Sunday, October 20, 2013


Time to address some "why" questions.  For example:  "Why am I doing this competition again?"

Firstly it's a hell of a ride.  Has been for me anyway.  Second, unfinished business.  Themes that I touched on before & want to explore further.

But what is it about the Pumpkin Competition that makes it such a fruitful design challenge for me ?  Firstly it allows me to set up some very specific goals.  Constraints.  Can't do without them if you want to be truly creative.  Call it structure if you like.  Something to strain against.  Last year I pitted my wits against the vegetable kingdom : a series of well-designed challenges.

Secondly it forces me onto unfamiliar ground, jolts me off the architectural tramlines.  Sometimes it helps to look at things from a different angle altogether.  Like drawing with your left hand perhaps.   More often than not it throws up new techniques & ideas that prove useful back in the familiar world of buildings.

OK, but "Why do this in BIM ?" Organic forms (pumpkins, fruit & veg, animals) would be much easier to model in say Max or Maya.  Why am I being so perverse as to use BIM authoring software ?

Well the end product is important in as far as it gives structure to my explorations, but it's the journey that really matters.  Hence my decision to submit in the form of a series of blog posts, giving primacy to the process rather than the product(s).

But "why am I doing THIS in bim".  Quite apart from the pumpkin competition I spend rather a lot of time doing weird things in Revit and then processing the results to produce somewhat enigmatic images  What's with all the whimsy?  I could talk about play & learning again, but I think I prefer to address the elephant in the room:   ART (with a capital F as in Fine)

BIM is full of management terminology (ROI, change orders, workflow) and people keep banging on about data, "it's all about the data", as if data is going to make the world a better place.  That stuff is important of course, but Architecture is much more than a business.  Great architecture lifts the spirit, gives identity to cities and cultures.  Even humble, vernacular architecture speaks to us at a basic emotional level.

So I have made it my mission to blur the boundaries between BIM and ART.  Not that I claim to be producing works of art.  That's not really the point.  I'm just pecking away at the edges, trying to undermine the technocratic foundations of BIM.  Maybe it will lean a little like the tower of Pisa and overlap into emotional space.

Who knows, maybe one day "designers" will truly embrace BIM rather than simply tolerating & (delegating) it.   Y knot ?

A couple of comments on the images.  I decided to make these stand on their own, 2 separate themes interwoven, like a knot,  & connected by a weedy pun.  Trying to do all my image processing in Building Design Suite apps.  Actually it's much faster & easier to combine images, add text etc in Revit than using graphics software as I have been doing all along.  The final image is in the spirit of "reveal your process", a bit like open source I guess.  This is how my blog-posting folders look.  I have lots of these, finished posts and work in progress.  Not all quite as neatly organised as this, but I try my best.  000 is a txt document where this text is typed.  Disable wordwrap before copy-pasting into blogger.  

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