The end of Drawing? [No]

Models are wide environments. And they are in no way new. We’ve always had mental models, and physical models. We know very well the problem with models. They are so wide and so expansive that the mind grasps them only superficially. We cannot understand them in more meaningful ways, without some kind of intervention/technique. Understanding wide environments does not happen by magic. It happens through technique. Drawing is a technique people use to understand wide environments. 

The need to understand is not going away. The fundamental nature of models is not changing (we require technique to understand them). 

Today’s standard BIM rhetoric is the greatest obstacle to progress. Meaningful improvement will come from future evolution of the techniques people use to understand complex information. 

Instead of drawings going away, drawing will evolve. We will understand its essential function (a technique for understanding complex information). We will understand what models are (complex environments). We will understand that the need to understand the environment is inseparable from the environment itself. And we will understand that evolution in techniques of understanding will drive innovation that matters. None of this is possible when the dominant rhetoric recognizes nothing. 

I write about techniques of understanding here

Some say that modeling allows anyone to create their own views of a model, representing anywhere in the model. And indeed, yes. But that’s not a replacement for the essential function of a set of drawings. We can’t answer even the most basic questions about them (like where in the space of a model is the information declared to be good enough, or not?)

We use technique to answer such questions. Drawing is an exemplary technique, from which we will learn. What we learn from it, we’ll use to drive innovation. When a set of drawings is issued, then a team of people have explicitly declared [where], in the space of a model, that the information presented (what’s visible) is good enough. This is an essential function that goes to the heart of understanding any model.

That doesn’t inhibit anyone from looking willy nilly anywhere in a model to see whatever they see, but looking willy nilly doesn’t replace the technique of making clear where review and affirmation have occurred, and likewise, where such affirmation is presented in a way that is articulate and clear. 

“Clear” is a relative term. And evolution in these techniques for making clear, for supporting understanding, (inspired by drawing), will move “clarity” forward, advancing it, along with our ability to understand. 





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