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The fact that Revit can reduce work hours for drafting may affect negatively our future employment opportunities in arch firms. Normally, it would take a lot of drafters to complete a huge project. Now, the firm may have fewer employees than what normally take in CAD to work on the project. The rest of the firm's investment goes to paying Revit seat than spending on employees. I would like to hear some of your thought on this. :)
The whole point is design, not drafting. Architecture firms produce building design to build a building. What this means is you need to be a designer first and foremost, and have demonstrated those skills as a designer such you are recognized as such - whith BIM and parametrics, there is little room for people who just want to be drafter/modeler types - thats old school - I know people with only 6 months of experience that are designers. Revit is a great design and production tool.
Do you want o be a drafter with a limited career or a designer with an unlimited career?
It won't change much. People asked the exact same question of Auto-CAD, fearing automation. What did Auto-CAD allow you to do? Do more drawings, or attend to more intricate aspects more easily. Ditto with Revit. It can do more, so people will demand more of it.
If it wasn't for Auto-CAD, I would have left architecture ... and I know some of you wish I had. However, I graduated into an environment with Auto-CAD being the norm. Reaching up to the top end of a drafting board and having your wrists covered in pencil dust was fairly shitty and they had to do something. So nice to sit upright in a chair in front of a computer, any way you can get it ...
@xenakis , yes i am aware that. But for most of recent graduates, you dont start designing in a firm. You start as an intern or drafter until you know how to put a design together. My point is that it is possible that those positions will be offered less compared to what used to be. May be it is the reason of getting harder to land a position in arch firms, and of course along with bad economy.
Revit is just another type of "pencil", that's all, however much better "pencil". It can't eliminate any necessary steps in project development or people who complete those steps.
automation from autoCAD did end up causing less architects to be employed (per project), shorter timelines for the work architects do, and more detail expected from the work we do. do we get paid more now that we're doing a lot more in less time?
Architecture in the practice realm is more founded on technical ability than anything. In the words of the late great Frank Lloyd Wright, "arch- meaning "chief or leader", tech meaning "know how", so an effective architect is "Master of the know how". If you lack the technical understanding you WILL NOT produce effective design know matter what advanced software you are using!!!
We employ fewer people today than we used to, including typists, draftsmen. Trend will continue.
i'm with gruen - if the staff are skilled, it takes less to do some (though not all) projects. especially in the "drafting" side. so, yes, i'd back the 'there's potentially less entry level jobs' assertion. especially if the firm isn't getting the/a bigger 'value proposition' across - that less people shouldn't equate less fee (which is the automatic trigger some clients actually try to use with us: well, you guys are so proficient with revit, it should take less time, ergo less fee, right?). as a whole, we're still not expanding our territory enough - we just want to focus on the little slice in the middle which most clients equate with drafting.
Production staffing has reduced more than middle management...it now takes more PM's to mark up drawings for fewer cad monkeys.
taking design and research aside, I do believe that the labor intensive studio model of having many draftsmen producing drawings that once construction begins are basically full of conflicts and generate tons of RFI's and change orders will change and should change. The concept of drafting is being replaced by pre-construction modeling and I do believe that perhaps the construction industry and the design field will become more integrated at least in terms of the very large commercial contractors, it just makes economic sense on large scale projects for owners to limit as many construction conflicts as possible.
The traditional role of architecture will in my opinion be scaled back to only the pre-design to design development stages, and everything after construction documents will be done with the intent of pre-construction modeling with a more contractor builder oriented team due to the rising construction costs and complexity. Again this is for top large scale firms. And in a way that's how it is now, most large projects have a "star-chitect" that conceives the design and a local architect that produces CD's and performs some CA. The future is in ideas and less in the production side of CD's, I think construction firms will become more involved in CD's and virtual construction activities.
So in my opinion it's not that those jobs will go away but that they will be assumed by contractors or construction modelers to control future construction costs. At least thats what I think.
great posts, all! i concur.
much drafting, computer rendering, and mid-level management can be considered - rule-based professional knowledge. rule-based knowledge can be automated and now is being automated, much as factory production was automated 20-50 years ago.
as many suggest, humans excel at judgment where the rules are as yet undefined or the context and challenges too complex or variable for simple or consistent rules to apply, e.g., pre-design services. however, on the production end, i do think there is still room for humans and a decent chance that some human-based technical skills survive. for instance, building envelope optimization. while a lot of the work is rule-based and can therefore be automated, some of it cannot be automated and application to unique conditions will almost always occur. similarly, management and coordination on complex projects may be very difficult to automate and a secure place for human knowledge workers to set up camp. any challenge that is very complex or variable, in general, is likely a safe place for human knowledge workers to hang out. lastly, for the foreseeable future, humans are the ones who build the rule-based systems, so writing the rules that optimize the production instruments is a good place to be.
This is very interesting to me since I'm a Revit drafter(LMAO :D....still very new but my boss loves me....). I guess it is faster than AutoCAD, but my friend/co-worker at my firm wants to get me into AutoCAD also(her projects).....well it's great to be sitting at a desk reading the redlines and making changes instead of doing it on pencil. I guess I have no real opinion I'm just happy to be employed at a laid back very friendly firm.
ps I offered to buy everyone lunch at my firm and there were all like no but here and bought me Panera Bread lunch instead. :)
I learned today that Panera Bread is freaking good very recomended
hahah Mr MyDream,
Welcome back to Archinect. What ever happen to your blog/forum/post? Did you delete it? heheh. I really enjoy the topic and conversations. Also congratulations on your new job at an architecture firm, tell us all about it from the interview till now, I am sure the post can relate.
Back to main topic of post. I believe AutoCad will soon die out. Ever since I learn and use Revit (2-3 years experience) I will not go back to using AutoCad ever! As for the job market and architecture firms, I think the main reason why they have not switch to using Revit is because of the cost for the license. and second is not that many people know how to use it. That being said, comparing AutoCad to Revit is like VHS to BluRay.
It seems that BIM is on the rise. Its a smart innovation and will most likely stay...
Having used both acad and revit in a production environment I would prefer revit, but it is still fairly young software and is way too expensive w too high of a learning curve for many firms (especially small ones) to adopt yet.
Regarding software putting people out of work, I think it is enevitable that our jobs will continue to be automated.
Quan, The post was getting a little too heated with insults to continue a person was getting on me hard about continuing my education, about me being dumb for wanting to go thru Valencia/ucf/uf and stuff I think he was just mad that I got a position. I got the job because of my hard work and dedication in college (finding side projects with teachers and collaborating with them on different subjects, one of my professors knew a firm who was looking for a Revit draftsman and the firm called me for an interview) Well, the interview was easy I just said some things and that I was looking for work and stuff and he hired me immediately.
I never left achinect I just thought that the post I created was getting too harsh and people were being absurd about me continuing my education. I had to keep repeating myself and defending myself and I just got bored and annoyed to be honest.