Page T2.1 . 09 January 2002                     
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    QUIZ

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    More Time Designing

    by Michael Tardif, Associate AIA

    On a superficial level, what architects do is create drawings of buildings to communicate to others how to build those buildings. But construction drawings are simply the most tangible evidence of architects' intangible contribution to society: the art and science of design.

    The process of design defies attempts to describe it. In the hands of a competent architect it can be an orderly process, but it rarely consists of a linear sequence of steps leading inexorably toward a predictable result. Rather, it is a process in which many often conflicting elements come into play over time, all of which must be considered, balanced, and integrated to produce an aesthetically coherent, buildable result.

    Architects are skilled "information managers," continuously absorbing, developing, evaluating, and synthesizing such disparate elements as their own artistic vision, the needs of the client, the constraints of cost, climate, location, materials, building technology, and the health, safety, and welfare of the public.

    Over the last fifteen years, computer technology has changed the nature of architectural practice beyond recognition. The transition has been rough, to say the least. Software developers have done a decent job of understanding, in part, what architects do. They have done a much poorer job of understanding how architects think.   >>>

     

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    ArchWeek Image

    Using Revit, the DMJM design team modeled and rendered studies for the James City County Government (JCC) Center.
    Image: Daniel, Mann, Johnson & Mendenhall

    ArchWeek Image

    Model of the JCC Boardroom.
    Image: Daniel, Mann, Johnson & Mendenhall

     

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