Digging into ArchiCAD at Drury University
The spring semester is well underway at Drury University in Springfield, Missouri. There the students are tackling their courses and learning the intricacies of design, architecture and, thanks to a recent training event sponsored by GRAPHISOFT, staying current with the latest Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology.
On a recent Saturday morning, the university and GRAPHISOFT teamed up to give a special introduction to ArchiCAD through a workshop. The training session was attended by 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th year architecture students. Led by Billy Kimmons, Drury University adjunct professor and principal architect at Hood-Rich, the students spent their morning getting acquainted with some of the basics of navigation, design tools and documentation process available in ArchiCAD.
“The course was designed to work within the basic framework of instruction already in place at Drury University – which has a focus on learning design rather than learning to draft in the computer. We encouraged the student to think strategically and then see how the software could support their ideas with solid data and modeling capabilities – since that’s what ArchiCAD does for the architectural professional.”
Demonstrations for Every Level of Understanding
In order to demonstrate the software, Kimmons chose a simple wood frame commercial building – to make sure that entry level students with a beginning understanding of BIM would not be left out of the discussion. Of particular interest, given the prevalence of group projects at the university level, was the Teamwork functionality found in ArchiCAD.
“The students had so many questions about that, they collaborate often on assignments. I was happy to show them how ArchiCAD can support their communications as a team – and how they can make the most of the BIM Server as they progress into the field.”
A Definite Value for Students
Grace Lounsbury, president of the student chapter of AIA at the university agreed that the information shared was valuable and useful to the students who attended the workshop both during their studies and after they finish college.
“It was an incredibly informative session. It was further aided by the fact that the instructor was already familiar with the style of teaching at the university, since he is an adjunct here. All of the students were very keen on the fact that ArchiCAD is a program native to Mac users. The software is relevant to the work being done in the field today, which is in line with everyone’s post-graduation goal, to find a paying job at an architectural firm and build from there.”
More Workshops to Come
University administrators installed the educational version of the ArchiCAD in all the computer labs for all the student’s use. There are plans to schedule additional workshops to train the students to use ArchiCAD in the future. Lounsbury says this is something the students want to see going forward.
“The most important factor that the school is trying to convey is not to be limited by the tools we’re using, but to figure out the design ahead of time and use the best method to convey that design idea that is available to you.”