A matter of faith

One of the biggest problems that the implementation of the BIM in the architecture cabinets raises is the choice of software.

Until recently, the brand of the tools used by architects was irrelevant.

Faber, Caran D'Ache or Pentel pencils, Rotring or Staedtler pens, the final result depended little on these personal preferences.

With the advent of the CAD everything changed. The choice of brand became decisive for the success of the cabinet. And, as it often happens, the majority of the architects did not choose what was more adequate, but what was more popular.

The situation was such that the majority of the converted did not even feel the need to test other software.

With BIM, things where again different.

The giant Autodesk did not have a product especially designed for the production of the Virtual Building, having acquired in 2000 the newly created Revit. But in this market other companies with strong tradition in this technology already existed, like Graphisoft and Bentley. Thus we have been witnessing rising commercial hostilities between the manufacturers.

Excellent for us users, for we have only to gain with the competition and to lose with monopolies.

But it is not the comparison between software that interests me, but the mechanism that takes each one of us to adopt, and especially to defend, his BIM software of election. Mine is ArchiCAD, for personal and circumstantial reasons. But it could be any other.

I work with it an average 8 hours per day, 5 days per week, for more than 6 years.

So I find it more than natural that, after thousands of working hours, to have developed a feeling for the program that resembles affection.

Otherwise, I would have destroyed my computer innumerable times.

I do not doubt that it is the same with other users, of other BIM softwares.

From what I have seen and heard, ArchiCAD users are as fanatic as Revit or Bentley ones.

I have also never known a top user of two competing programs. An Archicad Guru does not know Revit in the same depth.

What interests me here is the characterization of this feeling that each one of us nourishes for the software we use.

In certain aspects it comes close to the feelings that we have for our private partners, for our soccer club, our country, for our religion.

It is exclusive and irrational.

No matter how much we try to convince others (and ourselves) that we are totally opened to change our opinion, to compare our software with others in an exempt way, the fact is that we are biased in this comparison, focusing always on the virtues of ours and the defects of others.

It reminds me of a debate between representatives of some religions that I attended recently. All of them, in keeping with the spirit of the "ecumenical dialogue" so en vogue nowadays, deeply respected the religion of the others, considering that there is more than one way to reach God.

But, when confronted with the undeniable fact that, by definition, only one can be the true religion, being all the other false, every one of them sincerely believed his was the true one.

We have one or more mechanisms in our brain that allow us to firmly believe an exclusive truth.

As in religion, soccer clubs, political parties or BIM software.

To ignore this mechanism is to deceive ourselves, and become prey to the marketing of software manufacturers.


Anonymous said...

Sane, refreshing, enlightening.
Regards Rod

Steve said...

One minor point regarding Autodesk's purchase of Revit, it was May 2002, not 2000 as you stated. Revit Technology Corporation released Revit 1.0 in 2000.

Miguel Krippahl said...

Thank you Steve :)