Architectural Education Session 4 (plus VDC!)


aerial view Brunelleschi's dome

It was another exciting night last night at our weekly training session

This week we spent an hour on architectural training and then the next hour on VDC training. It was a great blend of the past and the future, all in one night.

During our architectural lecture, we started the Renaissance period of western architecture (part I of II). We learned about the return to classicism in design and form, the rebirth of geometry as divine, and the introduction of perspective in art. However, the most interesting discussion of the evening was about the architect’s role during the Renaissance. Renaissance architects were artists, who could draw and paint, as well as builders who understood engineering and materials and, in many instances, oversaw construction. Halfway through the 14th century a rift developed, case in point: Brunelleschi vs. Alberti. Two contemporaries, Brunelleschi represented the architect as a master builder, a sculptor who understood construction materials and learned classicism from ancient ruins; and Alberti the gentleman’s architect, a scholar who approached problems theoretically and learned classicism from ancient texts.

It was tempting to draw parallels to today’s design and building process from this discussion, to say that this pivotal moment in history was when the separation between builders and architects occurred. But, history is never one-sided and while Brunelleschi’s master builder mindset is indeed what we are striving for with our work today, he was also notoriously misanthropic and secretive about his work, which is not in keeping with a transparent IPD process!

Enough history already! During our VDC training, we learned to navigate a BIM in Bentley Navigator. This is a continuation of our VDC training that started a few weeks ago, to give each employee in the company the power of VDC at their fingertips. This training is not just for our project management staff, by training EVERYONE, we ensure no loss of information and communication as a project progresses through the team from Business Development, to Virtual Design and Construction, to operations and even accounting.