Lately, I have been asked “What do you teach?”……To which I usually reply “It’s complicated”.
So, I want to share some of my thoughts about why I care and and why I want to teach others about Graphics and Presentation Techniques, which seems to be one of my more popular lectures and hand’s on presentations. I decided to try to help others because I was always finding myself ‘defending’ Revit whenever I would hear people say, “Revit can not produce nice presentations with out using Photoshop”, or, “Revit can’t do real renderings” and my favorite comment, “Revit is wonderful, but the drawings just don’t look good….I don’t know why”.
There are some very good resources for Revit training; however, most of what I have seen is for the technical side of learning the software, taught by software experts who are very knowledgeable and are very good at teaching Revit; however, for the most part, they are not Architects. (If they are by Architects, they are mostly younger ones who were brought up in the computer era.) Many trainers can show you what buttons to push, but not “why” or “when” to push them. In fact, most software developers I have met are surprised to find out how we actually use their products and sometimes learn a great deal when they see what we are doing with it and simply can’t believe that we would want to do such things……ie: work arounds and ‘out of the box’ approaches.
Although I am just a practicing Architect, I have been doing more and more teaching, mentoring, lecturing and presenting at conferences, both nationally and internationally. Over these past several years which I have been helping people, I have discovered that ever since CAD became the main tool of choice back in the late 80’s and early 90’s, people have not been using, nor have they been taught the basics of ‘old school’ graphic communication and artistic presentation principles and techniques.
As an Architect who learned how to draw by hand, long before overlay drafting and CAD, we were taught basic techniques to make our drawings ‘read’ and communicate by using very simple and time proven methods. These basic drawing techniques are not really taught anymore and are still very much needed! This is evident when I heard my friend, Paul Aubin, once say, “Since when did line weight become an I.T. issue?”
I know that the 3-D parametric models we are now capable of producing are, quite simply put, ‘amazing’; however, our final product which everybody gets to see and work off of are still just 2D flat views on a computer screen, iPad or a sheet of paper. (Maybe even a 3D pdf or dwf) In either case, we are still presenting a flat, two dimensional presentation to clients, contractors and building officials, all who have to completely understand what we are trying to communicate and explain which is very complex and beautiful!