It has been a year and the journey has been rough at times, but I am optimistic the future is bright.
A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new – Albert Einstein
A year ago I wrote about a New adventure I was starting at ZGF Cotter Architects: http://wp.me/p4aYOX-2j. A lot has happened in that year; we dropped the Cotter and are now fully established as ZGF, the Canadian branch of the Number One Architectural firm in America.
As a design firm, ZGF believes in utilizing technology research to help better the design. As the year has progressed I’ve discovered what that phrase actually means to the firm. I’ve heard people say “don’t get in the designer’s way.” I didn’t really understand this phrase from my perspective of process and support. I am not an architect and I do not design amazing buildings or come up with incredible solutions for a client’s building; I do not want to. My job is to support those that do.
What I love is to work with process. I believe that technology can be leveraged to give designers more time to focus on what *they* really want to do and do well. I believe creating standards for content and materials enables users to focus on design and forget about the technology behind the output. When I hear the phrase “stay out of the way”, I now understand it’s about streamlining the process so you can keep the technology out of the way.
This past year has been a period of learning and growth to discover the best ways to help my designer-colleagues use BIM technology. To date my job as Design Technology Manager has followed these three phases:
Phase One: Understand what currently is used to help the designer tell a story for the project.
- Are there specific types of software that are used?
- What is the workflow during the design process?
- How does that differ from project to project?
- When is the design process at a point for documentation?
- Does design ever stop?
- Learn how to link software together so the design intent and work remains intact.
- Work with colleagues to identify where information management can be automated and streamline workflow.
- Review different project types to make sure that universally applied processes still apply.
- Create templates to assist team with process documentation
- Ensure that technology process allows for updates and changes along the project timeline.
Phase three: Setup a BIM Implementation plan for the Vancouver office and focus on making it succeed.
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