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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Another student responds to my curriculum conundrum

Repost from TheRevitKid:

Revit in School Curriculum

I guess I shall respond to Greg's post over at Revit3D.com since he mentioned me.

First, I would like to share my personal educational and architectural history. I started my architectural journey freshman year of high school. I attended a technical high school and chose to study architecture. The first two years of high school I never touched a computer. I was taught how to draft and write with a pencil. I learned how to use a scale, a french curve, vellum, etc... Finally, sophomore year, I learned AutoCAD.

Thanks to my high school, when I was sixteen I began working at an architectural firm. I have worked at that very firm for the past five years and continue to work there. By junior year of high school I became very proficient with AutoCAD and strived to work in 3D. I wanted to turn my hand drawn perspectives into 3D models. I was introduced to SketchUp through my boss and that was it for me. From SketchUp, to 3DMax, to Viz, to 3D CAD, and finally too Revit.

I did not elevate to Revit until college. Due to many circumstances I went to a community college right out of high school. I just graduated from that college with two associates degree and I do not regret any of it. The community college did not require Revit and did not have any hand drafting classes or requirements. Although, basic CAD and 3D CAD were required for the architecture major. A Revit class is offered but not required.

Looking back I realize that a majority of the "tools" I learned for Architecture I taught myself. With the help of my boss, who is very technically inclined, I took it upon myself to learn CAD, 3DMax, Revit, SketchUp, etc... Mostly using video tutorials online and trial and error I was able to become proficient in most of the programs.

One of the points opposers of Revit tend to use is that it "takes away from the design process" and "creates bad architecture" and so on... Therefore, should Revit be required in an Architecture curriculum? This is a very tough question.

My personal belief is that it should be. I understand that Revit and CAD are tools. Well, is a carpenter taught how to use a band saw properly? In my high school he/she was. Is a barber taught how to use clippers? A doctor is taught, in school, how to use a scalpel. Why should an Architect not be taught the tools of his/her trade?

I have said many times in this blog that I believe Revit does not take from the design process but adds to it. I still go through half a roll of trace every design I do. I still sit in my desk and stair at my drawings thinking for hours. I still have a scale and roll of trace on me at all times. The introduction of Revit, if done correctly, will not effect the design process in a negative way.

This isn't to say that basic drawing and drafting techniques should not be taught as well. In my perfect Architecture program Revit would be a required class, hand drafting will be required, and basic business courses will be required.

Well, I hope this i what you were looking for Greg. It has brought up more and more ideas in my head of where to go and expand in this blog.


Patrick July 24, 2009 at 8:58 AM  

Completely agree. What it comes down to is that if you don't have a clear idea in your head of what you want to design, the nature of the tool- no matter it is- will guide development rather than your own creativity. This is even the case with pen and paper- if you start out drawing without a clear direction, you'll find yourself falling back on common shapes and themes that you draw out of habit/instinct. Revit simply gets a bad name because it makes it easy for ideas that aren't thought out look thought out. However, if you DO have an idea of what you want to achieve, Revit is an exceptional tool, and it shouldn't be chastised because- like any other tool- it can be abused.

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