BIM Hangover

Is it possible that the AE side of AEC has a BIM hangover? Sometimes when I’m at conferences or just talking to people internal to my own firm or external it seems that BIM has become almost a swear word; I know in my own experience that more than one principal has said to me “I don’t want to hear about BIM anymore”.

I for one didn’t embrace technology, the design industry and even “BIM” to become a BIM specialist or a BIM manager or a BIM anything and in my career I’ve studiously avoided ever putting “BIM Manager” in my title anywhere and specifically avoided that role (though it could have been mine for the taking on more than one occasion).

So what does it mean then? As anyone will say BIM is a process, or maybe I have a BIM, but our interest in BIM is not an interest unto itself (at least I don’t think so?). Furthermore the “C” side of AEC even went so far as to come up with its own acronym, VDC (or perhaps we have Autodesk to thank for that too); to specifically differentiate itself from that “BIM” stuff that architects are doing. Not to say that VDC isn’t its own subset to a larger BIM process, I was there in the early, heady days of “VDC” conversations (thank you BIMForum for some memorable days and nights in cities not to be named), but it’s still BIM by another name…

So if we do have a malaise affecting us, how widespread is it and what does it mean? I’m not championing a return to the mid ‘aughts and BIM this and BIM that and BIM washing and BIM everywhere! But what is it that we need to do to move “Design Technology” forward or is “Digital Practice” as simple as Visual Programming, Generative Design, etc. as Autodesk would have us believe? Is it “Big Data” which has become the fashionable trend in other industries? Do we need to change “the dialog” in our own firms and in the industry, or are we still trying to figure out BIM?

A friend and colleague of mine likes to say that “training” is not the issue any longer, people know how to “use” the tools, but are we actually doing BIM, does the conversation need to move beyond “BIM”?

Do you find these questions provocative? Do they make you think? Do they describe your firm and how you feel? Do you think you already have the answers? Join us at the Design Technology Summit this summer if you think this conversation interests you!

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