Regarding BIM, specifically an Autodesk ‘solution’ - I was setting up for a presentation of how I use SketchUp in my workflow. An engineer that I know had done a presentation just before me and as I was getting hooked into the projector he commented to the folks in the room that he viewed ‘SketchUp is just a toy…’
This of course required a response, and I responded with my usual:
‘Actually, its a pencil with some additional features built in… design is part of the process, the goal being to design good buildings - in my view it doesn’t matter to me if I know instantly how many feet of drywall I need if the overall design is garbage to begin with.’
This devolved into a discussion of the merits of BIM (and certainly information management and communication is a big part of a designer’s job) - and then into how the tools we use shape our work. The engineer took offense at some of my commentary, and I argued that I’d rather have a pencil, even if its a ‘dumb one’ - than hiring an IT staff to make sure I can draw every foot of drain pipe in a model, and make sure that it magically translates into representations that the public, code officials, owners etc. understand.
The conversation ended up going nowhere, I severed a previous workable relationship with an associate (haven’t seen work from him since…) - but I did learn that some folks get really caught up in the tools they use more so than the buildings they help create.
But I’d take a sharp the pencil and a good designer, who is an efficient draughtsman over all the bells and whistles of BIM any day. SketchUp works like that for me…