Saturday, November 5, 2016

Data in Architecture

One of the oldest records of a drawn architectural document is the Chruch of St. Gall dating around 850 AD.  One thousand years later, the profession was still drafting in the same manner.  One hundred years after that, Ivan Sutherland invented SketchPad one of the first graphic programs for a computer.  Since that time computers have become integral in the development of the physical environment in which we live.  Computers are not only integral in the creation of architectural design and production, they have become embedded into the act of engaging in a space.  Many times our enjoyment of a space is dependent on the access to wifi, or our enjoyment is marked by the impression our images make on social media.  
Access to, development of, organization of, and subsequent management of data has become a normal daily activity.  Yet, when the building industry is challenged to organize and manage the data of a building many respond with disdain.  Whether it is through fear of a process change, a defense of the waste that props up their organization, or simple lack of interest -managing data in a building has been ignored by the little guys and only tackled by those that have the most money and the most to immediately gain.  
Software companies have all but ostracized the little guy.  Applications are too expensive to purchase, and the time necessary to learn them isn’t invested.  Applying a term like BIM to a project many times means that we only want the best teams with the most resources, but we want those teams to bill like BIM wasn’t a part of the process.  
The industry has been wrestling with this for ten years, and will continue to wrestle with it for the rest of our professional lives.  

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