This post concludes yesterday’s You’re gonna need a bigger boat, which discussed the well-known”BIM Maturity Diagram”
Here’s the bigger boat. It’s faster too. And it’s a catamaran:
One may call this the digital media maturity diagram, or, call it whatever you want. I suggest the following. Stop using the term “BIM”, because it’s been and remains meaningless. It’s also damaging to language: It’s not just buildings (n) and not just building (v); so the “B” is out. The “I” is buzzy and ineffective because it presupposes some kind of information-less model which doesn’t exist, and pretending that it does leads nowhere. That leaves “M” for models, a reasonable word.
So call it the “Modeling maturity diagram”, if you happen to be personally predisposed to modeling. Or, call it the “Drawing maturity diagram” if you’re personally more oriented toward drawing. In either case, one makes no sense without the other (discussion in yesterday’s post), hence the catamaran (and fusion, imaginary or digital).
At each level we account for the status of three items:
- and the nature of their fusion
“Level -2”, predates paper and pencil, papyrus, and any such medium. It predates even cave painting. A cave is a medium. At Level -2, the formulation of spatial modeling, and the formulation of the more narrowing drawing, and the INTERPLAY/ FUSION joining each of them, occurs in the imaginary space of the mind only, unmediated. Once you put things down on a cave surface, then you’re mediating (your thoughts).
What about physical models? I should add “physical” to the blue line. Wherever, at every level, there are imaginary models (which is always), we should say “imaginary and physical”.
Here drawing is mediated, as on a cave surface or on pottery, or later, on some kind of paper-like material. Drawing remains imaginary but adds some kind of mediated expression. Drawing happens in the mind and on some kind of drawing medium, which mediates between the author’s mind and others’. The interplay/fusion between imaginary (and physical) model and drawing remains in imaginary space, a mental activity only, although it begins to be worked out in the real world as well, of course. Whenever anything imagined (imagined in whole and in part, expansively and narrowly) is built in the world, the INTERPLAY/ FUSION of wide and narrow, whole and focused detail(s), is carried out in the mind and in the real world alike.
Things continue in Level 0 much the same as in Level (-1). INTERPLAY/ FUSION of drawing and modeling remains an unmediated activity of the mind only. Drawing continues to be mediated, while its medium is digitized with the introduction of computers and drawing (and modeling) software. Technical drawing, construction document drawing, in architecture, engineering and construction, moves quickly away from drawing by hand on paper-ish media, into drawing with a computer application. Modeling has some early starts at Level (0) at digitization as well but adoption is much less pervasive.
At Level 1, digitized modeling catches up with digitized drawing. Models (still, always) held in the mind are now ubiquitously mediated in digital media. The INTERPLAY/ FUSION between the two media remains an unmediated action of the mind only.
Here, some standards guiding digital model formatting are developed and begin to be, to some extent, generally accepted (though standards development is alway volatile). Some of these standards are expressed in national guideline documents.
Drawing and modeling media continue as in Level (1); both are digital, and imaginary (and models remain, naturally, also physical). Their INTERPLAY/ FUSION remains largely an exercise of the mind, in imaginary space only, however their INTERPLAY/ FUSION now begins to be represented in digital media as well.
Level 2 MEDIA FUSION (Digital)
A drawing means nothing, without the model it clarifies. And the reverse is true too; a model, unclarified by the act of taking a closer look within it — which of course is an act carried out through a medium otherwise known as “drawing” — simply never moves out of fuzziness and fog into clear light.
The meaning of the terms “drawing” and “modeling” go to the most fundamental of things, to our ability to see and understand anything, from the most ordinary things in daily life, to the complexity of architecture and engineering projects, to the most obscure aspects of observable reality. When we’re making models (mental or digital), and making drawings, we’re engaged in the act of thinking itself.
When creating a digital model, we need equipment, built right into the modeled environment, for taking a closer look, equipment with which we empower ourselves to better see and better understand, to better think about, what our model is and what it’s becoming, and to better communicate this to ourselves and to others..
Digital technology today presents the possibility, and the imperative, to re-envision this equipment. The action, of articulate, clarifying, narrowing focus (aka, “drawing”), can, first of all, reside in-situ within digital models. This has begun to happen in a number of commercial software products since 2012, starting with the drawing-model fusion innovations that I led at Bentley Systems (examples here), and since then implemented by other companies in unique ways, including by Graphisoft (ArchiCAD drawings are automatically presented in-situ within ArchiCAD models in BIMx on mobile devices), Revizto (touch of a button fusion of Revit drawings in-situ within Revit models in Revizto apps), Dalux (like Revizto), and very interesting: working together, Morpholio and Shapr3D deliver drawing-model fusion by combining the functions of their respective drawing and modeling apps. These are first generation implementations of drawing-model fusion. There is opportunity now, of course, for leapfrogging.
Drawing has arrived now within digital models. Now that it’s there, it’s going to EVOLVE, inevitably, because it can, and because it should.
I’ve been to the future (yes, in a time machine) and I’ve come back to tell you how the form/expression of drawing can evolve, and what it’s future form will look and feel like, taking full advantage of it’s residence IN digital models, and full advantage of everything that digital visualization has to offer.
I wrote a book about this (what I saw in the future when I went there). Tangerine Media Innovation Spec 2018 describes a second generation of the digital fusion of drawing and modeling media. Chapter 3 of the Spec book gives instructions, for software developers, detailing what “taking a closer look“ can look and feel like (we re-envision it) within modeled environments of any kind. Software developers can read chapter 3 for step by step instructions for building powerful new EQUIPMENT within models for expressing the essential function of drawing, while releasing us all from the non-essential constraints of drawing’s traditional form.
In Level 3 we’ll see continued evolution of (still volatile) standards guidelines for drawing and model formatting. We will continue to have models and drawings, both, expressed in imaginary, mediated, and digital form. And their INTERPLAY/FUSION will continue to be both an activity of the mind, and to a much greater extent than in Level 2, a mediated activity, mediated in digital media that will take on new capabilities for INTERPLAY/FUSION between the expansive wider whole of a modeled environment, and the narrower articulating focus, looking closer, embodied in the act of “drawing”, which will take new form, as it EVOLVES in Level 3. For detailed insight into this evolution, download the free book:
Tangerine Media Innovation Spec 2018 — read it here on Apple Books for Mac and iOS devices, and here as PDF for Windows and Android — is dedicated to everyone who makes drawings or models of any kind in any field for any purpose. Modeling and drawing go together like Led Zeppelin and bell bottom jeans. Like desert roads and motorcycles. Like the earth and the sun. They’re inseparable. One hardly makes sense without the other.
Media will evolve with these kinds of capabilities as quickly as software companies recognize the full force of the idea of fusion and get to work delivering these capabilities. Their uptake among software users is inevitable.
The Evolution of Media
Better media for better understanding. That’s the purpose of this spec: to spur evolution in media itself, to make media a better, more energetic and able companion, to thought and understanding.
Media, we can surely make the case, is where thinking happens and understanding grows. Media has evolved and will continue to evolve. As it was with sound and film, for example, 100 years ago, so it will be with drawing and modeling. Fusion drives media forward by amplifying interplay, the fuel of cognition one may say: interplay between the wider expanse of an environmental whole, and our articulating act(s) of narrowing focus within those environments, mirroring the fusion that has always been, innate within the mind.
Tangerine’s Media Innovation Spec 2018 will have a secondary effect, on cognitive computing.