There are two main dilemmas for the tuition of Architecture. The first dilemma is how to teach an understanding of construction, subsequent to design. The second dilemma is a modern consequence of the abandonment of the pen and paper: how to teach architectural software (and which ones to choose?).
Instructors of architecture understand that design is the core of architecture, and that everything else is secondary.To quote Matthew Frederick in his book titled 101 Things I Learned in Architecture School, ‘The nebulousness of architectural instruction is largely necessary. Architecture is, after all, a creative field, and it is understandably difficult for instructors of design to concretize lesson plans out of fear of imposing unnecessary limits on the creative process’.
Traditional design software packages, with their innumerable complexities and constraints, cause only to distract students from what they should be learning.
Architecture needs to focus on design, and therefore, it is understandable that many graduates finish their education with limited understanding of construction. However, to quote Ludwig Mies van der Rhoe, ‘God is in the details’. The better a student understands construction, the more they will be able to contribute to future employers. But how can Universities/Colleges focus on design, whilst simultaneously and effortlessly imparting a knowledge of construction?
The answer is PlusSpec: PlusSpec is the perfect balance between design and construction
Until now, students and professionals have used SketchUp for visualization purposes only, and derided for thinking that it could be used as a full-implementation design software, such as Revit and ArchiCad. SketchUp is the ‘Number 1’ tool for design and visualization, yet its documentation and technical communication of ‘whole of project’ delivery, was lacking. Millions of Architects and students from around the world have yearned for SketchUp to become a smarter, more powerful, parametric, 3D & 2D software package. And now that future is here. After Eight years of development and testing, a new and innovative software solution is revolutionizing the design and construction industry:
PlusSpec for SketchUp is an amazing new building design, planning and estimating BIM/VDC software, that brings together the power of Computer Aided Drafting (CAD), Estimation, 3D Modelling, 2D Planning and Building Information Modelling (BIM) – into one easy-to-use package.
PlusSpec utilizes the SketchUp environment, which is the most popular free-form 3D modelling software in the world. The user is not confined by components/families, or types. PlusSpec users have the best of BIM and parametric technology, as well as free-form 3D sketching.
Students of Architecture and design can, for the first time, spend all of their time designing, whilst simultaneously visualizing the construction details and implications of their design. 2D details require decoding – and this can be extremely difficult for students (and even seasoned professionals) to adequately understand. They are after all, merely a translation of a physical object, using only lines. The best way to understand something is to see it in real life – or as an accurate 3D representation. 3D is one of the greatest gifts given to design from the modern age.
PlusSpec is a BIM (Building Information Modelling) software. But it has evolved. PlusSpec for SketchUp is the most powerful VDC (Virtual Design and Construction) platform, and it is the perfect balance between design and construction. Not only is it the most intuitive and easy-to-use software available on the market (whilst being arguably one of the most powerful), it is the only software which allows the user to design, whilst being able to simultaneously visualize and develop the ‘construction methodology’ of the design, in 3D.
PlusSpec is a full-implementation software, and when combined with SketchUp Pro, it is bringing back the ‘art & soul’ of 2D drawings – and allows its users to produce beautiful drawings for local council authorization/certification, and final construction documentation.
PlusSpec is being adopted by every University/College and Educational Institution around the world. For the first time, Instructors can focus on teaching design, knowing that PlusSpec will facilitate the instruction of construction. If a student has a question about the constructability of their design, it can be visualized and analysed and modified in 3D, in real time, and simply with the click of a button.
Educational Institutions and students can purchase a PlusSpec Educational licence for AUD$66.
Go to: https://plusspec.com/education.html and purchase your student/educator licence today!
Students from around the world are flocking to PlusSpec. We receive emails from students every week, stating that not only has it become their favourite design software, but that their understanding of construction and detailing has increased tenfold.
Testimonial from an Architectural Student using PlusSpec:
“Every young architect has their secret recipe of software packages they use to express themselves and their designs in their own way. Moving models between software from different developers is temperamental to say the least, the usual outcome being something that is completely out of scale and anything but intelligent. The industry is now flooded with software which is excellent at producing a specific part of the process, yet very few can cover all bases. The ones that can require many years of practice, lack the freedom of expression contained within sketchup, and are guaranteed to empty your pockets. PlusSpec is set to do for BIM what Sketchup has done for 3D modelling, offering a cheaper, more user friendly, yet very powerful tool when used correctly. It is a step in the right direction towards streamlining our work flows, and ultimately making the whole process of modelling a building and its contents a smoother and more pleasurable feat. Sketchup’s addition of some BIM elements a few years ago was a welcome addition, however left a lot to be desired in terms of usability and functionality. PlusSpec fills this gap with a suite of tools that allow architects and designers to develop early concept models into fully functioning intelligent models that can be easily documented with minimal headaches along the way. The ability to use manufacturer’s products in a design benefits both designers and the manufacturers themselves, as well as eliminating time spent scouring the internet for that perfect product only to find they do not offer a digital model. Reading through the list of features on PlusSpec’s website is a guaranteed day-brightener.
I know from first hand experience that one of the modern day difficulties facing architecture students is the difficulty for universities to keep up with the ever changing software trends of the industry. As a result, many students enter the workforce with little or no experience in the software packages they will be using. Sketchup is a tool that, when used well (I can’t stress this enough), outputs amazing images but lacks the technical capabilities to make the designs created inside it come to fruition, resulting in the often messy process of importing your Sketchup model into one of the many more complex BIM software packages, or just building it again from scratch. If universities could teach students how to use sketchup in combination with PlusSpec effectively and professionally, developing a smooth workflow from concept to completion, then our young architects would have much more time to spend building on their design skills, making the eventual transition into more complex software a lot easier. It would be the ace up the sleeve of any uni student, and just to sweeten the deal; it’s Australian.
Parametric, intelligent BIM modelling with a database of manufacturers products all inside one program- ’nuff said.
CAD is dead, BIM is dead. Long live VDC (virtual design and construction)!”
Elliot Langdon – Studying a Masters of Architecture at the University of Western Australia
Drew Povey joined RubySketch in 2015 and now heads up the Melbourne Office. He has a Masters of Architecture, a B.A in languages, and a Diploma of Business.