WACADAD = Words Are Cheap And Deeds Are Dear *

For 2011 and hopefully for the rest of my life, I resolve to stop using acronyms or initialisms like BIM (Building Information Modeling), without first defining them, the same way that I’ve endeavored to stop using buzz words that don’t seem to strengthen communication like “paradigm,” or that simply confuse people.

Humans in genereal, but the Architecture Engineering & Construction (AEC) industry in particular, has been stuck in similar semantical ruts long enough. Trying to coin meaning in convenient three or four letter shortcuts slows progress down more than it helps anybody. For example, it is better to agree on a defintion for design and drafting, where their boundaries lie and where they may intersect, than argue about Computer-Aided Design vs. Drafting (CAD) versus Computer-Aided Design & Drafting (CADD) and what the D’s stand for.

But we are all often in a hurry, seemingly unaware that some “things” like consensus, harmony and understanding can’t be rushed. This includes educating clients and helping them see the light, the true nature of how good buildings are put together or how great products are manufactured. How it doesn’t happen accidentally. How you can’t take shortcuts, like using initialisms. How good things take time, effort and caring about everything. How long term relationships do matter and make a difference. These are all things that current hardware and software don’t seem to help much for.

Instead we take shortcuts like taking votes or polls, then propose to ram or pummel our ways through.

The closest that I will go to use a summary is “go for design with all things considered.” That’s better than BIM, IMHO, or holistic or wise design. But it’s not enough because it doesn’t paint a clear and concrete enough picture. It can mean too many things to different people. The bottom line is to show a great result. Words Are Cheap And Deeds Are Dear = WACADAD. Words and even pictures aren’t enough. Words have always been cheap to utter, and these days beautiful renderings and animations are also becoming cheap. But the timeless questions remains: Can you build it economically and efficientlyand how well will it function and serve the needs of the users and the world? In 2011 let’s do what we can to fix our world and help build a better one.

I’d like to thank Randy Deutsch, one of the clearest Building Information Modeling (BIM) thinkers, for his thought provoking and inspiring blog entry which you can read here: http://bimandintegrateddesign.com/

May you all have a wonderful, healthy, happy and prosperous New Year 2011. Warm regards from Los Angeles,


* The acronym WACADAD comes from the book http://books.google.com/books?id=Ml8xGgbml3kC&pg=PA55&lpg=PA55&dq=words+are+cheap+and+deeds+are+dear&source=bl&ots=kGR79T9Nce&sig=zWDLrKHzJfZ3MevA4AX3t6pgg24&hl=en&ei=C9QYTZmEApSosAO639SmDw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CBoQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=words%20are%20cheap%20and%20deeds%20are%20dear&f=false

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