I’m trying some new things on the blog, now that I have more time and more outlets for writing about ArchiCAD. So just like last week, I’m trying for 5 posts in 5 days. And to have them all within a theme. Here’s #1.
So of course I’m going to be horribly biased…. but here’s a few thoughts.
I think both ArchiCAD and Revit are easy programs to learn, but hard to master. HOWEVER… if you know one, learning the other will be easy IF you don’t try to make Program A act like Program B. Instead think “Okay, in Revit I could do thing X, so therefore I MUST be able to do something similar in ArchiCAD.” That’s a great mentality. If you say “I did this in Revit, therefore it must work the same way in ArchiCAD.” You will fail. Trying to make ArchiCAD act like Revit will drive you mad. And vise-verse. Use the knowledge of how BIM works and apply it elsewhere. Neither program is really harder. Just different.
Each program can help you work smarter as an architect. And that’s what I care about. Obviously I have my strong preference–this is not the time to explain all the reasons behind why I think you should be using ArchiCAD (if you aren’t). If ArchiCAD and Revit offer similar value, or if ArchiCAD is better for architects to use, why is one dominating the other? That’s a complex question, but it really comes down to this… Revit LOOKS more popular. Autodesk has a huge marketing team. They have done a good job convincing people that everyone else is using Revit and that if you don’t know it you’ll fall behind. That’s BULLSHIT. The only people who are going to fall behind are those that are not shifting to BIM and then continuing to learn and improve.
The market for ArchiCAD users in the USA is definitely smaller, but so is the pool of applicants. So I don’t think finding a job based on ArchiCAD knowledge is a hindrance. Now if you are in a position where you have your own firm or are independent and you’re just trying to find a program that is a good fit for you. If you’re not worried about the pressure to be marketable to Revit firms (which is a bullshit external pressure). Instead, if you want to find a program that is a good fit for your company or the place you work, etc. etc. then ArchiCAD is going to serve you very well. You will not be limited in your ability to design, produce, or collaborate. Our community is strong and growing. And there are more and more resources out there to help you learn and connect with others.
New Train of Thought
Another way I like to describe it is this: if you choose ArchiCAD you are standing up and saying ‘I’m going to forge my own path, be a leader.’ If you choose Revit, you’re saying ‘I’m going to play it safe and do my best to conform.’ Now in the real world, both those are honestly acceptable routes, but I know which statement I try to live my life by. When I first became the reseller (Agent technically) for Minnesota, I was chatting with a Revit reseller while on a field trip with the AIA Minnesota BIM Breakfast group. I told him I was the new ArchiCAD reseller and here was his response: “Oh ArchiCAD. That’s a great program. But no one ever got fired for choosing Revit”. His words have stuck with me. I love them. In no way was he saying one was better than the other, and I’m not about to get into that trap. He was just acknowledging that one was the safer choice. I’m tired of safe. Safe doesn’t cause jump shifts in evolution. Safe keeps you in a job you hate. Take a stand.
Okay, now that I’ve made everyone agree with me and abandon Autodesk products…
Remember it’s CAD vs BIM and dumb vs intelligent models, not ArchiCAD vs Revit that matters. Let’s all get to BIM then fight it out. Or better yet: get to BIM, embrace Open BIM, and let everyone use what suits them best. Then we can all focus on getting the jazz mindset and managing all our success. There’s still too many people that think flatcad plus a certain 3D modeling software that’s free/cheap is a good enough solution. Once you know how to use ArchiCAD or Revit or Vectorworks’ BIM capabilities, etc. whatever speed you think you have will be put into context. Three ranting pet peeves in less than a week. Ah well. Viva BIM.
and now the disclaimer: I don’t really have one, other than that I’m an architect who uses ArchiCAD for primarily residential work. If you don’t know that, read some more of my blog before you start flaming. It’ll help you get more ammo.