RenRevitUPDATE: I’M TOLD that Renaissance Revit is a good book:

USING CAD for Classical Architecture is both logical and intelligent—but the image that prompted to write this brief post is ugly, so I put it after the jump, Now I won’t have to look at it every time I go to my blog.

In an interview in Architectural Record, the Chief Technology officer at AutoCAD said, “Instead of creating a form that the computer analyzes according to your criteria, as we do today, you would describe your criteria, and the computer would generate ideas and evaluate them. The computer would then present representative solutions, and you can dive further into these archetypes, change criteria, and add connections. We move from design as a process of dictating to one of discovery.”

A different approach with CAD is to start with hand sketches of Classical designs and elements—which allow intuition into the process in a way that CAD does not—and then to construct the elements and the design with CAD. Classicism is after all a “generative language,” and it works well with a CAD program like ArchiCAD. CAD can easily repeat elements, generate the sometimes complex geometries, and even automate the proportioning system inherent in true Classicism.

In addition, one of the things that I like about ArchiCAD is that you can build a design much the way one would built a building, with the right number of two-bys properly spaced, wall openings properly framed, etc. The fastest way to use ArchiCAD is usually with abstract keyboard commands, but in this video you can also see the potential for building everything with individual pieces and then repeating them as necessary.

Despite the fact that what’s generated is a CAD creation, it relates well to the Maker approach, which emphasizes craftsmanship and materials, producing something that is clearly handmade, with a human scale.

PS: You can also see that ArchiCAD still looks like an old Mac program, without the Jobs-is-dead emphasis on Helvetica Neue Light and the like.


About John Massengale

Architect, Urbanist, Author, Educator
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