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The Principal Work Environment from Graphisoft North America

So this is part 2G. Like all those countless movie sequels, it’s time to change up the post titles and not highlight that this is the equivalent of 2007’s Land Before Time XIII: The Wisdom of Friends. Just call it Land Before Time: The Wisdom of Friends. There’s no need to see the original Land Before Time movie to appreciate this umpteenth sequel. By the way, I saw the original in the theaters in 1988 when I was 7 with Billy Overbaugh at the now long gone single screen movie theater in downtown Windsor, Connecticut. Likewise, the other Work Environment posts aren’t required reading to understand this one.

That unnecessary tangent aside, you CAN catch up on all the other Work Environment posts here.

Have you met Yanni yet?

If you’re a long-time ArchiCAD user in the United States, you’ve probably met or heard of Yanni Alexakis. If you’ve been to some recent trade shows or events around the Northeast, are a manufacturer looking to develop GDL objects, or interested in a number of other ArchiCAD related things, you’ve probably dealt with Yanni. He is a Product Manager at Graphisoft and is based in the Boston Area. We’ll talk about a few aspects of his role as a Product Manager in a moment.

I first met Yanni in November, 2011 at the AIA Minnesota Convention. But our history goes back much farther. Yanni used to live in Minnesota and was the reseller for our region for a number of years. I think there was maybe one reseller between him and I. And just like me, he became the reseller because he used ArchiCAD for years and loved the program. Passion first, a formal title and position second. Remember that. After leaving Minnesota, Yanni’s ArchiCAD journey continued and now he’s not just a long time user with tons of implementation experience, he’s also on ‘the other side’ making everyone’s ArchiCAD experience better. How is he improving the community?

Here’s one Example: BIMcomponents.com

We’ve all heard about BIMcomponents.com by now. Do a quick search for “Exit Sign”. Or just click here because I’ve already done the search for you. In a meeting with users in Boston, someone made a comment to Yanni that there was no exit sign on BIMcomponents.com. What did Yanni do? He went home and built one. No that’s not right. He went home and scripted one using GDL. And now we have a nice exit sign on BIMcomponents.com. How cool is that? I’ll tell you. Very cool. Read it again. Scripted in GDL. Now I don’t expect Yanni to spend all his free time making missing objects, but I think it’s such a great sign that one of the main faces of Graphisoft North America is so versed in ArchiCAD and up for a quick challenge.

Here’s Another Example: The Principal Work Environment

In one of last week’s posts, I mentioned that I had an example of why you’d need more than one Work Environment on a machine (other than for different monitor configurations). The reason? Bosses. After another discussion with some more users in the Boston area, Yanni created what is now dubbed The Principal Work Environment. Here’s a screen shot:

A clean, simple Work Environment great for when your boss needs to run ArchiCAD in a meetingNow THAT is a clean, simple Work Environment. This WE was developed for the boss that needs to handle the model in a meeting, or who wants to get into the model to look around (and maybe do some mark-ups). I could also see this WE as a great solution for the client who wants to load a demo version of ArchiCAD on their machine and explore the model (though that’s also what BIMx is for).

Let’s take a closer look at what is there. Menus are simplified down to the basics – file, view, window, and help. There’s only one tool bar with very basic buttons including arrow, marquee, camera, open, print, undo/redo, some measuring tools, trace and reference, mark up, and some teamwork options. The rest is pretty simple. Notably missing though is the toolbox. No need to distract the boss with tools he doesn’t know how to use or shouldn’t be using. I could see a Boss+ version in ArchiCAD 16 that just adds the morph tool to the toolbar.

Want to look closer at this Work Environment and learn more about all its intricacies? Want to load it up on your machines so your bosses can start using ArchiCAD in a safer, more comfortable manner? Well here it is!

From GRAPHISOFT North America, available in the public domain and open to customization:

Principals Profile 15

Click on the above link. Download it, customize it, use it, share it.

Thanks again to everyone who’s sent me their screen shots. I really appreciate it. And a huge thanks to Yanni and the team at GSNA for raising the bar on what this thread of posts can be.

I love seeing everyone’s Work Environments and sharing them on the blog. Haven’t shared your Work Environment? It’s not too late, I’ll keep posting as many as I get. Was there a Work Environment you’ve seen that you want for yourself? E-mail me and I’ll see if the original owner will share. I assume the answer will be yes.


  • July 7, 2012

    Ali Harin

    I am really interested in BIM and Archicad, now doing hard to upgrade my skills in this sector.
    The principal work environment is very amazing method and a good idea concerning collaboration in Archicad design.
    I would like to express my great appreciation for you and Yanni for this valuable work and I hope to participate with you in this sector for the sake of all Archicad users and the welfare of BIM World.
    Best Regards
    Eng. Ali Harin

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