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Use of technology is necessary for the designing industry to advance. The industry is fast moving away from old technologies to incorporate new and innovative technologies. When it comes to technologies used in designing, BIM- Building Implementation Modelling technology leads the way. This technology uses three-dimensional technology with design information (Underwood & Isikdag, 2009).
Through such technologies, buildings are first built virtually before they are erected on the ground. The stakeholders in the construction and design industry are always on the lookout for new technologies that may improve their businesses. This technology is often expensive making it only affordable to big companies.
Documenting a design is a complex and painstaking process. This is also the most important part of a designing or a construction project. Once this is done right, the rest of the project flows easily. Proper documentation of ideas can sometimes be a complex process. The first step when documenting ideas is to get a team in place.
The professionals involved in the designing process should be assembled in a group. Then a leader in charge of the group is picked. The leader should be dedicated and have the capacity to encourage all the other members to contribute to the process.
The next step involves picking a technology to be used in the documentation process. This technology should be financially viable and within the limits of the project’s budget. Some clients request for a specific technology. If that is the case, those specifications should be met. Sometimes more than one technology is used depending on the scope of the project.
When documenting designs it is important to ensure the working environment is collaborative. Information should be shared throughout the process. Everyone involved in the designing process should feel free to contribute new ideas. Documentation also requires the necessary hardware and software that can support it. Once all these requirements are in place, the visualization of the project starts. All the necessary information about the project is then documented sequentially.
Purpose of Documentation
There are various reasons why designs are documented. First, a designing team can alter a project at any instance during the documentation process (Yezioro, Dong & Leite, 2008). Appropriate documentation allows this to be effected without interruptions. When these changes are made early, they require few resources and minimum input. Documentation allows the team to straighten out high cost structural problems before the building project starts.
Documentation makes sure ideas are captured at the time of their conception. At this time, the ideas are fresh and easy to probe. Documenting ideas allows the creative process to progress fast. Where there is no documentation, the design team might be stuck on one idea and not realize it.
One of the main reasons for documentation is to have all the necessary information in a central point. Documentation encompasses information about modelling styles, client’s preferences, costs, schedules, and geometry related information. When this information is readily available, the project is easy to implement.
Documentation makes communication among those in charge of the project easier. Whenever there is a change in the design, it can be communicated to all the involved parties through documentation. This makes the designing team’s work easier. In addition, designs can also be completed on time.
The current documentation process is state-of-the-art and incorporates the latest technology. This includes three-dimensional technology and the ability to convert two-dimensional models to 3D models. However, the current practices might result in over-documentation. Under the current practices, some of the documented information is inconsequential and only complicates the process.
Technology and Design
The level of technology shapes the designing process. At present, different levels of technologies are being employed in designing methods. Therefore, it can be concluded that technology is changing the designing process. One of such technology is the digital technology. It is probably not possible to come up with a design today without incorporating digital technology. For this reason, advances in digital technology have a direct impact on the designing process.
Technology is changing the way architecture is taught. Designing is now taught in fragments, and this gives rise to specialties within the discipline. A student’s ability to understand digital technology is important to help him/her grasp designing concepts. As digital technology changes, so do the curriculums used to teach designing.
The other aspect of technology that is changing the designing process is the advancement of network communications. Through advanced networks, designers are able to carry out the designing process remotely. For example, designing ideas are exchanged and sent to other designers for improvements. Such a collaborative environment has a huge impact on designing given the success of a design depends on the availability of several contributors.
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Visualization technology has changed many aspects of day-to-day life. This includes the designing profession. Visualization allows a designer to understand, explore, and communicate designing information. This technology includes animation, rendering, and 3D modelling.
These tools are changing the way designs are conceptualized and presented. One of the most significant changes is the one brought about by use of three-dimensional technology. Through this technology, building models are able to offer close representations of the actual projects (Gross, 1995). This modelling is very popular when presenting designs to clients and it is all made possible by changes in technology.
Future designers will most likely depend purely on computer software. Fifty years from now the role of a designer will be minimal with computer software doing the rest of the work. This means apart from conceptualizing and visualizing a design, the rest of the work will be performed by software. This might threaten the existence of the designing profession. This is because a client will value the software’s input more.
Therefore, armed with the necessary computer skills, anyone will be able to come up with a viable design of his/her own. As opposed to the situation today, where the designer performs most of the work, fifty years from now computers will have taken over most of the designer’s current duties.
For instance, this software will have incorporated almost all of the design templates a novice designer can conceptualize (Domeshek & Kolodner, 1992). This might mean that clients with no need for original designs will be able to forego the services of a designer.
In retrospect, if the designs of the time might have evolved immensely. This will ensure the designing profession survives the software’s incursion. The curriculum used to train designers may be changed to incorporate other original skills. There is always a fear of designers being overwritten by technology. However, experiences have shown that humans change in accordance with the technology. The same fears were present a few decades ago, but the designing profession still stands as strong as it did in the medieval times.
Domeshek, E & Kolodner J 1992, Artificial Intelligence in Design, Gero Publishers Netherlands, Kluwer.
Gross, M 1995, Drawing Analogies – Supporting Creative Architectural Design with Visual References, Heron Island, Sydney.
Underwood, J & Isikdag, U 2009, Handbook of Research on Building Information Modeling and Construction Informatics: Concepts and Technologies, Information Science Publishing, New York.
Yezioro A, Dong, B & Leite F 2008, “An applied artificial intelligence approach towards assessing building performance simulation tools”, Energy and Buildings, vol. 40 no. 4, pp. 612-616.