Like many students of Architecture I read Christopher Alexander’s “A Pattern Language” in school. The patterns made sense intuitively, and it was an obviously viable framework for design decision making. But the true application as a language, for design thinking, not just decision making, was lost on me. I moved on, went to work, and eventually even sold my copy of both “A Pattern Language” and “A Timeless Way of Building”. Fool that I was.
Fast forward 15 years or so. To 2007, and my first iPhone. I was utterly smitten, and saw all sorts of potential for Architects. Dreaming of the iPad when it was still just a gleam in Steve Jobs’ eye, I imagined a tool for presentations, for CA, for punch lists. And I wanted to do more than use those tools, I wanted to make them. So I started learning Objective-C and Cocoa. And I discovered that long about the time I was leaving High School, a couple of software programmers (Kent Beck, Ward Cunningham, et al) where applying Alexander’s Pattern ideas to object-oriented programming.
Needless to say, I found programming more than my brain could really handle, but now this idea of patterns as a guiding principal to structure complex and difficult problems was starting to make sense. And as I worked with a third firm on migrating to Revit, I realized that I had unconsciously been seeing and using Patterns to structure the process. Nearly two decades after my Architecture school introduction, I was using these ideas. So I set about using them a little more intentionally. And codifying what seemed worthy of the effort.
I don’t (yet) suggest that these Patterns truly form a Language. Certainly not in the way that Alexander implied. But they are more than simple recipe or instruction. They relate to each other, inform each other, and most importantly drive discussion and thought.
Especially if you are just starting your transition to Revit, I think you will find it very helpful to read through the patterns and pick those that seem to make sense for you. Put them all in a list, group them appropriately. Maybe highlight a few things. Use them to plan your rollout of Revit, to remind yourself of what to expect and when, to navigate around the major pitfalls and stumbling blocks everyone encounters, and to find opportunities to do things you never imagined in your old CAD world.
The Pragmatic Reviteer Patterns are shown here as titles, and detail will be added in the menu as time goes by. I hope you find it useful.