Apple & Architects



  • Reply 21 of 56
    cowerdcowerd Posts: 579member
    [quote]Thing is real Architects don't use drafting software. They use paper and pencil. You think Renzo bothers with a fscking computer to draw his plans? No. Real Architects use a computer for business. Renzo's office uses Macs for that. I don't know what they use for CAD but I'll find out. <hr></blockquote>

    Depends on the size of the job and the phase of the job. A phd should be more discerning about making gross generalizations. Renzo Piano Studios archives are all .dwf (whip viewer), but that doesn't really mean much, though given the complex geometries of the DeMenil, Bercy, Kansai and Nemo--these couldn't have been designed without computers. If you look at monographs of Piano's work, many interim design studies, and of course the construction documents are CAD produced.

    Even Libeskind's office, which generates much of the design work from models--moving from very small to very large, finally turns everything over to the CAD crew for production purposes.

    [ 06-15-2002: Message edited by: cowerd ]</p>
  • Reply 22 of 56
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member
    I'm sure Piano doesn't touch a computer. I don't until I have an idea on paper to some extent, but I do use Form Z as a design tool also. There's no way that Piano's Building Workshop doesn't use CAD with the sophisticated structural, enclosure and lighting systems typical of the work done there. I'm not sure what Piano uses for CAD (which includes 3D I'm sure); I thought he used Microstation. He might use a more custom system like Gehry's Catia setup.

    There's a huge gap/debate about how/when and who uses computers, and for what in architecture. At my firm, my team sketches, builds physical models and starts with Form Z massing off the bat. Other teams work in hand drawing and physical models and leave the computer to CAD and presentation drawings. The old sketching, drafting and model-building skills are still being taught. The computer is just another tool. I've seen some who find it more useful and expressive of their work, and others who struggle with it.

    Real architects do all sorts of things. The computer isn't as intuitive or quick as pencil and trace since those are far more refined and direct technologies, but for when more complex geometry and greater precision needs to be understood, it is a good tool in your belt. There's little you can't do by hand that you would need a computer to do, but it's fundamental ability to copy stuff makes it a decent shortcut at times. That's also why computers can impair an education. If you use computers to generate perspectives, you won't learn as much about the projective system and how to manipulate it as you wold by drawing them by hand.
  • Reply 23 of 56
    Timo, I agree with you that schools should focus on teaching design and not CAD. That's what technical schools are for. I had this one professor who wanted final drawings on CAD. The problem was, my studio and I didn't know CAD yet. So while the professor was teaching us design during studio, we were teaching ourselves CAD at night; my end result was one of my favorite project while in school.

    You are also right that ACAD is a good 2D drafting program. It's probably the best in my opinion. But, there's only so many ways to draw a line and ACAD has reached the end of its innovation. It started out as a program for engineers, not architects, and that way the probably bought Revit.

    Oh, one more thing...upgrade to ACAD 2000. ACAD 14 is painful.
  • Reply 24 of 56
    [quote]Originally posted by scott_h_phd:

    <strong>Thing is real Architects don't use drafting software. They use paper and pencil. You think Renzo bothers with a fscking computer to draw his plans? No. Real Architects use a computer for business. Renzo's office uses Macs for that. I don't know what they use for CAD but I'll find out.</strong><hr></blockquote>

    Everyone I know who is in architecture school right now uses the computer for just about everything. I suspect that older, more established architects don't avoid the computer because they are somehow worse, but rather because they weren't trained to use them, and it's not worth their time to figure out how to do so now. I'll bet money that within twenty years, very few firms will be doing drafting by hand.

    Hand drawings do look better for certain things, but I think the computer is definitely taking over.

    PS Frank Gehry uses computers in for his designs; at least the part of his group that's at MIT now does. I think he qualifies as a "real architect."
  • Reply 25 of 56
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member
    Gehry has an attitude about computers though that some find surprising. He depends on them but he doesn't like them for two reasons: 1. he gets a headache looking at a monitor for a long time, and 2. he thinks the drawings they produce are terrible. They're really a tool that comes into play only after he's formulated the idea for the design. I tend to be in the same boat. My 40-something boss jumps into Form Z immediately while I churn through a couple rolls of trace before I can use the computer effectively.

    Cornell's students still use their drafting boards a considerable amount of the time. i'm sure a lot of others schools are like that. some however, have forced the computer into the curriculum, NJIT being the posterchild for that camp. Professors have an aversion to computers because it's really hard to give a desk crit in front of even a 21" monitor. You have to take the extra time to set up and render views and print them if you expect a decent crit.

    Ideally, some day we'll have high-resolution (approx. 300dpi) 30" x 42" drafting tablets/monitors with pressure-sensitive styluses. Or better yet, true 3D interfaces/displays. Hopefuly some day, contract documents will be packaged as a single integrated 3D computer model with all specs and notes tied into true "smart" objects and systems. Contractors will simply zoom in and select systems to see and search all info pertaining to them.

    AutoCAD was just about perfect as a 2D drafting tool at revision 9 -- anyone remember that one? Since then it's just become bloatware.

    Boy, now I'm really rambling...
  • Reply 26 of 56
    timotimo Posts: 353member
    [quote]Originally posted by BuonRotto:

    AutoCAD was just about perfect as a 2D drafting tool at revision 9 -- anyone remember that one? Since then it's just become bloatware.



    By the way, scott h phd, real PhD's know not to opine about things they have no knowledge of. And they have a rudimentary understanding of spelling and punctuation, or at least have paid someone to correct their prose.
  • Reply 27 of 56
    prestonpreston Posts: 219member
    <a href=""; target="_blank">Architosh</a>
  • Reply 28 of 56
    I just graduated with my BARCH from one of the top architecture schools in the us this year (University of Cincinnati), and as far as computers, the incoming freshmen were all required to buy G4 laptops. The didn't touch cad, but instead were taught how to use photoshop, illustrator, indesign, and form?z.

    in respects to thesis project, i used archicad to generate plan/section/elevations and exported all the info to illustrator and rendered the drawings there. many students used illustrator and photoshop for their final drawings. some students never touched CAD for their thesis, and physical models carried alotof weight. 3 required models (site,bldg, and bay).
  • Reply 29 of 56
    dyniadynia Posts: 1member
    OK guys I just registered to be able to let you know that Renzo is working with AutoCAD! What a surprise. It is true that it was running on Macs as long as there was AutoCAD for the Macintosh. But since the end of AutoCAD on the Mac, they had to move over to crappy PCs (mine crashed 9 times today). Of course we all know that AutoCAD is only so widely spread as it is for free ;-), making it the first choice for students. But when I brought my TI book to the office in January, 3 more colleagues have bought one also (and one iBook) - all running OSX! And then many others have Macs at home! They are so pissed off with those PCs all day long that they can't sit in front of another PC when they are not in the office. So, bring that AutoCAD to the Mac and the world of architects will change.

    BTW, some people from RPBW have signed the AutoCAD for Macintosh petition already.
  • Reply 30 of 56
    frawgzfrawgz Posts: 547member
    Digging up an old thread.

    Apparently Apple is looking for architects and other business Switchers.

    <a href=""; target="_blank"></a>;
  • Reply 31 of 56
    giaguaragiaguara Posts: 2,724member
    When i studied architecture (94 to 01)

    i was at univ obligued to use WINDOWS and the £%&$£% of AUTOCAD.

    i hated and still do autocad. i can't be creative doing the stupid lines.. so one using autocad NEEDS paper and a lot of paper to plan...

    with archicad and other stuff it's a lot easier...

    ok, i switched quite recently to macs.

    and still hear the warnings that everything HAS to be in .dwgs because of the engineers...

    i have to kill my ideas and use autocad ONLY to please the engineers ?? <img src="graemlins/oyvey.gif" border="0" alt="[No]" />
  • Reply 32 of 56
    Good architecture doesn't happen on a computer. It happens on the back on an envelope, which coincidentally is also where good physics happens.

    Don't confuse production drawings with architecture.
  • Reply 33 of 56
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member
    [quote]Originally posted by scott_h_phd:

    <strong>Good architecture doesn't happen on a computer.</strong><hr></blockquote>

    It's a romantic and not altogether untrue notion, that. But it's changing. A lot of architects who haven't grown up with computers can't conceptualize with them. That's changing with every graduating class. While I can't use computers like that, I have to sketch to analyze and come up with ideas, I know people in my class who were honestly more comfortable working on a computer than with a pencil, and you see that their better work was done on machines.

    While it's no CAD powerhouse (as an aside, I define "CAD" as "Computer Aided Drafting, not Computer Aided Design"), <a href=""; target="_blank">Sketchup</a> is a really fun program, and very intuitive. I've seen similar experiments from some students in the computer graphics program. It's not perfect, but it's a lot easier to actually think about ideas with Sketchup than with even Form Z because it's so simple.

    Good architecture shouldn't be limited to the mediums used to represent it, but you want to be as versatile in as many mediums as possible. Having proficiency in many techniques and media helps to ensure that you can look at a design in as many ways as possible, which means less dependence on any single type of representation. I mean, each medium has its weaknesses, which can lead to faults in the design. The thought of designing a building that looks like it was designed on computer, in watercolors, in pencil, etc. is kind of scary. While computers are becoming a more integral part of design, you shouldn't trust them, just like you don't trust any other medium alone.

    Still, pencil on paper is still the most transparent way of getting ideas down, so I don't think this technique will ever go away.
  • Reply 34 of 56
    timotimo Posts: 353member
    [quote]Originally posted by scott_h_phd:

    Don't confuse production drawings with architecture.<hr></blockquote>

    I don't see anyone on this thread confusing "production drawings" with architecture.
  • Reply 35 of 56
    frawgzfrawgz Posts: 547member
    [quote]Originally posted by BuonRotto:

    <strong> <a href=""; target="_blank">Sketchup</a> is a really fun program, and very intuitive.</strong><hr></blockquote>

    I'm impressed they went the Cocoa route when bringing this app to Mac OS X (and more importantly, that they made a point about taking advantage of technologies like Quartz and OpenGL). This is more than can be said of some classic Mac developers.

    Products like this may be what Autodesk is looking for when they say they're watching the Mac market for trends. Maybe it's only a matter of time..

    P.S. Another footnote in Apple's relationship with BCJ: "Architect Peter Bohlin of Bohlin Cywinski Jackson was careful to retain the character of the original structure with what makes the <a href=""; target="_blank">Apple stores</a> unique."

    [ 07-27-2002: Message edited by: frawgz ]</p>
  • Reply 36 of 56
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member
    The other nice thing about SketchUp on OS X is that its Aqua UI is MUCH cleaner and simpler than its windows UI. It's almost a poster child of the difference between Windows and Mac since both actually follow their respective HI guidelines closely.

    I should have known it was Peter Bohlin's hand in the SoHo Apple Store. BCJ was the architect for the new Pixar facilities too. I just ripped off some of the basic details of the SoHo store in a 3-day charrette for an adaptive reuse of an old warehouse.

    Jobs seems just as passionate about the architecture as any other design discipline. I hope that translates into more attention towards architects from Apple. Anyway, right now the biggest problem aside from the lack of AutoCAD and Microstation is that the processors on Macs just can't do stuff lke 3D renderings as fast as an Intel Box at 2.4 Ghz. That stuff requires flat out clockspeed, and I'm not sure that AltiVec is useful in that application.

    A lot of architects are looking for the holy grail of architecture applications: an integrated 2D and 3D environment, the best database management, the best presentation tools, the best delivery system, the best compatibility with all consultants' work, and the best project management/scheduling tools. It ain't ever going to happen, but it might be what's needed to make Macintoshes compelling.

    [ 07-27-2002: Message edited by: BuonRotto ]

    [ 07-27-2002: Message edited by: BuonRotto ]</p>
  • Reply 37 of 56
    giaguaragiaguara Posts: 2,724member
    ok ... it felt too often we were teached to do only those production drawings.

    architecture and planning forbidden...

  • Reply 38 of 56
    tigerwoods99tigerwoods99 Posts: 2,633member
    I know that the University of Cincinnati architecture school have all their students using Powerbook G4s.
  • Reply 39 of 56
    drewpropsdrewprops Posts: 2,321member
    While I agree (and fervently hope) that trash paper is never replaced by computers, I will grudgingly admit that there is software that future generations may find equally as "intuitive" as pencil and pen.

    I certainly can't function in Photoshop as well without my Wacom tablet, but I'll always be a pen and paper guy. Do yourselves a favor and go to the bookstore to check out the "Art of Star Wars Episode 2" book. There are a LOT of purely digital concept paintings in there that have inspired me to buy Painter when the opportunity presents itself.

    Re: CAD software for the Mac...

    I know that some of the people at a firm where they could get special licenses from

    Bentley to allow them to install copies on their home machines to "learn the software better". This was, of course, a small firm with a small IT department.

    I never HAVE learned CAD...I know I could do it as fast as anyone, the hardest part would be the habits from Adobe Illustrator that I'd bring with me to the experience. I just never wanted to be a CAD monkey. These days I'm thinking I should teach myself the software, it's silly that I haven't learned it yet. The hardest thing I could foresee is being unfamiliar with company standards in regard to reference files, layer naming conventions, file naming conventions and file revision issues. I can't tell you how many times I've seen the guys get all confused over who's working on which drawing, and who overwrote the wrong drawing and all that stuff. The file-saving methodology for Microstation is WACKED when you're familiar with working in Photoshop and Illustrator.

    WACKED I tell you!

  • Reply 40 of 56
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member
    I hate the typical CAD software UI. It's always (thanks to you-know-which-CADD-package) so unintuitive, right down to editing text. No, you can't just edit text like any other app on the planet. You have to make it complicated and also limited apparently. No, you can't select things like any other app on the planet either. VectorWorks comes the closest to being a "normal" application. But in general, CAD software makes Windows 3.1 look like an extension of your hand. It's that bad. That's partly why 1. a lot pf people learn one CAd package and can't learn others and 2. why so many architects can't figure out how to something as simple as create a new file (I kid you not).

    Anyway, drewprops, you might want to cut your teeth on VectorWorks if you have the chance and the inclination. It works a lot like Illustrator and other such apps in terms of text, selections, layering, grouping, etc, in very general terms. For example, you click on a cube and it gives you a bunch of "handles" at all the corners and midpoints of the object the same way you can choose a box in a drawing app and it gives you the corner handles and a center crosshair. Layering and occlusion works like in illustrator also, so the layering system and naming conventions for them in VectorWorks is a little different than AutoCAd and wannabes which are basically flat drawings despite having a layer system. 2D presentations are much easier with Vector Works' patterns, fills, linesstyles, etc. Again, most CAD treats this stuff like we're using pre-VGA 8" monitors circa 1984. VW lets you use real fonts with real font editing and choosing.

    Form Z also isn't so bad, but its main palette is something to behold. (No one has quite explained to me why everything is organized the way it is. It makes some general sense, but the particulars are just something you get used to.) It's not nearly as "linear" as other 3D applications' workflows. The others aren't really linear, they just present everything in a very compartmentalized way. They've followed the "room" paradigm of 3D MAX, one of the worst modelers out there (which does pretty nice renderings). You can awlays move back and forth from these "rooms" (presented as tabs on one side of the screen with their tools in them) and you can always go back to your original primitives. It sounds nice and neat but the process is too messy to be bothered with this artifice, and the result is that they're a pain to use IMO. Form Z is all palettes and pop-ups, like other Mac apps (even on the PC which really throws people). It is non-hierarchical in terms of its tools but hierarchical in terms of the tool options. In other words, you use materials, lights, objects, etc. all in the same way in the same "environment," all at the same time, but how you create and edit those things can be very simple or very detailed. You can always make simple things and make them more complex later, which to me offsets the cost of using a modeling app that doesn't preserve all of your primitives all the time (it does in most cases by ghosting the originals which can be unghosted later).
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