Walking through the Computer Labs in an Architecture School

This WRNS Studio model is a frequent image these student bring to class to ask about integration issues.

This WRNS Studio model is a frequent image these student bring to class to ask about integration issues.

I team-teach Project Integration Studio. By mid-semester, these students model structure, ducts, and lights to be integrated harmoniously with the floors, walls, and ceilings of their (otherwise) typical studio projects.

That’s a lot for an architecture student fresh out of Design II. That’s why the studio fosters teams of three or four students per project.

Teamwork is hard. Miscommunication is costly in a group. But, each year, the students arrive with more robust modeling abilities. Each year, they are quicker to get it all in the computer.

That’s why it is a pleasure to walk through the school computer labs and quietly listen to these teams work through their problems. They point to the model. They generate new views to visualize the issue. They talk spatially.

I tell my students “It is a fantastic time to become and architect.” because of these new tools. Those with sharper ears probably see the other meaning: “Its a fantastic time to be architecture professor.”

One of many proposals for expanding 3D Printer facilities...

One of many proposals for expanding 3D Printer facilities…

The Institute may invest in more desktop 3D Printers one day soon. Where should we put them?

When considering our Fabrication Lab, recent conversation turned to how the folks at the Makerbot store have done something quite skillful. They use a handful of inexpensive desktop printers to create an atmosphere of progress, experimentation, & technological ease.

The stores specifically get visitors excited about technology by addressing both their eyes and their ears. Read more

AIA E-202, G-202, and BIMForum on the Path to IPD

Snip from E-202

The Element table started in E-202, and has migrated to the G-202, and well beyond…

Defining roles on a team is of primary concern at any project Kick-off Meeting. It’s all the more important as BIM-capable teams try integrated delivery techniques.

The structure and form of the AIA E-202 (2008) was the AIA’s first exhibit in its suite of legal instruments to help architects define BIM Manager roles on any team attempting an integrated workflow. On many of the teams I work with, that document was largely considered incomplete. It might sketch modeling expectations, but it was a poor tool to answer detailed questions about who-delivers-what-when. Read more

Another “Coordinators Training” starts next week…


I love my job. I get to train a variety of folks at all kinds of design firms in new architectural technologies. Building Information Modeling, specifically, is a tool I can share that gives early-career and mid-career professionals a boost towards their goals.

It is too easy to say my favorite calls are for “Designer Level” training, where I work with fresh-out-of-school employees in architecture firms. This group is composed of quick studies. They already have a model-based way of thinking about design problems from Rhino, Sketchup, or Max. They immediately see how BIM will make them more productive, and thus, more potent.

In “Designer Level” training, the atmosphere in the room is joyful, and sometimes giddy. The participants are quick to laugh at my (pretty bad) jokes. They feel free. They feel empowered. Read more

LoD: “Detail” or “Development” for Integrated Models?

A great visual description of LoD provided by Lanmar Services.

A great visual description of LoD provided by Lanmar Services.

I try hard to mark how collaborators describe LoD in casual language during my introductory meetings as a BIM Consultant. Architects’ understanding of the acronym tends to be an accurate predictor of how they view the role of their building information model, and thus the fate of their integration meetings.

LoD has changed from “Level of Detail” to “Level of Development” over the last decade. This may seem minor, but it signals a significant change for the utility of BIM. Read more

Great Kick-off to 2015

Let's get started.

There’s a lot to be excited about in 2015 — and the Spring semester at the NYIT School of Architecture and Design promises to keep things lively well into the new year.

For starters, I’m looking forward to team-teaching our Project Integration Studio with Profs. Percy Griffin and Matthew Ford. I’ll be supporting several teams of designers as they apply BIM workflows (learned in Construction Documents classes) to studio. NYIT’s Academic Computing has supported their worksharing with personal log-ins and protected shared drives — so in a first, we’re well poised with trained students and in-place technology. Let’s see what these guys can do! Read more

Board meetings and the meaning of life.


New York City is a place where folks frequently get bumped, jostled, and knocked. It happens on the streets. It happens in the offices. It really happens everywhere people strive.

But sometimes, the Fates smile on this New Yorker so warmly:

[1] As a function of being elected as the MacDowell Colony’s Fellows Executive Committee President, I have the honor to serve on the Colony’s Board of Directors.

[2] In several public presentations, Philosopher Daniel Dennett has offered his own description of the meaning of life. Paraphrasing, he advises to find something “bigger than you,” and to dedicate your actions to that purpose, that idea, or that inspiration.

I share an admiration for the brave, risky, and painful action of creation. It is a pleasure to sit in a roomful of souls that know how precious that action is. And to collaborate.

Its fun to know and work with the New Yorker who owns the licenseplate “GIVE2ART.”

Happy Summer, 2014

Summer 2014 - backpack

Happy Summer! The wife and I are headed out for a few weeks of travel — a long working retreat (to assemble the Faculty Portfolio), then a mini family reunion and a quick bit of land scouting, before attending the MacDowell Colony Medal Day (August 9, Peterborough New Hampshire)!

If you’re in Central Florida, Upstate New York, or Southern New Hampshire this summer, drop a line. Maybe our paths will cross one day.

Working with SHoP Architects

Crown of the Woolworth Building

A great bonus for visiting SHoP’s offices is that the firm is based in one of NYC’s most famous skyscrapers.

Today, I lead my last BIM-training session at SHoP Architects for a few months. Over the last week-and-a-half, it was my pleasure to organize a fast-paced and immersive Building Information Modeling (BIM) Orientation Session — with some very sharp folks. If you’ve ever met Benjamin Parker, Chris SooHoo, Cortez Crosby, John Cunningham, Josh Feldman, Lauren Raab, or Marissa Marterana, you know what I mean. Read more