I don’t know why the two software packages are on my mind so much recently. Probably because of recent stories about people being scared or bullied into using a particular software, municipalities requiring a proprietary file type, clients demanding deliverables they don’t understand, out of work architects fearing that their employability is based too much on software knowledge, whatever…
So there are two archetypes for the Revit vs ArchiCAD debate. Or really for any of our architectural posturing.
Dora the Explorer
Swiper the Fox is always the bad guy. Even when Dora and Boots are taking blueberries from a bush that is at the entrance to Swiper the Fox’s house. Even there on his literal door step Dora and Boots yell at Swiper the Fox to not swipe the blueberries that they are picking from the bush that grows outside his freaking foxhole. Really? Swiper is the bad guy in that scenario? Come on. Dora and Boots, you are on his freaking property. I think they are his damn blueberries. YOU are the one swiping.
Yo Gabba Gabba
Everyone takes turns. Watch the Dress Up episode. In one skit Brobee is the bad guy and in the next he is the hero. How cool is that? Everyone takes turns. A way better lesson for my daughters. (spoiler alert: this is how I view all disagreements!)
Why am I talking about this?
Because there’s no value in demonizing one side. There’s too much work to do to waste energy on bickering. The future beckons. Let’s all work the best we can, learn from each other and find a way for multiple systems to succeed. What’s the value of a monoculture? Nothing. We’re all aware of how unsustainable monocultures are in the natural environment. You can’t tell me that the lack of diversity in nature is a bad thing and then say we should all work the same way, beholden to the same companies. No. Let’s embrace Open BIM. I’ll continue doing what I’m doing and hopefully keep helping others. You do the same. And then let’s find ways to collaborate.
So instead of saying I’m better than you, I’ll remember to say: here’s how my workflow and processes make me a better architect. In ArchiCAD we do things this way because it works and is a good way to produce great architecture. And here’s why. You do the same with your program/media of choice and let’s all get better. Focus on showing why what you do adds value. Deal? We’ve got enough problems.
Some Bonus Thoughts…
I wrote most of these ArchiCAD vs. Revit posts before reading Michael Graves’ Opinion piece in the New York Times and writing my response. I hope you can see that ArchiCAD vs. Revit is really just a foil for the greater issues in architecture of mine vs. yours, how I work vs. how you work, etc. And also if you feel I’m being hypocritical, that’s okay. I might walk right up to the line occasionally, but look at the bigger context; go back and reread some of those posts a little closer. Sure I sometimes say too much, but I’d rather take one step too far than one step too short. Like I’ve said elsewhere, if I’m playing it safe I’m probably not being honest enough, pushing hard enough or pressing far enough. And when I write, I write with love for the whole architecture community. Always. There’s plenty for all of us.
Both of the episodes mentioned above are available on Netflix, much to the joy of my daughter Madeleine. I do my best to steer her towards Yo Gabba Gabba and away from Dora the Explorer… but she’s not one to be controlled.