Why not bring something else into the light of DAY

I really like Martyn Day’s state of the industry, now with targets in all directions


Particularly his comment:

“Some buildings will be design by template. Some people will stick with lego cad. Some will be more concerned about tools for geometric definition. Some will be more concerned about fabrication. Some want to work only in open standards. Having one tool with all disciplines, using a file, never having the guts rewritten for 20 years is a bad idea. Some want a faster version of that. Some want a Figma approach. Some want to kill 2D drawings. Some are developing expert systems for just one niche market. Some want the system to always create a digital twin. Some want to make their own tools. Some want a model at 1:1. Some firms dont want to hire programmers or data scientists. VCs will only fund certain biz models. Some want an open source bim modeller. Someone somewhere will always be using SketchUp. I’m seeing everything everywhere all at once. A federated industry needs coherence. AI might make the authoring tool market a lot smaller in 10 years, there might be less architects doing more. I’m still processing it all!”

– Martyn Day https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:7003255695126986752?commentUrn=urn%3Ali%3Acomment%3A%28activity%3A7003255695126986752%2C7003288109115224064%29&replyUrn=urn%3Ali%3Acomment%3A%28activity%3A7003255695126986752%2C7003296815362015232%29

From the original post and article:

“Criticising and challenging BIM is bad for business; everyone knows that #CAD is bad and #BIM is good. And therefore, if you are against BIM, you must be pro CAD. But are these our only two options? Is it really an either/or decision?”


That is an exceptionally valuable question.

And no, it is not either/or, and 25 years worth of mantra claiming that it is has been self-defeating and counterproductive (idiotic) from the beginning, regressive masquerading as progressive. That it persists boggles the mind.  Paul Wintour in his article puts his finger on why it persists, recalling The Emperor’s New Clothes.

Here’s a translation of the original. It’s worth a re-read if you last had it read to you at age 5 or so.

It’s only slightly longer than the summary in Paul’s article:


To Paul’s question: are there other options besides pro/anti BIM and the concomitant pro/anti CAD?, here I offer another option. I start with my own “story”:

I started with AutoCAD drafting in the early ‘90s and then in ‘96 went to work in a firm that used BIM (ish) software (Brics, TriForma). This turned me into a devotee and soon, a fanatic of BIM workflow. And as I worked in an office where the owners wanted this, we made this our work. Well, our work was architecture but we devoted mass quantities of time and energy to developing it through modeling software.

I became a champion/evangelist of this. I even made embarrassing (in hindsight) (cringeworthy) presentations at my Architecture school, and an AIA conference. If anyone reading this was there and remembers, I apologize for making your ears bleed. Maybe you forgive me, youthful enthusiasm.

I was a zealot.

Later, I became more thoughtful.

It occurred to me that our highly elaborated models,

  • for which we patted ourselves on the back and awarded ourselves medals 🏅before the Y2K,
  • were complex enough that they slipped beyond our cognitive grasp,
  • that yes in fact we could only interpret/understand them superficially,
  • and that in order to get a better grasp of them we had to look at them through the lens of our (PUT SOME CLOTHES ON!!) drawings.

But then, too bad, already in the early 2000s started to appear in the discourse (global already, ‘cause we had the internet) this infantile idea that drawings should be kicked down the back stair into the dust bin of history; that it’s only old laggards, stuck in their old ways, boat anchors, who retard the inevitable progress of digital models and “total modeling” in the AEC industry; that it’s the archaic, and the stultifying rigidness of people stuck in their ways, that leave us enslaved, and yet unable to free oursaelves from the tyranny of drawings.

This put a mind lock on productive thought and development in an area neither old nor new: the function of attentive focus generally and in technical domains like AEC, and the evolution of its articulate expression, within digital models.

I’ve said it for many years. The “tyranny of drawings” mantra is thoughtless. It’s just emotion, like a baby crying, like the cries of newborns not yet knowing how to process or communicate. They just cry. Yes there’s feeling there and its real. Absolutely. And attention had better be paid, and care given. But to take emotionality itself, not considered, not thought out, not developed, as the basis for how to conduct work in technical fields, well, to do this is just masquerade; it’s pretension at seriousness while making none of the required effort.

Here’s an analogy:

Go back and take the sound out of movies 🍿; regress a hundred years and revert to silent film! That’s your argument, right? Motion picture is BETTER than recorded sound. Right? Models are BETTER than drawings. Out with the old and in with the new! Retire! Finally! Old laggards!

There’s no thought behind this mantra whatsoever. But you feel good saying it, like a baby does, crying.

Let’s mature a little bit.

Why not add something else to that panoply that Martyn Day surveilled? 

Why not bring something else into the light of DAY, something else that matters:

Clear expression of attentive focus within models.

Here is a development proposal for:

Articulate attentive focus, in a form that’s tangible, durable, and shareable, across every kind of model-handling app and platform that this industry produces:

Please read the articles, and voice your support if you support it:

Panel Discussion Stage 6, BIM Coordinator Summit 2022 Dublin

(2:00) (me): Since you credited me for that statement (“get rid of the drawings; the model is everything”) I wanted to go first, because I didn’t say that. I said that other people say that, and have said it for basically as long as I can remember, about 20 years.

And I think what I would say is that it’s a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of, …the universe, to say that. It’s not a fatal misunderstanding, because it can be easily corrected. 

I would change it to this: 

Don’t conceptualize getting rid of drawings. Conceptualize what the hell are they in the first place… Before you throw them away, what are they? Right? They’re expressions of narrowed attentive focus. And they’re used also for affirmation. Two things, affirmation, and the main thing is, they set up these two poles, between which is an interplay in our minds, which IS thinking, and out of which understanding grows, so, last thing about it, in my opinion:


It’s not about getting rid of them. It’s about imagining their future evolution, of the form in which they’re expressed.

What is their evolution? What is the future form in which attentive/focus (drawing) is expressed within models?

It’s AFR/TGN: 

My talk at BCS Dublin:


2001: A Space Odyssey https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2001:A_Space_Odyssey(film)

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