Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Zen of Revit Content Creation

Question.  Do you know what it's like to be inside of a convection oven?  Go to Florida in August. 

Even with that my friends, I am happy to say I spent seven days of joyful family time down at Disney World in Orlando.  93 degrees and 107 with the humidity.  Wild Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Animal Kingdom...  As is common with me I could not get my mind off of work even though I spent a lot of time 'catching up' before I left.  But after a few days of acclimating, sleeping in (so I could stay out late when the sun was down) I started to understand what the essential value of vacation was about.  It's all about family.  Once I got over the difference of the climate and the chaos of theme parks I really started to enjoy my time with my family.  And when I was in process, in the pocket, enjoying them and the time I was spending with them time flew by.  That is, time ceased to be a linear process.

As I am less interested in the learned procedures of Revit content creation and more interested in the way to proceed I contend that immersion, reflection, and application is the cycle that thought must take when proceeding with Revit content creation.  I think it is especially the case with those CAD operators that have spent years in the trenches with their command lines in a non-BIM world.  It is not a comfortable conversion for these veterans.  "Where are my icons?  Where's the command line?  I am a CAD guru but now I am a beginner again!"  The operator becomes self conscience of his/her inadequacy as an asset.  Every movement within the project becomes weighed for value, reflected upon, and judged for worth.  Gone is the intuition and the smooth movement of mind to hand.  We are no longer in the pocket my friends.  We now live in the world of the Revit process.  

To be a fluid intuitive Revit operator takes time.  Leave the hubris behind.   Enjoy the discovery process.  Do not bite off more than you can chew. 

There are those in management that think, "Oh it's another CAD program.  You push a button and it happens.  It won't take anytime for my seasoned CAD veterans to learn this tool."  Wrong.  This is a new world for the 2D's.  No, it's a new UNIVERSE for the 2D's.  The objects now stand in the third dimension.  The elevations are done, the utility loads for scheduling are already in the object.  There are different procedures.  Elevations now appear in the early stages of the project for review by the client and you have less reverse engineering as the operation of the facility is revealed early in the design process. 

A welder once told me that laying down a bead with 7018 was very Zen like.  "You start in the most uncomfortable position of the bead.  You strike the arc and focus on the bead.  As you bring the bead towards your body you become more comfortable.  As you finish the weld you are in the most comfortable position of all.  The flux is peeled back like a caterpillar's skin.  It is beautiful." 

Again I posit that it's the cycle of immersion, reflection, and application that thought must take when proceeding with Revit content creation.  Proceed into your flagship Revit project with some basic tools and stretch into the project horizon.  Reflect on the use of new tools and apply those.  Repeat.  Enjoy the process.  Be at play with the process.  Dance with the process.  Time flies.