So we're moving forward with Autodesk Revit in the office and so far it seems to be allowing us to produce more with less effort. Sure, there are bumps in the road as we explore this new software, but overall it looks like the transition will be relatively smooth.
But software alone isn't always the answer, flexibility is required also. Often progress and growth require us to evaluate all of our methods and practices. Just because we do something a certain way for years, it doesn't mean that they should remain the same or that things can't improve, or even that we're correct to begin with! And so asking additional questions as a production staff is essential. It's especially beneficial as we transition from AutoCAD to Revit because as we learn new software we can also learn to spot areas to improve.
We started by looking at the construction documents we produce and where we could improve them for our customers and contractors. This lead to a discussion of fonts and tags and ultimately to our document template. Revit doesn't work like AutoCAD and so our borders and tags and even our font style needed to be reviewed to see if we really wanted to drag all of that history into the new program. Ultimately we didn't want a lot of that baggage. Revit has a very clean design for construction documents. Default fonts and tags are much different than what the office was using in AutoCAD prompting us to look at whether we could live with these changes. Some things we like and some we didn't. One thing we really didn't care for was the default font. Unfortunately, Revit defaults to Arial...a font style that I can't stand and that needless to say didn't resonate well with anyone else either.
In our training we were advised NOT to change the default settings for anything. It's not bad advice. It insures that the drawing package will have a uniformity and usability for everyone. Conversely is also means that the drawings look like everyone else's. Thus the dilemma.
Our final decision was to throw caution to the wind and begin to modify the program and set up our own templates for drawings. Every Font, Tag, Border, and Family that had the default text would need to be duplicated and modified. It sounded like a daunting task, and looked to be one as we began trying, however as we worked through the problem we realized that perhaps it wasn't as hard as we'd first thought. Creating our own identity wasn't impossible after all. If we'd just accepted what we'd been told or weren't willing to examine ourselves then we would be limiting our knowledge and learning how the program works, we would discover new things and we'd have been saddled with Arial Font...
Now we're designing our own office template which will incorporate the changes we make into all our future projects. We will revisit the template as needed to update or modify things as required. And ultimately we will review things semi-annually to make sure we're still satisfied with our choices and how they help us to provide a superior product to our customers and the people building their projects.
In thinking about things the most important question might be, "Should we be asking questions more often?" Some people get into a rut, they become stagnant and comfortable with the status quo. We should never be so comfortable that we stop questioning and exploring. Stagnation is the enemy of creativity, and in this business of design creation that can spell disaster. I hope we never stop questioning our methods, I hope we always continue to create new and wonderful things. If this sounds like the kind of thinking that appeals to you, then I encourage you to contact us for your future projects. We want to explore and ask questions, and we want to produce the best possible designs for our customers. Make sure to check back often as I continue to discuss our work and our future.