Drafting vs Modeling

Listening to more Seth Godin and am once again struck by the idea that our industry has been operating under the assumption that it takes a lot of warm bodies to document Architecture.

Manual drafting was a tedious endeavor and it took a lot of people to produce the work. It was so labor intensive that people with the right skills were often hired to do nothing more than draft. Computer Aided Drafting did little to change things… if anything it has made the problem worse over the years instead of better.

When AutoCAD first began being used in offices it was only used for Floor Plans… drawings that were useful on more than one sheet and for more than one profession.

Somewhere along the way we began producing more and more work in CAD and we got further and further away from what we were documenting and how and what we should be documenting. We began to add more and more detail into the drawings because we could. We began focusing on detail and nuisances and details that we never would have considered before… or at least focusing on them at smaller scales than we did when manually drafting. All this, and more, has lead us to see AutoCAD as a liability instead of an asset and now seems to require more time and, arguably, more people than it should.

Revit starts to change this… or at least it can if we take what we, hopefully, learned from the transition from manual to digital drafting. The truth is one person who knows what they’re doing in Revit can produce the rough documentation of a project in a fraction of the time it used to take a team of drafters.

If one person can replicate the production of several in less time and with greater accuracy and tighter coordination what does that mean for the industry?

Or… as I’ve been asking at the office… what would you do if you weren’t drafting?

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One Response to Drafting vs Modeling

  1. Manual drafting was a tedious endeavor and it took a lot of people to produce the work. It was so labor intensive that people with the right skills were often hired to do nothing more than draft. Computer Aided Drafting did little to change things… if anything it has made the problem worse over the years instead of better.
    hanging over a drafting board or computer is physically risky, but it’s not really “labor” like hacking apart chickens in a Georgia chicken factory.

    Somewhere along the way we began producing more and more work in CAD and we got further and further away from what we were documenting and how and what we should be documenting. We began to add more and more detail into the drawings because we could. We began focusing on detail and nuisances and details that we never would have considered before… or at least focusing on them at smaller scales than we did when manually drafting. All this, and more, has lead us to see AutoCAD as a liability instead of an asset and now seems to require more time and, arguably, more people than it should.
    and 3d rendering for… marketing!
    one of those Peter Principle “malaphorisms” says that tasks will fill the time allotted.

    Revit starts to change this…
    (human) nature abhors a time vacuum. your question is, what kind of “added value” chores will ensue… architectural karaoke perhaps? architectural pub darts?
    we’ve all heard of Architectural Plants. So why not Architectural Dogs? architectural frisbee catching….

    what would you do if you weren’t drafting?
    comment-bombing blogs? 🙂

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