Going BIM!

In this post I would like to talk about our initial encounter with BIM (Building Information Modeling) and how we have managed to go through the transition from CAD to BIM.  I won’t talk about any technical BIM issue here.  This will be about our exciting experience of ‘going BIM'.


Since the beginning of our founding days in early 2013, we knew BIM was mandatory.  At first, thinking with BIM is a lot trickier than thinking with CAD for people like myself who grew up in the generation of Mayline and a drafting board.  Moving from traditional CAD to BIM was not a smooth transition.  It was difficult.  Well… really difficult.  The difficult part is not learning how to operate the software, that was easy.  A button for wall.  A button for floor. A button for ceiling.  Great!  That was fine.  The challenging part is to learn how to set up the project correctly so they work the way they are meant to work.  We have to learn the hard way.  These models are informative and merely not the representation of masses and forms, they contain crucial information about everything you would ever need to know about a building.  Well, now we all know what a BIM model is, but at the time it was quite a challenging tools for us.


BIM know-how challenge aside, another tough issue we encounter was how to convince our team to face the change and to foster this technology into their mindset.  This was hard since investing in this software was very expensive for a start-up firm like ours.  There were debates.  There were doubts about the compatibility of the software and many more issues not to mention.  What I had to do was to empower through them.  I literally forced them to use it.  I mean I did not allow them to use CAD in the project I was in charge of.  There was a lot of pressure on the learning curve timeframe while keeping the deadlines.  That was rough but it worked.


Now 4 years later, we are proud and confident to say that our office operates with BIM.  We now operate on both platform of ArchiCAD and Revit.  There are pros and cons of both applications, but we are learning to know them better.  There are a lot more interesting stories about BIM that I would like to share with you all and I will keep our stories posted.



Revit Environment




ArchiCAD Environment



BP's notes on his sketches

When ideas go wild, sketching is a good way to quickly capture those freak stuffs in my heads out to be materialised on paper sheets. Several times, good ideas just flashed in. Without a method to capture them, they will be forever gone.

Personally, I love rough sketching very much. By just simply using pencil or pen and let my drawing flows following my thought, it could produce a lot of ideas within minutes. It is a genuine thought without polishing. What I thought, it will be out there. No retouch or correction work. It allowed me to be.....so so me..... be myself, and reflected how freak that I stepped away from norms. And the moment that I loved most was when our freak ideas and sketches could make us laughed or stunned during discussions. Creativity comes when surprise comes.

Moreover, sketching is a medium that trained me to explain my thought to other people without using a word. Good sketches explain a lot. As they say "picture is worth a thousand words".








When we designed this office we wanted to have an art work in our meeting room.  We have looked at many paintings for that ‘perfect’ piece that will take up this space and finally we found none.  Not that they are not a beautiful art works, in fact they all are but deep down it just don’t feel right.  We realised that what we were looking for was not exactly a beautiful ‘painting’ but it was something that was more personal and something that expresses who we are.

Our idea was to have everyone in the office participate in this painting.  It was built layers over layers.  Everyone had a week to ‘paint’ (or draw or whatever it was that they do) on the canvas.  For that week, the base layer of the painting was formed.  It looked more of a graffiti wall rather than a painting, but it filled with expression and personalities.  The expression of base tone were candy-like and pastel color and that was enough for us know know about our team - we are a playful and quite a risk- taker bunch of designers.  Then week after that the entire painting was covered with gesso.  Gesso was to preserved the base layer before we did the final touch up to the painting - the lines.

The lines exercise was an instructional procedure.  The instruction was everybody have to draw a line after one another for a week.  Each lines must be as close as they can be but not touching. The exercise went for a week and we all had only about 20 percent of the painting covers with lines.  It was intensive week for unity and teamwork.

Although at the end, this ‘painting’ might not be the most beautiful painting, but it best matches us and our meeting room.  It records history in the making of what we are - designers in the making.








That Paper Wall



At our office party in December 2013, we had an idea to create our very own backdrop for photo shoot.  I challenged our team to come up with a design that was possible to produce and assemble within a week period.  The wall was 8m. long by 2.4m. tall.  Material must be found easily within the office and most importantly, it must be cheap.

At last, out selected material was paper.  Yes, it was cheap and easily found in the office.  Our team came up with a paper module that can be done using A3 size paper and able to connect to other modules from all directions.  The process started in 3D modelling software before translating in to 2D print out for production.   The module was a simplify version of our house logo interlocking each other in opposite direction.

Once we had the module worked out and ready to be mass produced, I challenged them further to construct the entire wall without using any adhesive substance.  They had to come up with another simple structural system that would hold and stiffen the modules together.  Of course, this structure was also made of paper.  It took about 3 days to produce over thousand of paper module and another 3 days to assemble them together.  We figured that with this module the challenge wasn’t the length of the wall but the height.   The construction was easy until 1.5 m. tall, after that the lower module seemed to be carrying too much weight at that point we had to increased stiffener.

This project was one of the very first project we have done together as an office that wasn’t architecture and didn’t involve and clients.  It was our own and it was something we all really put our heart into to see it accomplished.  It was a great bonding experience.  Many times I think a good design doesn’t have to be complex and sophisticated, sometime having fun and trying something different is enough to bring a good design to the world as well.  I’m looking forward to more projects like this in a very near future.
















Live, Work, and Play

One of our key beliefs on what can possibly impact our design experience is to do some other activities other than just work together. We always find opportunities to play together, to get sweat together, and to be simply having fun. Throughout this whole experience, we have not only been creating a friendship, but also generating meaningful work partners. We love to share our thought and our being as much as we learn about each other's life. We trust that this connectivity would gradually transform our office culture and our day-to-day environment into a happier and healthier one.









We love to communicate our conceptual design and forward through visualization. We believe that our client should be more beneficial if we could precisely and accurately illustrate images our designers carried in their mind. Diving into detailed making of lines, lightings, forms, and materials challenge us to plugin all those scattered creativity into a stronger image. The attractiveness of rendering is how to balance designer's instinct while being able to create and try a new artistic approach. We commonly test variations of contrast in order to ascertain our design accent. The challenge of all the works we have done is how to control all process under limited timeline, select the best for our clients, yet still keep the soul of imagination.