Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Looking forward to presenting tomorrow morning at the first ever Autodesk University Extension to be held in Dubai.  Kudos to Omnix International for organising this event.

I always used to say that Architects are people who can see the wood from the trees.  Clarity of thinking is crucial.  The idea of "massing" as it has been understood by architects for centuries, is to strip away the irrelevant detail and isolate the key volumes. 

Early concept sketching is no different.  Whether you use a pencil or sheets of cardboard matters little.  The question is, can you capture the essence of the design problem.  We tend to take "sketch mode"  in Revit for granted.  It's just a technique we use while documenting a project.  But actually it's a good example of the abstraction process that is critical to early design.

This is the way I think about the Conceptual Massing Environment, and it's the core of my presentation tomorrow.  We need to use these BIM tools as we would use a rapid pencil sketch or a quick mock-up model. 

There should be a fluency that allows the mind to focus on analysing the design issues.  The "digital cardboard" programmes that dominate early design work at present are all very well, but BIM tools offer a whole other dimension which needs to come to the fore.

Most of my presentation will be in the form of a series of short, live demonstrations: a whistle-stop tour of things you can do with Revit Massing.  I will touch lightly upon pumpkins & spring onions, but the main focus is on buildings or at least, simplified abstractions of built forms.

I fully intend to convert these demonstrations into posts over the next few weeks and also to make more videos available on-line.  There have been several requests for this and I must get around to doing it.


  1. Good lcuk Andy. I am sure you would be rocking the show.

  2. Will you publish the presentation online?

  3. Hi Andy,

    It is nice to see someone who was born a few years before me not only using Revit but doing some amazing things with it. I wish I had time to dig deeper but other responsibilites mean I am limited to mostly thinking conceptually and directing younger Revit users on ways to pull together a good set of construction documents.

    I will be relocating from my current office in Austin TX to Yanbu Saudi Arabia right after the first of the year. One of my first tasks is facilitating Revit and AutoCAD training. Do you know of any middle east resources that would be useful?

    Thanks for any help,

    Bill Spence, Architect

  4. Hello Mr. Bill,
    I'm a Revit specialist with over 7 years of experience, I work and live in Dubai. I'd like to help you with Revit.

  5. Hi Bill
    Good to hear from you and hope you will enjoy your time in the Middle East. Feel free to contact me via Linked In & we can exchange email addresses. AUX Dubai was organised by Omnix International who have a offices in Saudi & operate Autodesk Authorised Training Centres. We generally do all our training in house so we haven't really used them, but I know the guys well and they are a good crowd.

    Hope that helps



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