Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Like most of us in architecture and construction, I’m inundated with information of all sorts in both hard copy and electronic form.    

Some of it has to do with specific projects in our office. It’s not always easy to find a place to put stray, as yet unconnected, project-related factoids and spoken reminders so I can find them and put them to use when necessary. Will the “model” (as in BIM) be any help in this?

Lots of incoming information has to do with CSI and USGBC.  Mostly this affects my calendar so it’s easy to deal with.

I get a continuing stream of hard-copy magazines and hard-copy product literature.  I confess that although we converted the specs from MF95 to MF04 early on, I have yet to convert our product literature files to MF04, so for the time being, for example, site fence product literature is still lingering in the old Division 2, rather than in Division 32 where it belongs.

In addition, I receive an average of about 60 email messages a day at work and another 20 or 30 on personal email accounts.

Plus I use Google Reader and Google Alerts to find articles and blog posts on all sorts of subjects that interest me.  It’s now mid evening so it’s been about 9 hours since I last checked my Google Reader list during the lunch hour. Google has obediently gathered 139 items for me to look at.  I usually glance at a few of the most interesting, and I might read two or three of them carefully.

All together this flow of information resembles a real-life flood.

Reminds me of the Mississippi valley springtime floods. I grew up in the river town of Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, so I know about floods. 

Trying to cope with all of this, I sometimes feel like the Mickey Mouse Sorcerer’s Apprentice character in Walt Disney’s great 1940 animated film “Fantasia”.  Sorcerer's apprentice Mickey wearies of carrying buckets of water. When the Sorcerer leaves, Mickey dons the Sorcerer’s hat for its magic powers, conjuring up a spell to animate a broom and order it to carry the water for him.  Mickey runs into trouble when the broom won’t stop carrying water and floods the place.   The sorcerer finally returns, takes control, and restores order.   

Will BIM be our sorcerer, and help us bring clarity and order to our information flood? 

Or will it be the apprentice?

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