Monthly Archives: March 2018

Building for Tomorrow: Collaborative Development of Sustainable Infrastructure for Architectural and Design Documentation

Ann Baird Whiteside
Frances Loeb Library, Harvard GSD

Since the introduction of Computer Aided Design (CAD) software in the 1960s, industries that design and develop our built environment have been moving from pencil and paper to computers and digital files. The earliest adopters of the new technology were industries like aerospace and automotive, and since then the fields of architecture and design have been enthusiastic adopters. CAD has allowed architects to take previously unimaginable risks in their designs, and to experiment with new forms and materials without the need of building prototypes or performing expensive structural analyses until much later in the process.

Architectural museums and archives are faced with a rapidly growing need to preserve digital information and are grappling with the need for technological tools, technical expertise in digital preservation, AutoCAD expertise, archival expertise, and the need for repositories that can preserve and disseminate the archived data.

The use of 2D and 3D CAD and Building Information Modeling (BIM) software is now routine in architecture and design firms. The contractual deliverable has shifted from printed, wet-signed and wet-stamped drawing sets to an electronically signed model that can be manipulated to achieve equal, if not more, granular information than the traditional printed plans.

Many types of digital files produced during design and construction that are important for long-term preservation for future renovations/restorations and scholarly research.

  • 3D CAD models
  • hundreds or thousands of detailed 2D layer drawings
  • 3D printed objects
  • project “out-puts” – for example, drawings or sketches of the building.
  • photographs and videos
  • websites about the building
  • BIMs
  • communications among architects, clients, contractors and other parties

Over the last five years, we are seeing that students in architecture and design schools are further routinely using CAD for modelling, skipping the 2D drawing process entirely, meaning that the coming generation of architects will be only producing documentation in 3D models, providing more urgency to the problem of preserving this type of documentation.

The impact of this on the record of architectural innovation and practice –in architecture libraries, archives, museums, among others–is only beginning to be appreciated. No longer can libraries acquire blueprints or drawings, a few images, and a scale model or two, to represent a major work of architecture in their collections. Now they must acquire the 3D CAD models and 2D drawing files, Building Information Models (BIM), digital images, videos and documents, all delivered on a computer hard drive often with no annotation whatsoever. No library or archive is currently prepared for this new reality, but they are increasingly under pressure to figure out how to acquire these 21st century collections, to support the next generation of architectural students and historians.

The Frances Loeb Library at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design received an IMLS National Forum Grant under the National Digital Platform funding priority to support two meetings of engaged stakeholders – architects, architectural historians, archivists, librarians, technologists, digital preservationists, and others who will frame a national/international collaborative infrastructure to support long-term preservation of digital design data. The first meeting will place on April 17th and 18th, 2018 and will provide a venue for the diverse group of stakeholders to think collaboratively about the issues in preserving architectural design data, to find alignments across communities, and to identify the needs required to develop an infrastructure to support archiving of digital design information that will be usable by a variety of types and sizes of architectural museums and archives.

There has been considerable work in this arena over the last five years, and in 2018 there have been three Summits, Symposia, and workshops already that have set the stage for the Forum in April.

Society of American Archivists Design Records Section CAD/BIM Task Force
https://www2.archivists.org/groups/design-records-section/cadbim-taskforce

The Design Records Section Task Force has produced some critical information for the community to help us understand how practitioners, firms, and archives are managing digital content.

Designing the Future Landscape: Digital Architecture, Design and Engineering Assets Symposium, November, 2017

This event brought together a wide variety of stakeholders to discuss the issues we face when preserving digital design records. The report has just been made publicly available and can be found here: A Report on the Architecture, Design and Engineering Summit

Community Standards for 3D data preservation, February, 2018

3D/VR Creation and Curation in Higher Education, March, 2018

Building for Tomorrow: Collaborative Development of Sustainable Infrastructure for Architectural and Design Documentation

New York City Meeting at ARLIS/NA 2018

Architecture Section Meeting
ARLIS/NA Annual Conference, New York
February 27, 2018

Please send any corrections to alind@getty.edu

Present:
Nilda Sanchez-Rodriguez (CCNY) – Moderator
Aimee Lind (Getty Research Library) – Vice-Moderator, Minutes
Jessica Aberle (University of Florida)
Robert Adams (BAC)
Lucy Campbell (New School of Architecture + Design)
Rachel Castro (University of Arizona)
Raymonde Champagne (Universite de Montreal)
Kitty Chibnik (Columbia University)
Karen DeWitt (North Carolina State University)
Cindy Frank (University of Maryland)
Eleanor Gawne (Architectural Association)
Ted Goodman (Avery Library)
Janine Henri (UCLA)
Katie Pierce Meyer (UT Austin)
Alan Michelson (University of Washington)
Mar González Palacios ((Canadian Centre for Architecture)
Effie Patelos (University of Waterloo)
Rebecca Price (University of Michigan)
Irene Puchalski (University of Toronto)
Shannon Robinson (Drexel University)
James Sobczak (University of Washington)
Ann Whiteside (Harvard GSD)

Self-introductions of members in attendance

Old business:
Approval of minutes from 2017 meeting
Motion to approve.
Motion seconded and passed without opposition.

Discussion: Architecture section online spaces – what’s next?
Despite a lengthy conversation on the same topic at last year’s meeting, very few people contributed to the Architecture Section’s Facebook page and Blog in 2017. Potential content could include liaison reports, conference summaries, new courses, exhibitions, renovations, books of the year, publications, or any projects or news relevant to the group. In the past, there was a sign-up sheet at the Architecture Section meeting where people committed to providing specific content. There was general agreement that this was a good way to move forward, with Rebecca Price volunteering to act as de facto blog editor. Rebecca has the sign-up list and will contact content providers a month prior to their blog publication date.

New business:
Discussion: architecture sessions/posters at ARLIS New York conference?

  • Cindy Frank presented “Life Comes First: A Solo Librarian’s Balance of Life and Work” and was a speaker at “Scope Drift – Blending and Rebranding in Visual Resources”
  • Ann Whiteside was responsible for the poster session “Building for Tomorrow: Collaborative Development of Sustainable Infrastructure for Architectural and Design Documentation” as well as an invitation-only workshop/forum on the topic of creating an infrastructure for archiving digital design data.
  • Rebecca Price presented “Building a Collection from the Ground Up” and was a speaker at “Library Collections and Object-based Learning in the Art and Design Curriculum”
  • Rebecca Price and Alan Michelson presented “Pushing the Bounds: Library as Physical and Intellectual Civic Space”
  • Shannon Robinson moderated and Alan Michelson was a speaker at “Information Competencies for Students in Design Disciplines
  • Janine Henri was a speaker at “Pushing the Boundaries: Teaching and Learning outside the Classroom”
  • Aimee Lind presented “No Art Library Left Behind: Cross-Border Resource Sharing Among Art Libraries”

Discussion: new directions for Architecture Section?

  • Alan Michelson discussed “Information Competencies for Students in Design Disciplines” and the effort to reinvigorate the information competencies created by ARLIS in 2006. See Farrell & Badke’s 2015 report “Situating Information Literacy in the Disciplines: A Practical and Systematic Approach for Academic Librarians”. He suggested creating focus groups amongst faculty to determine priorities. If we can create a network of focus groups, we will then have the data on learning outcomes from our peers to take to faculty. Ideas suggested included polling recent alumni regarding perceived gaps in their education and taking that back to faculty focus groups. Effie Patelos reported that the University of Waterloo has hired an information literacy librarian. Embedded librarians may be able to map competencies to what is being taught using syllabi. The relative merits of focus groups vs. surveys were debated with a caveat to appreciate differing local contexts (undergrad, grad, accredited, unaccredited, basic to intermediate to terminal degree expertise). Janine Henri suggested aligning with ACSA to get faculty buy-in. Consider what is *our* place to meet *their* expectations? Are we only the support/service people or can we have a partnership with faculty, providing an essential education in image research, copyright, etc. that may be left out of curriculum otherwise? Focus groups could present an opportunity to guide the conversation. Should we examine syllabi first or survey first? To be continued…

Reports:
Janine Henri – update on SAH conference activities:

  • Janine reported on the 2016 Pasadena conference and the 2017 Glasgow conference, including informing the group about publishing sessions, and library visits to the Glasgow School of Art and the University of Strathclyde. She encouraged us all to reach out to colleagues when traveling to other cities/countries. Janine also mentioned Barbara Opar’s extremely useful new book list, published on the SAH website monthly. SAHARA now has over 100,000 images. The 2018 SAH meeting will be held in St. Paul, MN 4/18/18-4/22/18 and in Providence, RI in 2019.

Aimee Lind- update on CalArchNet:

  • CalArchNet is an informal group of librarians, archivists, and curators working with architecture archives in California. Aimee briefly reported on the group’s last meeting in Palm Springs and their upcoming meeting at Cal Poly SLO and Hearst Castle. For more information, email calarchnet@gmail.com.

Gabriella Karl-Johnson on AASL:
“A Brief Update on AASL: Strategic Planning Implementation + 2018 Denver conference” (Aimee read this report from Gabriella, who was unable to attend)

  • As some of you may know, since late 2015 the Association of Architecture School Librarians has been actively working on strategic planning for the first time in the association’s history. In October of 2016 the Executive Board approved a new Strategic Directions document, including a new Mission statement, Vision statement, and a set of Strategic Directions objectives. (The full document is available on AASL’s newly redesigned website at http://www.architecturelibrarians.org/strategicdirections .) The document was drafted by the Strategic Planning Task Force based upon input from our membership and feedback gathered during the well-attended Strategic Planning Session held at the 2016 AASL conference in Seattle. The Strategic Planning Task Force has now given way to a Strategic Directions Implementation Committee, which is working on concrete ways to enact the objectives outlined in the Strategic Directions document. Our upcoming 2018 conference in Denver will provide a forum via a two-hour planning session for the full membership to discuss and help shape the ways that our strategic directions will translate to action. Speaking of the conference, the 2018 AASL conference will be held in Denver on March 14-17. We will be meeting alongside the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture conference at the I.M.Pei-designed Sheraton Hotel, and the AASL conference planners have worked into the schedule more time for cross-pollination between ACSA and AASL. The conference will offer an excellent complement of presentations and talks based around the theme of identity, as well as walking tours of Denver that promise to provide views of the city’s history and recent transformations. Registration is open until March 3, and we hope to see you in Denver!”

Ted Goodman – update on Avery Index:

  • Ted is retiring in June. The Avery Index will continue though he doesn’t believe his position will be refilled, rather there will likely be some restructuring within Avery and possible reexamination of the Index’s coverage. Congratulations Ted! We are so grateful for your tireless work that benefits us all every day!

Visit to Avery Library: Details
Directions were provided for our visit to the Avery Library. It was agreed that we would meet at the Hilton’s tour gathering spot near conference registration.

Call for Vice-Moderator
A call went out for incoming Vice-Moderator (Salt Lake City) / Moderator (Saint Louis) but there were no takers. Aimee will send out another call on the listserv.

Meeting Adjourned