Architecture: Tools of the Trade
- Building Information Modeling (BIM) - An increasingly-popular form of model-based technology linked to a large database of project info, allowing the user to change and manipulate the data and information to reach the desired format.
- Computer-aided design (CAD) - is any use of a computer in applications to architecture, industrial design, architecture, and manufacturing. Computer-aided drafting and design (CADD) applies more narrowly to architecture.
- Computer - Computers are essential to many of the architect's tasks. They use them to communicate via email, or even video conferencing. They use them to write up a draft proposal and the final reports. Computer software applications help designers put their ideas down in a more sophisticated (read: easy to change!) way. Software is also available to make incredibly detailed blueprints, or to zero in on a specific section for 3-D modeling and evaluation.
- Models - Architects still rely on physical models, built by hand out of simple or advanced materials, to work ideas out and communicate with others. The tools used in making models (woodworking saws, soldering irons, vises, glue, etc.) are included in this.
- Pencil and paper - That's right; architects still do a lot of drawing by hand, hunched over the architect's desk making blueprints. Much of the student's time in studio will be spent this way, and that's because it reflects the real world. Computer models and software are very important, but for getting ones ideas down and communicating them to a team, hand-drawn, accurate blueprints are the way to go. Compasses, rulers, levels, measuring tape, and the all-mighty eraser are also important here!