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How Archicad has shaped my Career

 

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Archicad has shaped my whole career in Architecture. Without it, I would suggest that I would not have had the same professional journey that I have had. I even question if I would have even made it into the profession, had I not found it.

 

I started my journey in 2001 in my second year of Architecture school. My tutor at the time sat me down and suggested that I need to find an alternative method to present my design concepts, as my hand drawing quality was poor. She said to me that if I didn’t find a different approach then I would not pass design. At the time a good friend of mine in the course worked for a major practice that used Archicad. They were on Archicad 6 at the time, so after work, we would meet up in his office and create our projects in Archicad. I taught myself how to use the software and found a new way to present my design projects at university which saved me from failing.

 

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At the end of 2002, I landed a student role at Fulton Trotter Architects. The practice used Autocad at the time, so I spent my first 18 months in the profession documenting projects in 2D. In 2004 Fulton Trotter transitioned over to Archicad, and because I was the most experienced in using Archicad in the office I was allowed to be one of the practice’s CAD managers. It was a great opportunity for me as a 5th-year Architecture student to be partially responsible for the processes that a practice of over 50 staff use in the delivery of their projects.

 

I still remember the first ever real-life project I documented in Archicad. It was a library for a Catholic School at McKillop Catholic College. The complex shape and the 40 facets that made up the buildings’ envelope were made easier to document because it was all modelled. It was also very exciting to walk around the project while it was in construction, after flying around the model for months during the documentation phase. As I walked around the site, it felt like I was in my computer.

 

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In 2012 I was fortunate to be invited to Graphisoft’s Key Client Conference in Budapest. Despite my first-born son being only 5 weeks old I jump on a plane and spend a whirlwind three days hearing from leading Archicad users from all over the world. It lit a fire inside of me, seeing what other users were doing.

 

In 2013 I was given a full-time role in BIM process development. I spent three months pulling apart how all the different Directors and Associates worked and built a world-leading Archicad template centred around Archicad 17 main feature Building Materials. It tied our specifications and our documents together and delivered consistency across all the different teams in the practice.

 

In 2014 I shared my approach to template building in a webinar with Graphisoft Australia and was allowed to present at the Key Client Conference in Budapest. This opportunity was only the seventh presentation I had ever given at an event, and it was the first one I had done on an international stage.

 

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In 2015 the Archicad user community was not as strong as the Revit user community in Australia, so I hosted my own user conference called ARCHICON. 96 delegates turned up, and I flew in Rob Jackson from the United Kingdom, and Jared Banks from North America. I travelled to Las Vegas to present as part of Graphisoft North America’s BIM Conference. I was also promoted to Associate Director at Fulton Trotter, acknowledging my efforts and leadership skills in the practice and the industry.

 

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Screenshot 2022-12-22 at 9.53.26.pngIn 2016 I hosted ARCHICON again, this time collocated with RTC in the Hunter Valley. I was grateful to be invited back to run workshops as part of the KCC event again, presenting my latest research, which wasn’t as popular with the audience, in line with my 2014 presentation, which gave me an insight into presenting what delegates are interested in, rather than what I am interested in. I began selling an Archicad template so other people could benefit from the processes I had set up at Fulton Trotter. With the pending Directorship at Fulton Trotter, I decided to release the template for free, and it was downloaded over 1,000 times.

 

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2017 was a big year for me, I was offered a share as an owner and Director at Fulton Trotter. It was my goal before I began studying Architecture. At the time I was the youngest Director in the practice, and I put it down to my skills in designing great Architecture, making clients happy, and being a master of my tools and processes, which centred around Archicad. I also became a stream lead for BILT ANZ, where I was responsible for identifying presenters and topics for the Archicad stream. This responsibility also allowed me to travel to Toronto to be part of the travelling committee for BILT NA.

 

2018 came and I was travelling across the world sharing my experiences in Archicad use and openBIM processes. I had the opportunity to be part of BILT Academy, where I taught students how to use Archicad in collaboration, openBIM delivery and to meet client information requirements. I also took out the Rob Jackson openBIM Award in the UK bimawards, which without my Archicad background, openBIM and IFC would not have been of much interest to me.

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In 2019 after being at KCC in Las Vegas I decided that being an owner at Fulton Trotter wasn’t the right fit for me, and I resigned and sold my shareholding, to start fresh and forge my own path. I formed a new company Skewed to continue to practice Architecture, help other practices implement Archicad and BIM, and provide BIM and Digital Advisory Services to the government.

 

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2020 was a challenging year, but I ran ARCHINTENSIVE for Archicad users just before the world shut down. It was a smaller event compared to 2015 but the quality of the event was higher with the skills I had learnt over the previous 5 years.

 

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2021 with lockdowns meant new ways of event delivery had to be devised. I ran ARCHINTENSIVE once again but had to have a differentiator to get people hooked on an online event. I ran the event for 24 hours straight. I think I have set a record for the longest continuous Archicad event by doing so! I also had 1,679 people register, with 744 attending the event throughout its duration, possibly setting another record for the largest user-run Archicad event also.

 

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Looking back over the last 21 years and my use of Archicad, without it being part of my professional career I would never have gotten the opportunities that I have had. I have travelled to several countries across the world, I have presented at over 70 events, and I have met so many incredible people. Archicad doesn’t define me, but it has helped shaped my career and what I have been able to achieve.

 

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