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Our Use of Technology


We were fortunate in that, in school, we were the last generation to learn to draw by hand, yet in our early careers we were heavily influenced and somewhat entranced with the advent and wonders of the computer age. Our practice is a combination of both of these sensibilities, and blends seamlessly the rigor, discipline, and beauty of hand-drawn exploration and iteration with digital pre-visualization, scalability, and exactitude. We are firmly dependent on the latest in digital technology, yet its use and development is exercised with the time-honored disciplines of skill and craftsmanship. We select our applications not only for their capabilities, but in their ability to function as a comfortable tool that adjusts to our needs and our way of thinking. They must be as adaptable as they are enlightening.

Nothing illustrates this philosophy better than our use of Revit
®.

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Revit®
Revit
® is a Building Information Modeling (BIM) system that is, essentially, a database attached to an object-oriented three-dimensional computer modeling system. We build a 3D computer model of the building, and all of its components, connect the components to a database, and export views of the model as plans, sections, and elevations, and export the database as schedules, keynotes, and lists. It is an exceptionally complicated program to learn, and it took us years of effort to take this program’s strengths and complexities and make them efficient tools at our fingertips. It is a near perfect example, however, of blending new technology with timeless skills and craftsmanship. The result is that we have harnessed Revit® into an indispensable tool we use in the design phase, for construction documents, for presentations and analyses, for immersive walkthroughs, and as photo-realistic renderings.



Software and Applications
Part of our digital philosophy is to evaluate and select software for its ability to implement our ideas rather than our ideas conforming to what the software purports to be able to produce. We prefer software to be an infinite tool rather than a limited menu of choices. That being said, good software design must manage limitless variables into powerful toolsets, and ideally, toolsets that are uniform (if not familiar) across applications.

All software has strengths and weaknesses, and another part of our approach is to similarly assess an application’s limits, both good and bad, and leverage its strengths into our workflow. Therefore, our core stable of software must be complimentary rather than standalone, and as such each application evaluated not only for its capabilities, but for its compatibility.


Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and Acrobat
Since the earliest days of the Macintosh, and the introduction of drawing tools on the computer, we have harnessed the development of Adobe software into our digital philosophy. Fortunately, their toolsets have become near de facto industry standards for image (raster-based) manipulation, drawing (vector-based), and page layout, and thus, hard to improve upon. All of these applications are integral to our workflow, and touch nearly every project in a variety of ways. Acrobat Professional affords us powerful PDF creation, assembly, and annotation tools that makes these, and our other software, extremely user-friendly to our clients.

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Microsoft Word and Excel
Word and Excel forms the backbone of our office and project management; we use these applications for our correspondence, proposals, project logs, memos, meeting agendas and minutes, bidding evaluation, and construction administration. The files are usually considered master files, with output delivered, managed, and cataloged as standalone PDF files.

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Multimedia Software
All of our multimedia work we prefer to produce in-house. We start with Aperture for our photo and video library, management, and cataloging. We use iMovie for our video editing and composition, and compose our own music with Garage Band. Our cameras are high-end advanced Canon digital point-and-shoot and SLRs, with both still and video capabilities. We designed and manage our own website with RapidWeaver, and link video content through our Vimeo account.

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Hardware and Devices
We use MacBook Pros for all our content creation, and when in the office, connect them to display monitors for dual-monitor efficiency and color calibration. For off-site meetings, a combination of our laptops and iPads afford us powerful real-time presentations and multi-monitor design meetings available in any location. Our iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks are all linked and afford us electronic communication and networking from any location at any time. Our powerful flatbed scanner affords us the ability to leverage hand-drawn sketches and ideas into a digital medium.

Cloud-Based Services
We utilize cloud-based file servers and backup technology that affords us the ability to share large files with clients and service bureaus (ie. large document printers) via secure links in real-time. For clients, most of these files are delivered as links to multi-page PDF files that are easily viewed on their computers, tablets, and phones, or printed as hardcopy documents. Walkthroughs are saved as QuickTime movies and similarly delivered, often times embedded within a larger PDF. Our output files can be sent from any of our devices at any time.