One of the first requirements I had as a freshman interior design student, was a one-semester drafting class that introduced me to the principles of drawing before moving on to a variety of software that I would use for the rest of my college, and now, professional life. And all through those learning years, I've witnessed many moments of nostalgia from my instructors that had been practiced since before the digital age, about the time when everything was done by hand (uphill both ways, in the snow) before computers did it for you. For much of that time I completely agreed that work done by hand has that inimitable personal quality that somehow outweighs the complex capabilities of any computer program.
Then I Learned Revit...
My transition from 2d drafting in CAD to 3d modeling in Revit was really difficult at first. I thought Revit was too smart for its own good! I felt so limited in my ability to think broadly, because the software made things immediately realistic and forced me to resolve tiny conflicts before I could shape the larger overall concepts. Additionally there is an aspect of data entry, which felt even farther away from that personal touch I thought I was already missing. So I kicked and screamed all the way through that first project until I realized that I had been drawing then, more than ever.
Because I didn't feel as loose and quick in Revit as I had in CAD, I'd naturally taken to problem solving on paper before implementing the solution in a 3d model. As the model took shape, I worked simultaneously at a very small and precise way in Revit and at a much larger and looser way on paper - using the model as a background. What seemed like a mechanical and impersonal process from the outside, turned out to be a great tool to make me more efficient with the skills I already had.
Even outside this industry, there are some hints of fear, of becoming a slave to technology, but I don't think we're actually doomed to fall into a rut of default settings that takes the heart out of our work. We're not replacing our existing skills with computers. These are all just tools that we're adding under our belt, and it's up to us how to use them. While the methods are continuously changing, the passion for the job remains, and the process of problem solving only gets more refined.
A computer generated drawing that is developed through endless hours of sketches, studies, adjustments and collaboration, is no less valuable or well thought-out than a drawing done by hand. In my case, it's just neater!
Alexandra Koretski, Project Manager