demise of the “model everything everywhere argument”

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Click image for demo video and credits

The “model everything everywhere argument.”

Anyone who has actually built models like these, knows that the model-everything-everywhere-argument collapses on itself, not only for practical reasons, but for conceptual reasons too. Here are described two reasons, practical and conceptual, for the failure of totality in modeling.

The practical collapse of the argument may be understood through a picture like this typical example:

  • while the model is very thoroughly done, a lot of detail is left to be described by other means. Notice the metal studs and hangers, for example. Sometimes they are modeled. but to model them (and things like them) everywhere throughout this model serves little practical purpose while consuming an enormous amount of unavailable time.

Could such modeling be automated?

Yes, but still the following conceptual problem would remain unaddressed:

The conceptual demise of the argument comes from consideration of the essential importance in AEC of the idea of directiveness.

Please have a look at the brief discussion here: Directiveness in AEC: BIM means little without it.

The article defines directiveness in AEC, why it is essential, how it has been expressed in the past, how it can be expressed now, the role that directiveness serves (a role that cannot be served by a totality of modeling), and how directiveness can be transformed in the future.

  • Drawings exhibit the quality of directiveness, a quality that is essential in AEC
  • Directiveness therefore should be clearly exhibited within modeled environments like BIMs

Directiveness in AEC has certain definitive aspects.

Directives (formerly only drawings) are:

location-specific, each directive/drawing represents a location (defined in some clear way) in a proposed environment of a real project. Location-specificity has an important practical consequence: drawings are

finite in number, directives/drawings are finite in number because we don’t draw all locations in a proposed project, but only the representative few that we intentionally choose to draw. Because drawings are finite in number, their development and review is an achievable task. So because drawings are finite in number, drawings are

reviewable, directives/drawings are reviewable by someone authorized to review, and because drawings are reviewed they can be

issued, directive/drawings are issued with the confidence that comes from review. What follows from confidence is that drawings are

affirmative; each directive/drawing affirms: “at this location, everything that should be present here (at this location), is present here, I affirm it.” Because of this affirmed validation, each drawing is effectively and reliably

directive; each directive/drawing effectively directs people to, “look -here-, understand -this-, and do -this-.”

Communication is transformed and improved when directiveness is infused directly into modeled and captured visual environments, transforming them into directive environments that are specifically useful for work.

By the way, I listed these as two different kinds of arguments (conceptual and practical), but actually I don’t find much use in thinking of “conceptual” and “practical” as things that are much different from each other. I’m more convinced by the fusion of both together in pragmatism, in the original sense of the term as defined by its originator, Charles Sanders Peirce :

Pragmatism is a philosophical tradition centered on the linking of practice and theory. It describes a process where theory is extracted from practice, and applied back to practice to form what is called intelligent practice.

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