Industry discourse will liberate itself once it self-liberates from its own obsessive idea that drawing is a chain to break free from

An interesting article but in some ways very familiar. We’ve heard some of these assumptions it seems since, like forever:

“The question should never have been, “how can we document a project better?” Instead, it should have been, “how can we design and construct buildings better?”“

“…BIM are merely digitalising old ways of working. It is a sustaining technology that is slowly become less relevant.”

A constant idea threaded through this discourse for decades has been what by now can rightly be called an obsession. Despite continuous evidence showing the idea meaningless and counterproductive (even including where modeling continues into digi-fabrication), obsession continues with the idea that documentation and drawing is something to be kicked down the back stair, denounced and abandoned. This obsessive idea is usually presented in ways that imply that, hurray, when drawing is finally discarded into the dustbin of history, THEN we’ll be liberated from our chains. Once freed from the enslaving chains of documentation and drawing, then inhabit we will (yoda), a paradise of digital clarity and zen flow. Even “instantaneous understanding” some have said will be ours. No kidding. Instantaneous understanding. While others go even further: no understanding at all will be needed, ‘“b’cause robots, and fabrication”.

This is called “discourse”. But I have a doubt.

Drawing and documentation are not enslaving chains to be freed from. Rather they’re fundamental operations innate within modeling anything for any purpose.

Drawing is a technique, the purpose of which is precisely this: to help us (anyone) understand a model of any kind (mental, physical, digital). This is true even where human understanding of a model’s construction is unneeded because a machine builds it. Such a machine builds what’s modeled, so those modeling it need to understand it, well enough to 1) design it adequately and 2) ensure the model’s suitability for machine hand-off.

For this they need drawing (in some form or another, and its form is evolving), because drawing is a technique for looking at a model, in ways that help you understand it.

Industry discourse will liberate itself once it self-liberates from its own obsessive idea that drawing is a chain to break free from.

I blogged here the limits of BIM, which I should have titled “the limits of BIM or any modeling”. The limits are innate to modeling itself. And drawing’s purpose is to address those limits. That is to say, let’s be clear, that drawing is not a limit to modeling but a tool for understanding it. In “the limits of BIM” I describe what are the limits of modeling. Conceptual and practical limits. And I try to be precise. Likewise I try to pinpoint how drawing addresses those limits.

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