Revit Hating

Ever had one of those things that you always kinda knew, but didn’t REALLY know until you looked at it from outside your box (I thank Bruce Mason, my middle school Target teacher for the ability to do this)?

So today I was thinking about all the hate that Revit gets, even from me; especially from me. I was wondering, why is it that people hate revit? I realized the better question is “When is it that people hate Revit?” My personal answer is when I’m on deadline and Revit decides it is a pre-adolescent script that wants to say no to everything. Or in other words, when it doesn’t do what I want it to do. This is typically due to having to deal with the way architecture works with technology. Most instances of Revit failures with me have to do with the hardware hosting the program and not misuse of the software so where the industry meets the technology is where the typical battle line is drawn.

So how does this apply to how the typical Revit hater hates Revit? It seems to me that there is an inherent hate of technology in Architecture. Unbeknownst to a lot of people, Architecture is nothing more than critical application of common sense just like magic is nothing more than misdirection. The success of both is determinant in the flourish of the hand to produce the desired results. In Architecture the flourish is the Art side; drawing the lines, making them perty and impressive. A lot of Architects live and die by the line, how perfectly drawn it is, and the contractor’s ability to interpret it as a real object.

What I realized in this existential moment today is that a majority of the push back I receive from people on Revit is when I basically tell them that they can’t just draw a line, or just move a line. Usually it’s masked in the form of “I want to change this section, the wall needs to be 6″ stud instead of 8″ and the sheathing should only be 1/2″…” and typically they come from an environment where it’s just a matter of changing the lines to match. When my response is that they have to change wall types or floor assemblies or material properties to achieve this… that is the moment that Revit sucks to them.

I don’t think it’s the fact that they have to pay attention to how the building is actually going to be built and that they now need to be completely coordinated across all drawings in the model. It’s the fact that it’s not as simple as just manipulating the lines. They have to open a dialog box, sometimes 2, understand which layer it is they are looking at in an assembly, translate that to another section of the dialog box with dimensions in it and then hope that this changes the right line in that view. What if it was as simple as just manipulating a line? What if I could change a wall assembly by moving just the lines and that updated the entire assembly in the model? Would you still hate Revit that much? I really feel that the frustration comes from such high-order actions required to complete low-order tasks. Can we find a solution to make low-order tasks require low-order actions, not for the sake of making it easy for everyone but for the sake of making it intuitive to how we design and draw as an industry?

What have been your experiences with push back? Is it because of the complexity of the action required to complete the task? What have you found to be the case?