Sunday, September 28, 2014

Revit, Rev it, Revise it.

Rev It
According to Wikipedia, that great trove of obscure, often unsubstantiated facts, Revit, the architectural building information modeler, means Revise It.  To tell you the truth I had guessed it meant "speed it up" (e.g. "Rev up your engine").  Revise it makes more sense.  When we revise we are making adjustments based on new criteria. Parametric modelers (see my blog post, The Parametric Approach) revise as we think, as we learn. Less reason to "lock the drawings" and be tempted to become less responsive to disruptive new information as it bears on project.

Perhaps acceptance of parametric modeling among architects depends on temperament. Drafting culture has always relied on a "guardianto keep a complex, linear document workflow together, taking top down direction from the designer and fleshing out the design in a predictable, linear manner. The new digital opportunity to comprehensively, logically, reliably improve a design at any stage of the work has opened a door for creative, rational types to stay involved throughout the process. The architect can apply substantial changes directly at any point in the process, which can either be taken as a threat to or breakthrough for efficient production. A different workflow presents itself, offering new ways to look at how and when to control the process of design documentation.

Revise It
In a way, BIM has always been with us. The earlier version has been "Build In your Mind," then translate to 2D representation. Going from personal vision to ink on velum has always been an an important, but often tedious process. This pattern changed with the new "Building Information Modeling" type of BIM.  Revit may or may not be faster than CAD, but is certainly more responsive. Changes can be mapped automatically to any and all drawing views or descriptions that are needed to keep the work up to date and coordinated The new tool can enable less linear, more collaborative ways of thinking. Architects now have the opportunity to revise the way we accomplish our work.

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