Friday, 10 October 2008

Introducing 'CID'

My first entry on this blog might be slightly controversial so I'll start with a caveat: I'm not an architect, I'm not an engineer, and I'm not even a CAD user in the normal, now that's out the way you can casually discard my opinions without getting too annoyed.

I've been developing in .net with Revit for a while now, and despite the API's immaturity I'm impressed with Revit as a very powerful design tool. CAD software has been around for decades, but this new generation of 'BIM' tools, the advent of which presumably only became viable with the ever-increasing capabilities of accessibly-priced desktop hardware, provides the fingertips of architects and engineers with power never seen before.

Recently I saw a live demonstration of Revit where a seemingly complex 100-storey building was modelled before my eyes, with twists and angles you couldn't draw by hand - at least not in weeks, let alone minutes. Model a floor, stick a few numbers in, click a few buttons. Hey Presto - a building.

But here's my controversial bit - when does Computer Aided Design become Computer Influenced Design? I'm starting to think I can spot a 'Revit Building'; perverse angles, not one element identical to another, an impossibility 10 years ago.

Does Revit help an architect create from the concepts already in his mind, or does it reduce the design process to experimentation with buttons, numbers and formulae?

Does it matter?


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