Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Article on "HKSTracepaper" about the use of an iPAD for accessing documents when an architect is on the road

The other day, one of my industry friends pointed me to an article on HKS Architects' discussion site, which is located at: http://www.hkstracepaper.com/

I think you might find that article interesting .... it's about the use of an iPAD to access drawings for when an architect is "mobile" (going out to meetings.)

For those of you who are not familiar with HKS, HKS is one of the largest Architecture/Engineering firms in the world. HKS's head office is located in Dallas, TX. They have a wonderful office to visit; great artwork in and around their office.

Here's the article:

Client meetings… iPad style

January 10th, 2011 by Ashley Dias, Dallas office

Have you ever forgotton your drawings in the overhead bin compartment of the plane, when headed to client meetings? I have. Thankfully though, I remembered them on the jet bridge. But, the panic I experienced helped me come up with a good digital back-up plan for when I have to hit the road for meetings. Maybe one day this will be the primary way we do it (who knows how quickly we’ll give up our physical drawings and trace paper, though?)

1) Take your iPad and load the app Autodesk Sketchbook Pro (these days it costs $7.99).

2) Load all your drawings as images to the iPad then insert them as layers into a fresh document of Sketchbook Pro.

3) Find your fun new stylus (Boxwave is a great brand that writes really well on the iPad).

4) Load up blank layers on top of the drawing layers you just added (these blank layers are your digital trace paper).

5) Pick your pen color, type, diameter, you-name-it from the pen selector. You’re almost ready…

6) Project your iPad screen for all your users to see and follow along:

- For a flat-screen TV presentation plug-in composite AV cables (don’t worry, Apple will sell you these.)

- For a normal projector use the iPad dock connector to VGA adapter cable (Apple will sell you this too.)

Once you’re all connected up, boom, you’re digitally sketching in your meeting. Scale might be an issue as you can change the scale of the drawing on the spot by zooming like you would in CAD or Revit. But, if you’re drawing all the time, you probably have a good feel for scale as you zoom in and out anyway. Or, you could set the zoom of a drawing near to a typical scale. As you develop options you like you can keep them as layers or you can take a print screen – forget going back to the office, putting drafting dots on possibly-tearable edges and scanning.

This is just one way to do it, I’m sure there are many more ways to conduct client meetings off-paper and digitally on tablets. Whether we will ever prefer these methods, I’m not sure. But, what I am sure of is, all of these items (iPad, stylus, cables, digital drawings) will fit nicely in your carry-on and won’t roll to the back of the overhead bin where you just might forget them as you exit the plane. Happy client meetings!

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