- Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:52 am
Hello, new forum user here. I think this is a very important question that needs to be addressed in the best possible way to ensure the survival and evolution of this wonderful software. Im sure they are working on it and have their best minds on it, but more ideas from everybody cant hurt. Lets contribute people!
I think the answer lies somewhere in attacking many fronts at the same time and accepting and addresing some realities:
WHAT DOES ARCHICAD MEAN FOR THEM?
-First of all, what is Archicad to Nemetschek among Allplan and vectorworks? What does it mean to them?
So far, we all can see that Vectorworks is evolving at a very fast rate, implementing a ton of features in the past 2 years, while archicad struggles in implementing 2 new tools. This clearly suggest that more resources are poured into vectorworks or at least that it is easier to develope for it. Will they merge? will one eventually dissapear? do they like internal competition so no one stales and they keep on inovating? do they prefer to serve vanilla or a chocolate ice cream choice on summers at their cafeteria? we dont know yet.
-Who is their target market? while Graphisoft seems to sell the idea that Archicad is for big projects, there doesnt seem to be a standard way to handle them, far from it. Meanwhile smaller offices with smaller projects seem neglected. I know big projects can be done because i have seen it, but you get the impression that Graphisoft is content with letting everyone discover how to do it instead of giving some extra help.
And while from a PR perspective it probably wouldnt be a good idea to sell your product as "a sofware for the small project", so far, the prospect for establishing Archicad as a software for big projects seems quite bleak, specially in the USA and countries that produce really big, starchitect like stuff, like Nordic countries, UK, Netherlands, Singapur, Dubai. Not exactly my favorite architecture, but it is the kind of stuff that can attract new users.
In this regard, before thinking in trying to get big offices in rich countries use their software, i think Graphisoft really does need to stablish a stronghold in some countries and then grow from there. Developing countries, like Latin American Countries, some African countries, India and also Iberic countries, Italy and ironically, as counterpoint, Japan and switzerland, are a wonderful opportunity for many reasons:
-Great architecture is being produced right now in these countries. And a lot of it is very down to earth stuff, the type of Architecture in which archicad can natively shine.
-While Revit is really being used for many big projects, it is still an extremely clunky software that requires a lot of staff to get the best of it, with great cost to the client and the offices that use it. Meanwhile, one of archicads greatest and most impressive strenghts, ie, its ease of use and the ability to handle big models without the need of state of the art computers is rarely promoted. Attack on it! promote it! make the most of it!!!!!!
-Most offices are small affairs and most dont have an internal enginering department, and by most i can confidently say that over 99% offices dont have one in these countries, so no need to try to integrate everything like Revit does when you can use an open BIM approach.
-most offices barely survive; Implement new adquisition options for emergent countries. Most people would gladly pay for software if it was affordable. Emergent economies cant pay at the same rate as more well off countries, but that doesnt mean they arent willing to pay.
-We need to accept the fact that while ARchicad is great for what it does, its scope is more limited than Revit. Im talking about structural design and MEP design, which most Revit users point out as an Archicad weakness rather than a Revit strenght (while i think Revit tries to do too much). Archicad needs to play on this and turn it upside down. Never in any place i have worked in did i saw someone do a rebar drawing, as it was done by external consultants, same for MEP, save the smaller projects. Having said that, Archicad has a working relationship with a much better structural software that what Revit is. Use IT, [censored] it!! show what can be done working with an open Bim workflow.
-Lots of students in the afforementioned countries cannot afford high end computers to properly use Revit. Cater to them, make them use Archicad if not out of conviction out of convenience and budget. To do this, you really need to get better at the next point.
-They really need to get their act together on this. The archicad courses in the graphisoft site need a MAJOR upgrade, as in, do them all over again, ideally with real world, award-winning projects, done from start to finish, not some random projects half baked for the ocasion. I cant stress the importance of this. You cant teach a software with a "click here, type this, then click again" teaching style without ever explaining the reason for anything, certainly not to the younger generations. More than one language would be a plus.
-They promote new features nobody knew about until they announce it and underpromote their biggest strengts, like efficiency in using computer resources, ease and speed of use, 3d modeling, Open Bim philosophy. Promote your strenghts, the new features are the cherry on top.
-Unfortunately there are some very amateur looking stuff around internet done with Archicad, specially in youtube. As someone already pointed out, if im a student or an office trying to decide on which software to use and i see some of those videos, i would definitely go somewhere else. Those videos do not properly convey Archicad capabilities and potential. They really need to get world class offices that already use their software to help on promotion and show what this software can actually do. An example: axonometrics, which can be done with astounding quality in archicad, are never shown in any how-to videos. Meanwhile Revit has a dedicated tool for exploded axonometrics and promote the hell out of it. But even by using it, the quality you get is less than what can be done with archicad.
-On the other hand, the Bydesign series is a good effort.
-They need to do better world premiers. Having people with proper english pronuntiation would be a nice start. The girl that presented at the end of the last premiere did a fantastic job though.
-They really, really need to find a way into schools, both world class instituations and local smaller schools, specially in Latin American countries. There is still time, but each year new generations come out of school knowing revit without having heard of Archicad. which is a shame.
-Promote each and any office that wins an award using archicad.
-Do your best to avoid local governments indicate which software to use for legal permits. The only format requested should be IFC.
-Accept what Archicad can do and promote its biggest strenghts, promote its glimpses into the future (Nikken Sekkei, anyone?). The finite element connection rumour would be nice if it happens, but dont get into a dog fight with Revit users to see who does the best Rebar plans. Or worse, to see who can do a non descript cabin in less minutes. Those kind of videos are pointless and stupid; Architecture is not done in 15 minutes or less.
-They need to address the online polls and user wishlists in a public way, otherwise take them out. If someone at Graphisoft actually reads and acknowledges those polls, raise your hand! let the people feel the love. I think that even if they made a poll to select the 2 or 3 most pressing wishlist features (that feasible of course) for each release, everyone would be happier.
-The mood in these forums has been getting more somber of lately.
-They need to implement some key features NOW. If they are waiting for Archicad 30 to release a dedicated Keynote tool we are all roasted. Ok Graphisoft, so you dont want to put a Keynote tool because you want us to automate everything with ID´s Labels and what not? fine, but come out and say it, otherwise buy Cadimage or whatever but incorporate some missing basic stuff. Make it easier on the average person, so easy to use your software that using Revit seems unwise.
-They need to do something with the content generation of objects and products from third party vendors. GDL does not seem to be easy stuff, and there doesnt seem to be enough GDL developers out there. I personally dont find this too important, but for the LOD 350 and 400 enthusiasts, this is killing them.
-dont base each release on a key feature. "This year is stairs, next curtain wall, etc" this is basic stuff. You cant expect people to get excited because of a new column tool, while convenient, is just that, a tool that already existed. They have done this until now and it worked because we can considered it was in the last part of its formative years AFTER its first truly formative years. But announcing this kind of features now seems like "hey, we didnt have a column tool... but we have now"; they should promote it as a complete, fully featured, fully functional design suite that gets better each year instead of adding features it should already have.
-As for big projects, some suggestions. im sure most of this is on the wishlists: Ability to handle different Datum levels WITHOUT generating a floor plan and asigning objetcs to them, usefull for split levels and more complex floor plans. Color coding named views. Ability to delete or hide non used cloned views. Better terraing handling. Global template (you update one template and it applies to all your projects, or you can select the option to handle individually). Automatic dimensioning tool (place a tool like the section tool, where you define the depth to which you want to dimension the objetcts, and then annotate according to criteria. Place in plan, adjust in section. It all updates automatically. If they can do sections, they should be able to do this). A tool for placing Level datum on plan for top of walls. More intelligence in grid tool (fix some basic stuff to the grid like walls of slab limits, not to the extreme you can in revit but something). Ability to work on a wireframe model, where you can easily alter the limits of slab for example, and it reflects on changes on you curtain wall (maybe via Grasshopper). Streamline the ID editor, its very usefull but it can get much better. Automatic label of spaces in section if you have a zone on it (this one is incredible that its not included but there is a nice pluging out there). Better handlign of scale for texts and dimensions. the list goes on.
-want it or not, algorithmic design is the next big thing. We are still a little bit far away of it becoming mainstream, but it will happen. And not necesarily to design crazy forms and organic facades, but more in a way of designing and analizing everything and producing information. its already happening in the most cutting edge offices. Revit has Dynamo and some other software use their own native algorithmic plug in. What archicad has? a plug in that connects with another software that has is own algorithmic plug in. Make your own application or make the Grasshopper connection as robust as possible. Of course, i say it as if it was so easy and cheap to do and I think they are already on this, but again, not enough promotion or videos on it. And yet, i would leave the blobby-organic architecture to someone else (more on that later).
CURRENT USER BASE
One of the worst things that could happen to me as an architect is if Graphisoft ever goes out of business. My idea of hell is having to use Revit on a daily basis. We can help to avoid this by promoting this software as Mr. Rob2218 suggests. Form local user groups. Sharing our work if its worth sharing. Moving forward. commenting when possible, not just our bad experiences with some unexpected bug, but also good experiences. If you employ interns still in school, give them time to adapt to it, make them promote the software among their peers. We need as many Shoegnomes, James Murrays, Robert Manns, Eric Bobrows, Arttools and LearningArchicads as possible. Explore the software daily until it breaks, and then start again until it breaks again. More importantly, allow the extra time this software allows to explore more on your own designs, to explore architecture each day. It all should grow and evolve.
Last edited by jl_lt on Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:18 pm, edited 8 times in total.