Shoegnome http://www.shoegnome.com Being an Architect in the 21st Century Ain't Easy Wed, 28 Jan 2015 07:06:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1 ArchiCAD Basics: Undo and Redo http://www.shoegnome.com/2015/01/27/archicad-basics-undo-redo/ http://www.shoegnome.com/2015/01/27/archicad-basics-undo-redo/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 07:06:20 +0000 http://www.shoegnome.com/?p=2521 In this blog post I convince you to watch an (almost) 11 minute video on the Undo and Redo commands in ArchiCAD by talking to you about time travel.

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The Undo and Redo commands are time travel. Here are the rules:
  1. You can travel back in time, one increment at a time to a finite distance in the past.
  2. You can travel forwards and backwards along your timeline from the present to that finite distance in the past.
  3. You can not travel to the future, just the point where your time travel journey began.
  4. If you change history, you can still travel further back in time (to the same finite distance), but the point you altered becomes the new present.
  5. At any point you can take a portion of reality out of time and store it in an extra-dimensional space for later retrieval. As long as you have no other affect on history, you can still travel freely forwards and backwards in time.

Time Travel Diagram (new)I know what you are thinking. Undo and Redo? Seriously, you wrote a blog post on the commands that are in literally every computer program used to create anything, ever? Who doesn’t know how to use Undo and Redo? Sure. You know the keyboard shortcuts. You know the basics. But have you ever really thought about Undo and Redo? Are you embracing how these two stupidly simple features can make you work faster and help ArchiCAD become invisible? I have. And I want you to as well. If we want our digital tools to truly outperform our legacy analog tools in every way, then we need to seriously and consciously investigate all aspects of these modern methods. And that means turning a critical eye to even the simplest of commands and tools within our chosen programs.

Below is a nearly eleven minute video where I do my best to only talk about the features of Undo and Redo. It’s worth your time, if you really listen and watch what’s going on. I’ve been using the tricks I describe for years, but after actually spending the time to dissect what we can with Undo and Redo, I noticed my use of these commands becoming even more sophisticated and nuanced. Enough. You’re either up for watching this video or already think I’m crazy (or both).

Notes:

  1. Anything shown in this video can be done with any combination of elements—2D or 3D.
  2. Anything shown in this video can be done in any view—plan, section, elevation, 2D window, 3D window, Layout, etc.
  3. For more, check out Undo on the Graphisoft Help Center. That link will cover some other nuts and bolts that are worth knowing, especially as you dig deeper into the power of Undo/Redo.
  4. I’m using an old version of the Shoegnome Open Template in the video. If you haven’t already downloaded it, please do.
  5. This is the second official video in my ArchiCAD Basics series. Here’s a link to the first one: Align and Distribute.

Subscribe to my blog to read more about the tricky world of being an Architect in the 21st century: Shoegnome on FacebookTwitter, and RSS feed. And because I want this written somewhere in this blog post…

Undo = Select

Undo then Redo = Select

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Urban Strategies Inc. Wins Prestigious Awards for Innovative Designs http://www.shoegnome.com/2015/01/26/urban-strategies-urban-design-with-archicad/ http://www.shoegnome.com/2015/01/26/urban-strategies-urban-design-with-archicad/#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 15:31:04 +0000 http://www.shoegnome.com/?p=2518 Urban Strategies, a GRAPHISOFT client based in Toronto, Ontario, has won a number of prestigious awards for recent urban design work done using ArchiCAD.

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BUDAPEST, January 26, 2015 – GRAPHISOFT®, the leading Building Information Modeling (BIM) architectural software developer, is pleased to announce that Urban Strategies, a GRAPHISOFT client based in Toronto, Ontario, has won a number of prestigious awards for work recently completed in Singapore, all designed using ArchiCAD.

urban-strategies-wins-awards-for-innovative-designs-punggol Punggol (Singapore)

Punggol, the sustainable waterfront town in the tropics, earned Urban Strategies an award in the 2014 Waterfront Center Excellence on the Waterfront Awards in the Waterfront Plans category. Innovations in urban design, tropical building typologies and conservation were integral to achieving the vision for this 957 ha. area – a sustainable framework of mixed-use districts with a special emphasis on diversity, flexibility and quality of life. The close integration of nature and water within an urban living concept are key elements of this tropical garden city. In close collaboration with Singapore’s Housing and Development Board, Urban Strategies led a multi-disciplinary team which included Buro Happold along with Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg.

Urban Strategies was also recognized for its work on the Bidadari Estate Master Plan at the 14th Singapore Institute of Architects Architectural Design Awards, in the Special Categories category. Their plan for this 93 ha. property, a former cemetery site located in Singapore’s central region, envisions a “Community in a Garden” featuring a generously landscaped setting, 12,000 residential units, community and commercial uses clustered around subway stations with a large regional park and numerous greenway park connectors. In close collaboration with Singapore’s Housing and Development Board, Urban Strategies led the plan with MKPL Architects, along with ARUP.

urban-strategies-wins-awards-for-innovative-designs-bidadari Bidadari Estate (Singapore)

“ArchiCAD enables us to balance between the ‘pragmatic and poetic’ requirements in our work: Seamlessly developing our designs with the level of accuracy and immediate feedback our clients expect, while creating visually engaging imagery and graphics, which bring our work into the best light,“ said Michel Trocmé, Partner, Urban Strategies Inc.

About Urban Strategies Inc.

Urban Strategies Inc. is a Toronto-based planning and urban design firm offering services to public and private clients in North America, Europe, Asia and the Caribbean. What started as a small partnership in 1986 has grown over three decades, into a firm with 60 staff and an award-winning international portfolio.

About GRAPHISOFT

GRAPHISOFT® ignited the BIM revolution in 1984 with ArchiCAD®, the industry-first BIM software for architects. GRAPHISOFT continues to lead the industry with innovative solutions such as its revolutionary BIMcloud®, the world’s first real-time BIM collaboration environment, EcoDesigner™, the world’s first fully BIM-integrated “GREEN” design solution and BIMx®, the world’s leading mobile app for BIM visualization. GRAPHISOFT has been a part of the Nemetschek Group since its acquisition in 2007. Visit archicad.com to see the most important milestones in ArchiCAD’s 30-year history.

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GRAPHISOFT Acquires Cigraph Distribution Unit in Italy http://www.shoegnome.com/2015/01/22/graphisoft-acquires-cigraph-distribution-unit-italy/ http://www.shoegnome.com/2015/01/22/graphisoft-acquires-cigraph-distribution-unit-italy/#comments Thu, 22 Jan 2015 18:42:45 +0000 http://www.shoegnome.com/?p=2513 Most of Cigraph joins GRAPHISOFT. If I understand things correctly, Archisuite will still be developed by the part of Cigraph that remains independent.

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cigraph-logoBUDAPEST, January 22, 2015 – GRAPHISOFT, the global leader in Building Information Modeling (BIM) solutions for architects, announced today that it has acquired the ArchiCAD and Artlantis distribution unit of Cigraph, its first distributor partner in Italy, as part of a strategic market development plan in Europe. As a result of this acquisition, GRAPHISOFT opened its Italian office on January 15, 2015.

GRAPHISOFT and Cigraph have agreed that GRAPHISOFT Italy will take on most of Cigraph’s employees in its newly-formed Italian office. GRAPHISOFT Italy will continue to sell all GRAPHISOFT products with the current Italian ArchiCAD reseller partners, and will offer SSA services directly to customers located in Italy. Cigraph will continue operations from its current location.

Cigraph’s partnership with GRAPHISOFT dates back to 1984. With over 30 years of deep product and market knowledge in Italy, Cigraph will now focus on two core business activities:

1) Research on ArchiCAD and Artlantis training methods and services offered to the Italian market, and

2) Continued development of ArchiSuite, which will be expanded to include more vertical problem solutions than before.

“With this acquisition, we intend to accelerate our business growth in one of Europe’s most dynamic architectural markets,” said Andras Haidekker, GRAPHISOFT’s Vice President for EMEA-Pacific.

“We are excited about this new phase in Cigraph’s history, and look forward to continuing our efforts to grow the ArchiCAD market in Italy through expanded training and research opportunities,” said Istvan Toth, President of Cigraph.

About Cigraph

Cigraph Group has been operating in Italy for over 30 years in the IT arena and was one of the first Italian producers of architectural CAD software for design studios of all sizes and types. Since its establishment, Cigraph has specialized in computer-aided design, with a focus on the building industry; its products are designed mainly for Engineers, Architects, Surveyors and Designers. Cigraph’s ability to develop and offer software packages that are easy to use and understand led to the fast and consistent distribution of its tools in Italy as well as in the rest of Europe and America.

About GRAPHISOFT

GRAPHISOFT® ignited the BIM revolution in 1984 with ArchiCAD®, the industry-first BIM software for architects. GRAPHISOFT continues to lead the industry with innovative solutions such as its revolutionary BIMcloud®, the world’s first real-time BIM collaboration environment, EcoDesigner™, the world’s first fully BIM-integrated “GREEN” design solution and BIMx®, the world’s leading mobile app for BIM visualization. GRAPHISOFT has been a part of the Nemetschek Group since its acquisition in 2007. Visit archicad.com to see the most important milestones in ArchiCAD’s 30-year history.

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ArchiCAD Basics: Align and Distribute http://www.shoegnome.com/2015/01/21/archicad-basics-align-distribute/ http://www.shoegnome.com/2015/01/21/archicad-basics-align-distribute/#comments Wed, 21 Jan 2015 19:46:58 +0000 http://www.shoegnome.com/?p=2509 Align and Distribute are nothing new and I'm sure these commands are rarely (if ever) on anyone's Top 10 Most Important ArchiCAD Features list. But they are still quite valuable. Let me explain why, plus show you some basics in the accompanying video.

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Align and Distribute in ArchiCADAlign and Distribute are nothing new and I’m sure these commands are rarely (if ever) on anyone’s Top 10 Most Important ArchiCAD Features list. They were added to ArchiCAD back in 2008 with the release of ArchiCAD 12, which means—for anyone who skipped that version or started after ArchiCAD 12—these handy little commands might be overlooked. Align and Distribute, after all, aren’t glamorous and don’t scream BIM.

But…as we all endlessly explain the value of ArchiCAD and BIM to the rest of the world, it is important to remember the value of speed enhancements. To reach the full potential of BIM, not only do our tools need to get better, our relationship to them also needs to become invisible. So much of the subtly behind great architecture is the various alignments (and misalignments) of various elements. Anything that automates, enhances, or makes seamless the ability to create, recreate, and test alignments of elements is therefor wonderful. Thus it’s pretty easy to argue that there’s a direct line of value from simple command to advanced tool to improved design and client value.

ArchiCAD Basics: Align and Distribute

Notes:

  1. Anything shown in this video can be done with any combination of elements—2D or 3D.
  2. Anything shown in this video can be done in any view—plan, section, elevation, 2D window, 3D window, Layout, etc.
  3. There are other ways to align elements, like the Adjust command, but those are for another post or video.
  4. For a little more, check out Align and Distribute on the Graphisoft Help Center.
  5. I’m using the Shoegnome Open Template in the video. If you haven’t already downloaded it, please do.

Subscribe to my blog to read more about the tricky world of being an Architect in the 21st century: Shoegnome on FacebookTwitter, and RSS feed. What’s another topic you think I should cover? Tell me in the comments and I’ll try to record a video or write a post about it.

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ArchiCAD 17 Hotfix #8 http://www.shoegnome.com/2015/01/08/archicad-17-hotfix-8/ http://www.shoegnome.com/2015/01/08/archicad-17-hotfix-8/#comments Thu, 08 Jan 2015 18:08:59 +0000 http://www.shoegnome.com/?p=2505 ArchiCAD 17 Hotfix #8 was released yesterday. It includes various fixes plus additional compatibility with OS X 10.10 Yosemite.

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Archicad17_Featured_Image

ArchiCAD 17 Hotfix-8 package (build 8000) was released yesterday. You can read about all the details and download the hotfix (if your ArchiCAD isn’t set to automatically notify you) here. There are a whole host of updates, from BIMx fixes to speed improvements to crash fixes. Most importantly it includes various compatibility fixes for OS X 10.10 Yosemite, such as:

  • 180356  BIMx/CRASH: BIMx doesn’t crash any more at startup on MAC OSX 10.10
  • 181757-182044  CRASH: ArchiCAD could crash on startup on MAC OS 10.10 Yosemite

If this Hotfix doesn’t resolve any lingering ArchiCAD 17 + MAC OSX 10.10 Yosemite issues you have, check the Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite page on the Help Center for additional answers. And just as importantly, make sure to report any issues back to Graphisoft. The clock is ticking, as once ArchiCAD 19 and especially OSX 10.11 arrive, ArchiCAD 17 will probably get no more love. For more on ArchiCAD compatibility with the never-ending cycle of new OS, click here.

 

Remember to update everyone using Teamwork 2 (including the BIM Server) at the same time. And don’t forget that the hotfix applies to ArchiCAD, BIM Server and all other components: BIM Server Manager, BIMx, MEP Modeler and all GRAPHISOFT-distributed Add-Ons and Goodies. It applies to all (Commercial, Educational and Trial) license types.

Make sure to follow Shoegnome on Facebook and Twitter. If you’re not a social media person, the RSS feed is also a great way to never miss anything either.

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Your LEGO Gender Bias is Backwards http://www.shoegnome.com/2015/01/05/lego-gender-bias-is-backwards/ http://www.shoegnome.com/2015/01/05/lego-gender-bias-is-backwards/#comments Mon, 05 Jan 2015 21:59:08 +0000 http://www.shoegnome.com/?p=2496 There's a lot of talk about LEGO gender bias. I'm not sure I have too much else to add to the topic, but I'm asked about this constantly, so here goes...

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I grew up loving LEGO and am now a practicing architect with two young daughters. That means I am constantly being asked about LEGO Friends—or being sent various commentary on it.

Heartlake Hot Air Balloon buildThere have been attempts at creating “girl” LEGO a number of times: in 1971, 1991, and 1997. Each of those was a failure. While the 1991-97 Paradisa sets probably failed due to poor marketing and crummy set design, the other attempts just didn’t seem to be compatible enough with the primary lines of LEGO. It was obvious that they were by LEGO but not of LEGO. In 2012, with the introduction of LEGO Friends, The Lego Group finally figured out how to bridge the gender gap. I think this will be a permanent addition to the world of LEGO. Or as permanent as any LEGO theme ever is. It’ll survive exactly because it fixes the previous failures. The sets are as good/varied/complex as any other LEGO theme geared at a similar age group, and the pieces integrate perfectly with all the other themes.

I think most people who condemn LEGO Friends haven’t actually been exposed to them. Growing up my brothers and I built endless LEGO cities—buried somewhere at my parents’ house is great photo documentation which would be perfect for this post. If we wanted to build the cities we built in the 1980s and early 1990s with current LEGO sets, as boys we’d have to get over our fears and buy sets with pink and purple—or exclusively buy extremely expensive Creator sets (which look amazing, but are beyond expensive). The LEGO City theme in 2015 is primarily various rescue groups (police, firefighters, swamp police, coast guard, arctic teams…) and a few construction trucks. Not the town sets we bought as children. Furthermore, we always wanted to build extensive natural landscapes (who doesn’t want a city with trees and terrain), but couldn’t because we lacked the right kind of pieces. LEGO Friends has all the solutions right now.

In many ways the LEGO Friends sets are more comparable to the types of town sets available in the 1980s. One only needs to look at the Holy Grail of 1980s LEGO town sets and its grotesque descendants to get a sense of this. The greatest and most iconic 1980s town set was Main Street. When my brothers and I built this, it always felt like the heart of the town. It was the center and everything else—police stations, hospitals, various high rises we designed, other shops—grew from it. In 2015, Main Street has two primary descendants: Town Square and Heartlake Shopping Mall. There’s something amazing about the evolution of these three sets. Main Street is a classic small town main street. Town Square has no sense of place. Heartlake Shopping Mall is clearly some sort of warm climate suburban fake town center. A LEGO person would live near Main Street, pass through Town Square, and spend the day at Heartlake Shopping Mall. If that isn’t a chilling reflection of how our culture has changed in the past thirty years, I’m not sure what is.

Town Square has some great aspects, but the whole seems lesser than the sum of its parts. Each bit seems like a worthwhile set, but together they don’t make anything special. The statue is killer. And the bus and crane are cool. But the buildings seem a bit lacking. Perhaps it is fitting that the theme is now LEGO City, not LEGO Town. The Town Square isn’t so much the center of a town, but just some random bits of a much larger, alienating city.

Heartlake Shopping Mall, while the ugliest of the three, is arguably the truer spiritual descendant of Main Street. The set feels like a unified whole. One could imagine actual engagement with the buildings or having all the pieces be the backdrop for some larger cultural event or city-life imaginative play. Interestingly many of the other LEGO Friends sets allow one to expand the New Urbanism suggested by Heartlake Shopping Mall. Combining Town Square with the other LEGO City sets would result in armies of police chasing bad guys into nearby swamps. Seriously. Perhaps an accurate reflection of modern society, but not one about creating the built environment. New Urbanism isn’t everyone’s favorite city-planning development (and LEGO choosing that over other ways to depict modern cities is a fascinating can of worms), but it does represent a reality that will be more understood by young LEGO builders than the tiny store front car dealership of long lost Main Street.

Steampunklake Hot Air Balloon

Of course the LEGO Friends sets aren’t perfect, but what LEGO sets these days are?

To condemn the current line of girl-focused LEGO Sets like this comic does, is to succumb to the very bias it’s trying to over come. Too many people railing against these girl themed sets make a fatal mistake in the quest for equality: assuming that some LEGO sets are worse because they are “girly”, that LEGO doesn’t need to evolve, that there is an appropriate version of LEGO and a bastardized version that attempts to cater to some ‘other’. LEGO are great for every child, regardless of gender. But that also means LEGO should be available in all varieties and colors. If it’s okay to have extreme boy sets, then overtly girly ones are okay too. We need pink and purple bricks as much as we need blue and yellow ones. If a box of pastel LEGO bricks gets a new group of children interested in LEGO, that’s fantastic. Having sets with more animals and things like vet clinics, jungle rescue centers, and princesses is great. It adds diversity and they are more appealing to some kids than others. Just like not every girl growing up is into pets and princesses and pink, many are. And that’s okay. Many now enjoy LEGO more because there are choices for them.

Look back at Heartlake Shopping Mall and Town Square. Girls have the opportunity to imagine what a DJ would do. Boys on the other hand can drive a bus. We can pick apart all the horrible gender stereotyping in each set and across LEGO as a whole (there’s a ton), but there’s also hints of much more progressiveness in the LEGO Friends sets than the other ones. It seems a safe bet that the set that replaces Heartlake Shopping Mall in a few years will be a better all around set that maintains the spirit of Main Street (each year of LEGO Friends sets appears to be getting less stereotypical and of higher quality). The Town Square of a few years hence will probably devolve into police and firemen at a construction site.

This article is fabulous and covers the arguments surrounding LEGO Friends extremely well (plus it discusses on the overall genderization of LEGO throughout the years). If the evolution of LEGO and its relationship to gender is of any interest to you, then the article by is a must read (I’m all on board for his final recommendations, well points 2, 3 ,4, & 6). And please read his follow up post that compares LEGO Friends to Mega Bloks Barbie. In the second article he shows how much the theme evolved in its first year, among other interesting observations. I will say I have one issue with his analysis, which revolves around the primacy of the minifigure. Claiming the LEGO Friends minidoll is un-LEGO and should be banished because it is different and dilutes the brand feels a bit like the classic lament about MTV not playing videos anymore (FYI, that link goes to an amazing video that breaks down the MTV argument for you—a must watch). Sure the minidolls are different, but so is the Hulk, the LEGO kids, and all the other weird figures that show up in many of the other themes. Furthermore we are just leaving the first generation of minidoll sets, so I expect a deepening integration as there become more and more of them. One minidoll is an oddity. A hundred is an opportunity.

Your LEGO Gender Bias is Backwards

The real issue with girl focused LEGO themes is that the LEGO Friends sets are segregated and thus less attainable to boys. There’s no stigma for my girls. We can have (and do have) Batman playing with Cinderella. Or a castle with a puppy, a ghost, a spacemen, and a mix of every color in the rainbow. My girls can go to the store and buy any LEGO set they want. It can be girly, boyish, or gender neutral. They have all the choices. They can explore the life of a LEGO DJ or have a spaceman drive a bus full of princesses. It’s parents of boys who have it tougher. Will parents of boys steer their kids away from sets with pink? Or sets with minidolls instead of minifigs? Is the minidoll of LEGO Friends bad because it breaks tradition, because it is an affront to your nostalgia, or because it is harder for boys to accept? That’s a problem.

The Lego Group shouldn’t make the LEGO Friends sets less stereotypically girly or banish the minidoll so that boys feel more comfortable using them; we should raise our boys to be comfortable wanting a set with animals, pastels, and non-traditional LEGO people. Yes, we live in a world of highly segregated LEGO. But it’s not that the girl LEGO options are worse than the boys’. They are just different. Both are sadly one dimensional. And that is bad. But since 2012, the options for girls are at least getting less one-dimensional and less stereotypical.

There have been and will continue to be missteps in the evolution of LEGO, but the general trend is very positive. The LEGO of 2015 is not the LEGO of 1988. LEGO is evolving and growing and becoming more inclusive. The sets connected to the LEGO Movie are a great sign. And The Lego Group clearly is moving in interesting directions with Elves. Old castle sets plus those forthcoming 2015 sets would make for some awesome creativity…

We can help and embrace this development by growing a bit ourselves. We can walk down the wrong colored aisle at the toy store. We can buy our kids the “wrong” LEGO set. Then we can think about why it’s so much easier for me to buy my daughters the Mos Eisley Cantina LEGO set than it is for someone else to buy their sons the Heartlake Lighthouse or Heartlake Hot Air Balloon.

LEGO availability by gender

If you suddenly have the urge to buy some LEGO sets, here’s a handy-dandy amazon.com link for you. Or if you want more about LEGO, gender, and architecture in 2015, you’ll probably want to follow Shoegnome on FacebookTwitter, and the RSS feed. For my hardcore base of readers, don’t worry: I’ve got so many ArchiCAD thoughts that I’m actually a little worried that Shoegnome could revert to an ArchiCAD blog. But nobody worry. Shoegnome in 2015 is going to be a mishmash of awesomeness that combines and extends everything that has been on the blog since 2010. I’ll do my best to break all my old rules.

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The BIM Brothers — Added Value http://www.shoegnome.com/2014/12/19/bim-brothers-added-value/ http://www.shoegnome.com/2014/12/19/bim-brothers-added-value/#comments Fri, 19 Dec 2014 21:39:25 +0000 http://www.shoegnome.com/?p=2488 BEST. BIM. VIDEO. OF ALL TIME. Need I say more?

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BIM BrothersThis is the best BIM-themed music video and/or best architectural software sales video of all time.

BEST. BIM. VIDEO.

OF ALL TIME!

Listen closely to the lyrics. The guys who made this video (more on them in a moment) clearly know ArchiCAD and just crammed this video full of ArchiCAD advice, Graphisoft history, and BIM tips. It’s just insane. But wait, it gets better. If you are an ArchiCAD user in North America and you’ve been to user groups or conferences or other events where Graphisoft shows up, you might recognize the BIM Brothers: Zoltan and Charlie. Seriously, the two guys in this video are the New York City based tech support and sales team for Graphisoft North America. How nuts is that? Bonus fun facts: that’s definitely them singing plus Zoltan is also a great guitarist, so I’m positive you’re actually hearing him play the guitar as well. What?! Yeah, this video just left me speechless the first time I saw it. Clearly this is Graphisoft’s end of the year gift to all of us.

Can you believe what you just watched? I’m still not sure I can.

Anyways…if you haven’t already, sign up for the Graphisoft BIM Conference happening in Las Vegas on March 11-13, 2015. Charlie and Zoltan will be there for sure. Maybe we’ll get them to do a live performance.

Oh and of course, I’ll be at the 2015 Graphisoft BIM Conference. In fact right now I’m putting the finishing touches on the descriptions of the two sessions I’ll be running: a user panel jammed full of power users talking about how they are pushing the limits of ArchiCAD for residential design and a lecture on Beauty and BIM. I’ll tell you more about both in January.

Finally: I think this is the last new post for me for 2014. Enjoy the ridiculous video above, share it around, and just bask in its awesomeness. I say this every year, but it’s always true: this year has been great for Shoegnome and it’s been such a pleasure to help uplift the ArchiCAD, BIM, and Architecture communities. Thank you all for your encouragement, support, and general wonderfulness. I’ll hopefully be resharing some of my favorite posts from the year between now and December 31st. And then come January, lots of news, lots of excitement, a bit of reflecting on 2014 (maybe), and oh so much more. If half of what I have planned for 2015 happens and a quarter of what I know others are planning for 2015 happens, then the coming year is going to be the best year ever for Shoegnome, ArchiCAD, and BIM. That is until 2016 crushes 2015…I’m forever an optimist.

Make sure to follow Shoegnome on Facebook and Twitter. If you’re not a social media person, RSS feed is also a great way to never miss anything either. There’s so much happening in the next 12 months, that you’re going to want to hear about. But I can’t tell you today…because spoilers.

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GRAPHISOFT Partners with buildingSMART Korea to Foster National BIM Standards http://www.shoegnome.com/2014/12/18/graphisoft-partners-with-buildingsmart-korea/ http://www.shoegnome.com/2014/12/18/graphisoft-partners-with-buildingsmart-korea/#comments Thu, 18 Dec 2014 19:35:34 +0000 http://www.shoegnome.com/?p=2486 GRAPHISOFT has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with buildingSMART Korea to develop BIM efforts in Korea.

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BUDAPEST, December 18, 2014 – GRAPHISOFT®, the leading Building Information Modeling (BIM) architectural software developer, has announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with buildingSMART Korea, to assist in the development of the “Open BIM-based Building Design Standard and IT-Infrastructure Construction” efforts in Korea.

The agreement between the parties covers areas including technical collaboration, collaboration on developing and disseminating the Korean BIM standard, and technical support for ArchiCAD users in Korea. As part of the agreement, GRAPHISOFT and buildingSMART Korea will discuss and exchange technical information and advice relevant to the development of ArchiCAD library objects for Korea.

Korea’s interest in introducing BIM to both the public and private sectors dates back several years and the country is now in a good position to establish new, fundamental standards for BIM information integration.

“Working together with buildingSMART Korea will ensure that BIM knowledge continues to grow throughout the country,” said Bence Kovacs, Vice President, GRAPHISOFT Asia. “We look forward to a relationship based on a mutual understanding of and respect for what BIM can do for the AEC industry,” he continued.

Pilhoon Lee, buildingSMART Korea’s chairman, said “We are proud to be working with GRAPHISOFT, the company that invented BIM with its Virtual Building concept back in 1994. We are also committed to ensuring that the standards are firmly rooted in OPEN BIM.”

Currently, buildingSMART Korea is leading a government R&D project regarding the development of the Korea BIM Standard (KBIMS). During the first phase of this project, which should last three years, there will be approximately 3,000 common prototypical library elements developed. The library objects, integrated into a federated BIM model, will include content regarding material, unit cost, standardized details, etc. to facilitate the processing of the information contained therein for multiple purposes, with the overall aim of improving productivity and competitiveness in the Architectural, Engineering & Construction industry in Korea.

Building Smart Korea and GraphisoftAbout buildingSMART Korea

buildingSMART Korea is the regional alliance of buildingSMART International and was established in 1998. Its membership consists of 20 special member companies, 151 general companies, 20 universities and 3,676 individuals as January 2014. buildingSMART KOREA aims to research the technologies of Building Information Modelling (BIM) and hi-tech construction IT; develop and promote open BIM-based policies, regulations and practices, together with their application and dissemination in the Korean Architectural, Engineering and Construction industry, whilst contributing to the development and improvement of the public welfare of the international construction industry through participation in related international activities.

About GRAPHISOFT

GRAPHISOFT® ignited the BIM revolution in 1984 with ArchiCAD®, the industry-first BIM software for architects. GRAPHISOFT continues to lead the industry with innovative solutions such as its revolutionary BIMcloud®, the world’s first real-time BIM collaboration environment, EcoDesigner™, the world’s first fully BIM-integrated “GREEN” design solution and BIMx®, the world’s leading mobile app for BIM visualization. GRAPHISOFT has been a part of the Nemetschek Group since its acquisition in 2007. Visit archicad.com to see the most important milestones in ArchiCAD’s 30-year history.

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Husband, Mom and Architect http://www.shoegnome.com/2014/12/11/husband-mom-architect/ http://www.shoegnome.com/2014/12/11/husband-mom-architect/#comments Thu, 11 Dec 2014 22:02:09 +0000 http://www.shoegnome.com/?p=2480 What's it like being both a dad and an architect? I'm not really sure. But I do know what it's like to be a husband, mom and architect.

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When I eventually get back to writing a book based on all my blogging since 2010 (which as you read on you’ll know isn’t happening anytime soon), this post will absolutely get expanded ten-fold into its own chapter.

A rare picture of jaredAs with so many wonderful initiatives to improve the lives of architects, The Missing 32% came out of AIA San Francisco. If you aren’t familiar with their research, goals, etc., here’s their mission statement:

The Missing 32% Project is a call to action for both women and men to help realize the goal of equitable practice to advance architecture, sustain the profession and communicate the value of design to society. Our mission is to understand the pinch points and promote the strategic execution of best practices in the recruitment, retention, and promotion of our profession’s best talent at every level of architectural practice.

This week on their blog they launched a series featuring #Archimom stories: the adventures of architecting and parenting. Good friend and Shoegnome guest blogger, Alicia Liebel Berg has already shared her story of impending archimomhood, along with a growing list of others. From the moment I saw the first tweet about this, I knew I had to share my experiences. Because while I have never explicitly stated this, behind everything I do with Shoegnome is the bizarrely 21st Century truth that I am a husband to an incredible and successful woman, a mom to two wacky and precocious daughters, and also an architect.

My wife will always be my daughters’ mommy, and yes they call her mom and me dad, but when explaining to people what my life is like, when chatting with other parents waiting to pick up the kids at school, or when I can’t be in meetings from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm on a regular basis or all that other stuff, I don’t tiptoe around the topic. I don’t say Mr. mom or anything like that. I just say I’m the mom. I do the majority of the mom stuff. When there are a group of parents chatting about life’s challenges or the balancing act, I always have much more in common with working mothers than with typical working fathers. Sometimes I say I’m the primary caregiver or the home parent or something like that. But you know what is more clear? Saying I’m the mom.

How the Great Recession made me an #archimom

Our oldest daughter was born in 2009 when I was in the middle of taking my Architecture Registration Exams. The plan was to finish them all before she was born. That didn’t happen (for more details on that adventure and my general ARE advice, here’s the post). In an effort to reach that goal however, around Thanksgiving 2008 I cut back my hours at work from 40 to 36 (which was the minimum required at my job) so that I would have more time to study. Work was already slowing down and I had a plan: one test a month, maybe more by the end. After Madeleine was born I finished up my tests and kept my hours slightly reduced so that I could spend time with my daughter and be available to help my wife who was home on maternity leave. Then the recession really hit and reduced hours became the norm across the whole firm I was working at. Between November 2008 and February 2012 when I left that job to do Shoegnome full time, I worked maybe a dozen forty hour weeks. Maybe. I think it was less. I definitely worked more twenty hour weeks. But that was okay. In 2010 I started my side business and in 2011, my wife and I had daughter number 2. With two daughters and Shoegnome, there were plenty of things to keep me occupied outside of wanting a typical 9 to 5 job.

While I spent four years experiencing the doldrums of being an architect during the worst time to be an architect in living memory, my wife was climbing the ranks of a more standard non-architecture company, gaining experience and responsibility. While my career was treading water, hers was rocketing. It naturally evolved that when a daughter was sick or daycare was closed for a day, I was the one available to drop everything and head home. This of course was not just because of the recession but because in general architecture is a field where one often spends longer as a grunt than elsewhere. So while my wife was the manager of a team, I was an architect being treated like an intern—no running meetings or projects for me. I was always in a position where I didn’t NEED to be in that meeting.

In 2011 my wife quit her day job to get her MBA and a few months later I did this. With my wife in school and then back in the corporate world, her time became even more rigid. Meanwhile running my own company, mine became more flexible. Once my wife got her MBA, it was a no brainer that supporting her career and her more dad-like path would be the best way to create the environment we wanted for our daughters. The deeper logic to all that deserves a post unto itself, if people are interested. Side note: I am extremely proud that my daughters will grow up in a household where they have some very non-traditional role models.

Of course the architect stays home

Architects are under-appreciated, ill-paid, and not very good at sharing: we fear the usurper more than anything. It’s not surprising at all that, given the choice between being treated like shit for little money while fighting for a pale vision of their architecture student dreams and spending more time with family, so many women choose to leave the profession—or at least go part time. I think more men would too, if they had the courage. But most don’t.

My personal journey is all about balance. Maybe in another decade, I’ll be the dad again and my wife will take over more mom stuff, maybe. In our almost twelve years of marriage we’ve each taken (multiple) turns at having the stable job and the risky job. So I would wager we’ll do more bizarre job switches in the future (again that is a great future post). Growing my business is a slow game. I do my best to remind myself that family comes first (sometimes I fail). So many great architects didn’t hit their stride until late in life. I’ve got time. My wife has a nice, stable job. We’re fortunate in that regard. I do the majority of the cooking and she pays the bills because that’s what works today. But we both can do either. And that’s what I want to see come out of the #archimom hashtag. If every architect who is a parent can’t choose which roll they want, mom or dad, then we aren’t there yet. If every architect parent doesn’t understand and appreciate this balance, then we aren’t there yet. If each couple with at least one architect spouse is still making the decision of who is the mom based on gender, then we aren’t there yet. Because until then we’ll still have bosses that unload all the parenting on their wives and who won’t get that sometimes business needs to stop at 3:10 or 3:40. That lacking compassion for every employee who wants to take as much time as they can with a newborn makes you a jerk. That saying “no, I’ve got family responsibilities, we’ll finish this tomorrow” doesn’t mean one isn’t dedicated, passionate and determined to change the world. After all, if we don’t make the world a better place for our kids, then we haven’t been trying hard enough. And if we are not making a difference, then why are we even wasting our time, working for less than we could, always being tired, and not having enough time with our families.

Clearly I could write so much more on this topic. The missing 32% is just as much about gender inequality as it is about the shifting nature of our profession. I’d like to link to some posts that prove that point (because I haven’t made that argument thus far in this article), but I might as well just link to this. The more we embrace new methods of working and collaboration, the more we embrace technology, the more we re-imagine the role of the architect, the easier it will become to be a mom and an architect—and the sooner we can say parent and architect and have everyone understand that to mean the same thing. I can run Shoegnome, make a decent living, and be around for my daughters because of technology. BIM allows me to be a mom. ArchiCAD allows me to be a mom. Social Media and online networking allow me to be a mom. Shoegnome isn’t just about the intersection of architecture and technology, it’s also the intersection of being a parent and an architect.
 Unnecessary Cuteness

A Day in the Life of Shoegnome

BONUS ROUND! Because I’m sure you want to know what my #archimom day looks like…

Every morning my day starts between 5:30 and 6:30 am when one (or both) of my daughters climbs into bed and wakes up my wife and I. By 7:00 am my wife is out the door, heading off to catch the bus to downtown Seattle for work. At 9:30 am, when I’m walking home from dropping my daughters off at school, I’ve maybe checked a few e-mails and sneaked a little work, but mostly I’ve already clocked in two to three hours of parenting. PRO TIP: conference calls and similar phone meetings can be managed while serving breakfast and making lunches, if the kids are in a decent or good mood. At 3:00 pm, I try to wrap up anything I’m doing because at 3:10 pm my phone alarm goes off and I have five minutes to speed walk the two blocks to get my youngest at pre-K. After I pick her up—if it’s not raining—she plays on the playground with the other kids waiting for their older siblings to finish school at 3:40 pm. I make phone calls, check e-mail, maybe read The Economist, or chat with the other moms. Sometimes I just watch the handful of nannies engage with all the kids. PRO TIP: how do you tell who’s a nanny and who’s a parent on the playground? The nannies are playing with the kids, the parents are trying to get a moment of solitude. Around 4:00 pm, my daughters and I are back home. If there’s a lot going on, I’ll squeeze in another hour of work before getting on the dinner/homework/bath/reading/other nightly activities before bedtime train. My wife will get home between 5:00 and 6:00 pm and depending on our tiredness levels, one of us might fall asleep, crash, or hide for a bit. Somewhere between 8:00 and 9:00 pm we’ll have two sleeping angels. Between then and sleep (which is anywhere between the second our oldest is in bed and midnight) I might work more, write, pretend to relax or actually interact with my spouse. But often it’s just laze about on the couch until I realize the night is almost over and I should get ready to be woken up between 5:30 and 6:30 am when one (or both) of my daughters climbs into bed…

Some days are good, some days are bad. Some days I think I did a good job parenting, other days I remind myself that this is a marathon and nobody’s perfect. And then some days I need this diagram to make me calm down and laugh.

For more adventures in being a guy, mom and architect: Shoegnome on FacebookTwitter, and the RSS feed.

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Modeling and Rendering a TIE Fighter in ArchiCAD http://www.shoegnome.com/2014/12/09/modeling-rendering-tie-fighter-archicad/ http://www.shoegnome.com/2014/12/09/modeling-rendering-tie-fighter-archicad/#comments Tue, 09 Dec 2014 18:54:37 +0000 http://www.shoegnome.com/?p=2478 Graphisoft has a history of modeling and rendering all sorts of buildings in ArchiCAD. They are also big Star Wars fans...

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ArchiCAD 18 tie fighterBack in January of 2013, Graphisoft released a video showing how someone can model a Tie Fighter in ArchiCAD using the Morph Tool. You can watch the video here. Even after almost two years, this video still impresses the crap out of me. The link will send you to a blog post that also includes an extended version of the video. That one is worth watching too.

A few weeks after that video was released, I talked with the ArchiCAD wizard at GSHQ that modeled the TIE Fighter and he volunteered to share the files he used to create the model. So if you follow this link, you’ll get to a blog post I wrote talking about how you can model the TIE Fighter yourself. It’s a ton of fun and very educational. Plus you get to model a spaceship, which is just wonderful.

Modeling and Rendering a TIE Fighter in ArchiCAD

Well today (December 9th, 2014), Graphisoft has released another video in the series. This time they show how to render the TIE Fighter using the new ArchiCAD 18 CineRender rendering engine. There’s a nice article talking about the process here. But if you are impatient, you can just go ahead and watch the video below. The clip is only one minute and nineteen seconds long—clearly Graphisoft didn’t know when making a new Star Wars video that it is supposed to be eighty-eight seconds long. I’m hoping Graphisoft will soon release an extended version as well. There’s so much more I want to see, and I assume you’ll agree with me that you would sign up for a webinar series that goes through this step by step…

Maybe someday a subset of architects will design spaceships for a living; I guess some that work in Hollywood already do. I’m not one of them, but I’m sure I’ll write more about architecture and boyhood dreams of space: Shoegnome on FacebookTwitter, and the RSS feed.

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ARCHICON 2015 — ArchiCAD User Conference in Brisbane http://www.shoegnome.com/2014/12/05/archicon-2015-archicad-user-conference-brisbane/ http://www.shoegnome.com/2014/12/05/archicon-2015-archicad-user-conference-brisbane/#comments Fri, 05 Dec 2014 18:33:37 +0000 http://www.shoegnome.com/?p=2476 Archicon 2015 is a user organized ArchiCAD conference in Brisbane, Australia. I'm flying in from Seattle to speak at it.

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Archicon 2015Nathan Hildebrandt interviewed me as part of the promotion for Archicon 2015. Hopefully you’ll watch the video, even if you have no chance of attending an ArchiCAD conference in Australia. Not only will the video give you a better sense of what I’m like in person, I also talk about how my ArchiCAD adventure got started because of my interest in local user groups, how I am fascinated with Building Materials, why my talk will probably center around beauty (and how that can be very BIM-centric), and also why I am so adamant about sharing everything I possibly can.

I am super honored that Nathan has invited me down to speak at his event. Being asked to fly halfway around the world to speak about something I’m very passionate about is a pretty good feeling (understatement of the year). Additionally, I am thrilled to see both Nathan Hildebrandt and Rob Jackson present again (and hang out with them both some more).

Nathan has done a superb job of gathering a wide variety of experts. I think the spectrum of speakers Nathan has assembled should be used as a reference point for future ArchiCAD conference organizers. For instance, if you are familiar with Nathan, Rob, and myself, then you know each of us is going to give an extremely different presentation. And the rest of the group seems to have similarly unique views on how to conquer ArchiCAD and BIM.

Beyond all that that, being asked to speak at this event is particularly special. If you watch the interview above, Nathan and I talk about how in many ways this event is the result of the guest blog posts he wrote for me in early 2014. After those posts Nathan became very active and known in the larger global ArchiCAD community. A few months after those posts he was in Budapest presenting to a room full of Graphisoft employees and ArchiCAD power users. And now he’s organizing one of the most exciting ArchiCAD events of 2015. This is why I love doing what I do, and why I’m driven to continue doing what I do. When I started blogging, it was about getting myself known enough in the community to give my other endeavors some legitimacy. Now I blog to help uplift other voices in the community. There are so many other wonderful people in our community that are passionate about ArchiCAD, BIM, and the future of architecture—and I want to do everything I can to help them share.

If you are anywhere near Brisbane on May 22, 2015 you’ll want to be at Archicon 2015. And as should be obvious, while I’m in Australia my plan is to talk about ArchiCAD and BIM, see some sites, and meet as many ArchiCAD users as possible. Furthermore supporting this event will be a great signal to Nathan and others that we need more events like this in Australia and all over the globe.

For more information about Archicon 2015 and to buy a ticket, click here.


BONUS INTERVIEW!

So far Nathan has done two interviews with speakers. I think his plan is to interview all of us. Below is the interview with Rob Jackson. It is definitely worth watching as it gives more insight into how Rob got to where he is in the BIM world and where he and BondBryan are going next. Is it obvious I’m a huge fan of Rob? Because it should be.

I’m sure I’ll be writing a lot more about the intersection of BIM and Beauty between now and May 22nd, 2015. After all, writing is the way I prepare for lectures. Speaking of which, make sure to subscribe to my blog to keep up to date on my other lectures in 2015 and beyond: Shoegnome on FacebookTwitter, and the RSS feed.

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Takenaka Adopts GRAPHISOFT BIMx for Mobile Access to BIM Projects http://www.shoegnome.com/2014/12/03/takenaka-adopts-graphisoft-bimx-mobile-access-bim-projects/ http://www.shoegnome.com/2014/12/03/takenaka-adopts-graphisoft-bimx-mobile-access-bim-projects/#comments Wed, 03 Dec 2014 18:49:38 +0000 http://www.shoegnome.com/?p=2473 Takenaka Corporation will adopt BIMx to make the award-winning BIM project presentation app available to thousands of field technicians, further ensuring on-site construction quality and management efficiency. THOUSANDS of field technicians. THOUSANDS!?!?!?!

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BIMx_DocsTOKYO/BUDAPEST, December 3, 2014 – GRAPHISOFT®, the leading Building Information Modeling (BIM) architectural software developer, announced today that a large-scale purchase agreement has been finalized between GRAPHISOFT and Takenaka Corporation. The agreement will equip thousands of Takenaka field technicians with GRAPHISOFT BIMx Docs.

Takenaka Corporation will adopt BIMx to make the award-winning BIM project presentation app available to thousands of field technicians, further ensuring on-site construction quality and management efficiency. Development of “Takenaka Smart Work” will improve productivity and communications by revolutionizing workflows through the use of iPads and mobile devices. As a result of this agreement, Takenaka will be authorized to install and use GRAPHISOFT BIMx Docs on all Takenaka-owned tablet computers in Japan. With this agreement, Takenaka Corporation hopes to further develop the use of BIM in the field of design and construction.

“We adopted BIMx Docs as a tool to facilitate communication with models, as well as for reviewing models in conjunction with drawing smoothly in a mobile environment. We would like to promote the transformation of our work style by spreading the use of BIM models in various scenarios,” said Kozo Nose, Senior Manager of ICT, Design Planning, Design Department, Takenaka Corporation.

“Takenaka’s decision indicates that BIMx is on the way to becoming the mobile software of choice for the construction industry in Japan. We share a common vision: bringing BIM data to construction sites,” said Bence Kovacs, Vice President of Asia, GRAPHISOFT.

About Takenaka Corporation

With yearly sales of $9 billion, 20 overseas offices, the largest construction R&D laboratory in the world and over 1,000 architects in its design department, Takenaka Corporation offers comprehensive services worldwide across the entire spectrum of space creation from site location and planning to design and construction as well as post-completion services such as building maintenance.

About BIMx Docs

BIMx Docs is an award-winning, professional BIM project viewer featuring “BIMx Hyper-models,” a unique technology for integrated 2D and 3D building project navigation. BIMx Hyper-models offer extremely smooth handling and outstanding performance even for projects with complex 3D building models and extensive 2D documentation.

About GRAPHISOFT

GRAPHISOFT® ignited the BIM revolution in 1984 with ArchiCAD®, the industry-first BIM software for architects. GRAPHISOFT continues to lead the industry with innovative solutions such as its revolutionary BIMcloud®, the world’s first real-time BIM collaboration environment, EcoDesigner™, the world’s first fully BIM-integrated “GREEN” design solution and BIMx®, the world’s leading mobile app for BIM visualization. GRAPHISOFT has been a part of the Nemetschek Group since its acquisition in 2007. Visit archicad.com to see the most important milestones in ArchiCAD’s 30-year history.

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