And thoughts remain free: Creativity versus BIM?
The viewpoint of Titus Bernhard (Titus Bernhard Architekten) is clear: "BIM and creativity are not mutually exclusive. On the contrary, I see BIM as a tool for structuring a project, for simplifying handling with the participants in the planning process, and for facilitating handling with the client. Two levels meet: The design level, which has to do with the talent and the understanding of the architect, and the second level, which is the structuring of the project, its handling, and the possibility of generating efficiency with BIM. In the best-case scenario, this means greater efficiency and simple processing, and that we as a result have more time for the design work."
Hans-Martin Renn (Renn Architekten) also recognises a technological component: "In the beginning there is the vision. BIM doesn't change this. This vision needs to be filled and underpinned. Building products, technology, and the demands placed on architects have all changed. The whole structure is new. It's great when you can see where the difficulties lie as early as the planning stage and not just on the construction site. BIM is a method that supports creativity – technologically."
But why are many architects reluctant to introduce BIM despite the positive feedback? Torben Wadlinger (Graf + Partner Architekten) primarily blames the ignorance concerning work processes for this: "Many people miss the point: BIM and design are two separate things. If I design in the traditional way, for example with my 6B pencil, then this sketch is subsequently transformed into a spatial structure. And if a pencil sketch can be structurally realised in this way, then I can plan and build it virtually too. If I'm unable to do so, I simply haven't mastered my BIM tool. A lot of colleagues say to me: 'BIM robs architects of their creativity.' That, however, is what those who don't work with the tool say."
Florian Kraft's office (Stefan Forster Architekten) also works with BIM: "The method and its influence on architects' creativity are hotly debated here in Frankfurt. Recently I was at an event and people were saying: 'For heaven's sake, what is this new BIM thing?' 25 years ago, when CAD was introduced into offices, people reacted in the exact same way, and were wondering whether CAD would limit creativity. It did not. I'm a trained carpenter. In the past, whenever I got hold of a new tool, I used to think: 'What can I do with this, and how will it allow me to work more effectively and better?' It's the same with BIM. As architects, it is our tool."