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Friday, October 19, 2012

The Future of Documentation...

After reading Phil's great post (that I encourage you all to read) I was inspired to give my two cents.  Why was I so inspired?  Well, I may be a bit older than Phil's son's friend but my story is very similar.  I, too, spent my most influential years playing video games online and socializing with friends doing so.  I can remember drafting on boards and using AutoCAD in high school and thinking, "why is it so easy to build 3D houses in The Sims and Sim City but I am doing this drafting crap in school?".  Even as I write this blog post I have friends who play Minecraft all the time (I never really got into it because I thought the 1 m^3 restriction was just not small enough!).

Phil's post was timely because I recently had a discussion with a professor of mine about Revit and school (him and I have constant "debates" about technology and design...).  My professor exclaimed how everyone in his first year class was already using Revit.  I said, "That's great!".  He shook his head and disagreed.  When I asked why he disagreed he said they whine and complain the second he asks them to draw things the old fashioned way (with a pencil and paper).

I am still not sure if he was making them "hand-draft" or "hand-sketch" but I think a distinction between the two must be made. Hand-sketching will always be around and is a key part of design.  Even myself, The Revit Kid, use lots of hand sketches during the design process (as you can see in some of the projects I have posted here on the blog).  By hand-sketching I am talking about freehand, no straight edge (maybe a scale to quickly mark sizes), and unrestricted drawing.

Hand-drafting, on the other hand, refers to using a straight edge, triangle, compass, french curve, etc... To create construction document level drawings (sure, you could create perspectives too).  The art of hand-drafting is dead.  The sooner educational institutions accept that the sooner we can all move forward.  Sure it is important to know how to read and use a scale, but that can be taught without a drafting board.  Teaching architecture student's hand-drafting (not hand-sketching) is equivalent to teaching publishers how to use this...

In summation, I believe we need to differentiate hand-sketching from hand-drafting and eliminate the latter.

/end  rant

P.S.  I will have a later post digging into Phil's concept of the social aspect of architecture in the future....