge can aid recognition. Here we present an architecture to support the development of robust recognition systems across multiple domains. Our architecture maintains a separation between low-level shape information and high-level domain-specific context information, but uses the two sources of information together to improve recognition accuracy.