02 Apr The Big Switch
Using technology to enhance design.
We are now focusing more on how to use the technical tools invented for building design than we are on how to effectively design the building. As a result, we are turning out technical gurus who do not know how to design a functional, creative and cost effective building.
How frightening! If ever there was a time when creative design and inventive cost solutions were more valuable, I can’t remember it. The best selling author, Nicholas Carr, in his book “The Shallows”, discusses research that credits our technology in making us more adept at scanning and skimming, but we are losing our capacity for concentration, verbal communication and reflection.
Our sophisticated drawing programs provide a utility for Building Information Modeling. That BIM function is essentially an accounting/coordination device for building materials. But to run the software efficiently and effectively, requires someone with a great deal of professional expertise and knowledge to be effective.
In affect, the draftsperson has been replaced with the professional when using standard drawing programs. The initial program and design input has to be even more precise and exact. After all, we chose this career because we love making all the complicated parts fit together, beginning with the zoning & program requirements, all the way through to how building components fit together.
Really good architects understand the basic tenants of a buildings cost:
Corners cost more than straight walls.
Glass cost more than walls.
Building materials that do the same job can vary in cost considerably, both initially and over time.
At CMArchitects, we have used BIM to draft buildings for over 10 years and it does not make cost effective design happen automatically. It is important that cost is a response to the functional requirements and the project proforma, while optimizing the value for our client and community.
There is no BIG SWITCH that we can flip to make it happen. Each project always has a set of unique circumstances that requires listening, creative thinking and effort. At CMArchitects, we understand this and combine both old-school and new-school technologies in our approach to architecture.