Architectural Technology is changing how architects work and what’s in today might be irrelevant and out of date by next week, but ignore these developments at your own peril. For even your average run-of-the-mill architect, technology is a way of life … but despite knowing this information, I am frequently amazed by just how amazing technology actually is and the role it plays daily in my work and my office.
Is technology impacting the appearance of our projects? [06:21 mark]
What about the performance? Has the implementation of technology really impacted the world of architecture? This is a two-fold question because in one way the answer is a definite yes. We have more data and create, use and analyze more data today in the creation of our projects than ever before. So today, projects are being influenced by technology in that manner. But it does not seem to have overly affected the physical forms of our work. While there is a portion of newly built work is pushing the envelope with regards to forms and materials and parametric design, that is still a small portion. So technology is changing the field of architecture and we are not certain if this is a positive, a negative or a neutral?
The use of BIM [11:16 mark]
The use of historical data and BIM to advise clients on what is possible when it comes to a project’s design, cost, and duration with a high surety factor. It is a challenge to accurately predict the length of time a task takes, yet every day we take leaps of faith and sign ourselves up for projects that may be impossible to achieve. Often, we rely on gut instinct rather than using readily available data to make informed decisions to improve projects. Some of this is a cultural problem but it is also a challenge to understand what to do with data. The use of BIM software across all consultants, syncing to the cloud in real-time – some firms might be there but this is a cost issue for almost all of the firms out there unless they’re gigantic. This is really a bandwidth issue – paying for bandwidth. The number of active projects and the number of people even internal to our own office represents a problem. Andrew might disagree. It is not overly expensive to achieve. In this case, I think for larger firms it is more cost-prohibitive than in smaller ones due to the total volume needed although smaller firms might not have the bankroll to accommodate even this sort of investment, even at a smaller capacity.
Are we over-documenting projects? [06:21 mark]
The increase and ease of technology has made it so that we can produce even more documentation quicker than before. Does that make it a good thing? While we may not agree on the idea of “over-Documentation” Bob and I do realize that additional information must be relevant. It should not be a case of just because we can, we do. The ability to easily create documentation must still maintain the right reasons for doing so. If you cut 40 sections through a building … do you need them all? Would two provide all the relevant information? This still must be a consideration when documenting our projects. BIM was touted as a way to create “better” architects in its origins. The notion that you would need to know more about the models you were creating was meant to require more knowledge on the designer’s part. Did that happen? Does technology make us better architects? We are not certain that the software and technology have made it so.
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