On Land

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At Rill Architects we run ArchiCAD on Mac OS X. If you work at Rill, this is your stuff. If you don't, but you work in ArchiCAD, you may find something interesting. Anybody else, I don't know.
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March 2006 Archive

I found this 90% finished in the Ice folder, so I wrapped it up. The main difference is that the text expansion is now handled as a real number, consistent with the expansion feature of text in AC. The default expansion factor is 2.0.

Also: All the drawing names default to Title Case instead of ALL CAPS. Listen, all caps is played. It's a holdover from the hand-lettering days, which I barely remember. Nobody else in any print, design, or writing field uses caps all the time just because. It is hard to read. It looks like shouting.

Played.

Also, in the future (I'm optimistic), we will use automatic drawing titles. (Yes, they can be automatic in 9, but they're not parametric, and they don't cut it.) The name of the SE marker will be the name of the drawing. I'm not going to look at a Navigator full of CAPS all day.

Bury all caps, not praise.



From here, all credit where they say it's due. Hat tip to the pub.

The animation is below the fold so it doesn't drive me insane.

UPDATE: Satellite photo video here.

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To facilitate the creation of post-project binders.

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Accuracy is first. Completeness is second.

We're talking about construction documents of course.

The end product of our work is a building. The documents are the primary device for ensuring the building is executed in accordance with our design intent. Therefore, in evaluating the quality of documents, we are really talking about their reliability. Using these documents, how close to the design intent can the builder get? How much extra effort will be needed on the part of the builder, or ourselves, to clarify the design intent?

So the most critical value is accuracy. If information is in the documents, it needs to be correct. There is no way to tell accurate and inaccurate information apart. If information is missing, the builder will need to ask for it. Better to be missing than wrong.

A corollary of accuracy is consistency. If information is repeated in the documents, the repetitions need to be accurate. Since changes + repetitions = maintenance, repetitions should be kept to a minimum. Remember unity.

Assuming all the information in the documents is accurate, there should be as much of it as possible. The second most critical value is completeness. While we want the builders to call if information is missing, we don't actually want them to call. The challenge is to maintain accuracy while improving completeness. Especially when under deadline, accuracy is at risk when you focus on completeness. Remember, as you are wondering how you will ever "finish", that accuracy is more important than completeness. It is dangerous to "just get something on the drawings," because once it's there it's easy for us to forget it's not accurate, complete-looking as it is. If you don't have time to do it accurately, leave it out, let them call.

Right, so you don't have enough time. This is bad news for the aesthetic enhancement of the CDs. You can't invest time in making the drawings more pleasing to the eye if they aren't complete and accurate. So beauty is third, and lots of times you won't get to do as much of it as you'd like.

Hey, it's not last. Last is probably 'use of whitespace' or something. Having kicked beauty most of the way off the train, now I'll give it a hand up.

Beauty should be considered in standards, since that way it can be automated. If a standard is set, a beautiful solution is no more expensive than a plain one.

And listen, we're talking specifically about technical construction documents, not the building, materials, presentation drawings, competition entry, finish selections, or conceptual solution.

This is obsolete as of Archicad 15 which brought new Renovation.

MacDonald is a long-completed new home project. I don't know how long, but the important thing is that it's an AC7 project. We are reviving it for the purpose of some interior renovation. Naturally, we want to use the data we have. There are a few issues in working on a project of this vintage:

• All of the elements on new (.N) layers need to be treated as existing.

• The libraries.

• There's a couple of minor pen issues, to the extent that pen issues can be minor.

• The project is full of CD-phase annotation. All we want is the geometry.

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Black Cat 3-21-2006

I had never seen Animal Collective before and had no expectations.

Avey Tare: Guitar and main voice.
Deakin: Guitar and second voice.
Panda Bear: Effects and drums. Mostly effects.
Geologist: Effects and keyboard. Mostly effects.

Lots of texture. Loud to a normal load degree. Not quiet. No acoustic dimension whatever. My first unbidden thought was 'Spacemen 3'. The guitars are purely non-heroic.

Each song emerges out of a sort of starting drone, which gradually takes on definition and becomes the song. You will retro-recognize the founding drone of the songs you know. There are a few relatively straight songs: We Tigers, Grass, The Purple Bottle. The rest are long form, at least ten minutes, often fifteen, taking some time to fully develop. Banshee Beat is in this mode; it's the key to connecting the live and recorded arrangements.

Several songs consist entirely of both vocalists chanting and chittering, no guitar, amongst clouds of enveloping effects. Very patient. They are all enjoying themselves.

Geologist will occasionally join in the shouting, as on We Tigers. Panda will also throw in a yelp now and then. All members take some whacks at the lone cymbal whenever the impulse strikes. Deakin takes the tom for We Tigers, which consists of tom and shouting. Geologist wears a headlamp. Avey Tare's voice is versatile and flexible. Scream to falsetto to whisper back to scream, on a dime. I knew that, but watching his head make the sounds, you can't miss it.

I was a little surprised to find melody de-emphasized in favor of texture and improvisation. It's not a complaint. But Banshee Beat was just brought off extremely well. I left before the encore, which was reportedly Kids on Holiday, so I shouldn't talk. Stupid mistake.

Overall, highly recommended. They lost me a couple of times, but I was very tired and they did 60% unknown-to-me material.

I don't think this version of the Simpsons intro is all modeled, but it's close. (YouTube Link)