Architecture is one of the most sought-after professions in the world. More often than not, it makes many top ten lists of dream jobs, right next to a Medical Doctor. Even Jerry Seinfeld’s under achieving-best buddy, George Costanza’s dream fake profession was an architect–Art Vandaley was his alter ego.

Architects have been a part of society for as long as it is old. In the past it was simple to define the architect: make shelter, you architect; then things started getting complex: he who provides shelter by way of design and expert calculation of all parts with the sum of those parts being the grand design is, the architect.

I like that. In the end, what we see is Architecture.

“Architects should be educated, skillful with the pencil, instructed in geometry, know much history, have followed the philosophers with attention, understand music, have some knowledge of medicine, know the opinions of the jurists, and be acquainted with astronomy and the theory of the heavens” – Vitruvius 15 B.C.

Marcus Vitruvius Pollio is not a well known historical figure at all, in fact unbeknown to him, he is probably responsible for the school of thought behind architectural proportions and its science: postmortem. De Architectura or “The Ten Books of Architecture” written by Vitruvius was the muse behind Leonardo Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man or the Proportions on Man. Here, Leonardo’s sketch explores the geometric harmony of the human body–the circle inscribed in a square–with some quotes from Vitruvius’ book in the background.

Vitruvian Man

Vitruvian Man

Fast forward to today.  Architectural Drawing or Architecture’s analog-arts are slowly becoming an endangered species. Charcoal sketches and oil paintings with colorful hues of burnt sienna have been traded in for pan tone color charts of burnt CDs.  The flavor of the month software craze or disposable-digital-arts are the industry standard; where 2.0 version upgrades supersede previously released versions in what seems to be a matter of minutes.

The drawing board has been traded in for the keyboard, and in the future, who knows what the keyboard may be traded in for. Mr. Spaceley’s Sprocket or some yet-to-be-determined technology? Forums on great ideas like Technology Entertainment and Design (TED)–“TED is devoted to giving millions of knowledge-seekers around the globe direct access to the world’s greatest thinkers and teachers“–are a great source. In any event, today’s architect uses a host of vector based programs to generate a full set of construction documents. Which program is the best for me, or my firm? My only advice is to keep up with the acronyms: CAD, GIS, BIM, 3D, CGI, MAX, Vector Art, Raster Imagery, REVIT, MAYA, V-RAY, and so on.

Autodesk is the industry leader in 2D and 3D  software. I have been using Auto CAD –in all its various form: AEC, Architect, Standalone, not alone, all alone–for about 15 years now. Here comes the I am about to date myself disclaimer. You know, back in my days I didn’t have the fancy drop down menus or neat popups in my CAD programs we see today. No sir-ree-bob, I had the AutoCAD rock and chisels equivalent; a tablet and a computer with a 386 processor which ran DOS–I am talking about AutoCAD, pre-windows ’95, I mean AutoCAD pre-windows 3.1. Oh the horror stories I can tell you, but get this you actually had to type in most of your commands (think of it like getting up and walking to your TV and changing the chaannel manually after looking and the TV Guide that just came int the mail moments ago. We can keep the Q&A segment for later (that concludes our commercial break).


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