Tag Archives: Academic Papers

Free academic papers to all

Spiral Stone StaircaseI have been mulling over the idea, that the time might be right to revive the old Innovation & Research group within CIAT, with perhaps a little tweak in its remit.

A lot of members , at least ones that I have talked to, are looking for ways to publish technical papers, and open debates on technical issues. currently the only way to successfully do this is via submitting papers for pier review and watch it disappear behind a closed academic, or fire pay wall, fine for academic writing, but almost useless for some one who might want a little more exposure and publicity. I have several out there, that you need to pay for to read, and I get nothing.

I have nothing against this if you’re a true academic, who has little or no problem accessing papers and is only interested in an academic career, but for us on the outside even the likes of me, who has a foot in the academic world but earns most of his monthly income from public sources, who wants free access to published material, simply because is a great way to prove my expertise.
My thoughts are that we would build a small system to allow papers to be simply uploaded, and reviewed by CIAT Chartered members and then pushed onto an open free resource, I have played about with such a system on wordpress, and it works very well, Google Scholar would be free to scan and list papers, and authors would get full recognition for their work. Academic can still cite and use as always, but the tech public outside of academia, will not be bared from the main article.
You might say tha this is the reason for AT magazine, I would argue not, for one it’s not peer reviewed, and second it’s not easy to search online for an article or paper, this new system takes it to the next level and beyond.
As always there are problems, getting members to donate time to read and comment on papers, archive and protection of work. but there does not seem to be any major obstacle, other than active participation and writing interesting papers.
As a natural follow on, I have an idea to allow presentation of work as a bi annual conference, somewhere in Europe to start, than see where it can be hosted.
Unlike ICAT whose papers seem to be for specific topic and are listed in a single book, I want individual papers on any topic 24 hours a day 365 days a year.
Language is alway a problem, but Google is so good at it, that I don’t see a problem in dual language submissions.
I have alway wondered why photography is never looked at as an academic source, there is so much to see and read from a single photo, I want to explore this further either within this academic site, or as part of a separate site, devoted to technical photography. Observation is lacking in so many people, so the thought that a single shot of a construction with a well written text content could convey so much in comparison to  a long technical article, I find intriguing. I have been playing with this with my Flickr account, lots of tags and a well written notes, with a good descriptive title.
CPD is a problem, we just don’t have the time to attend a lecture, so as part of this debate, I want to take a look at lectures on video, I have done several of these with some minor success on just a few, but it prove a point. There is a way to go, I want to add slides and lecture notes with added reading and research comments, perhaps site addresses, and cad files links

Can I expand CPD to a Higher Level

Protection FilmI have often wondered if my CPD needs a little tweak, can I expand my CPD to a higher level, I read, try to organise training with manufacturers, and attend other professional seminars. I do very well, far better than some, and pail into dust at others.

My point is, can I do better, I think I can, and thats the point of this article, can I add more to my CPD, simple yes, and its all down to an article I read by Todd Nesloneyon the Swivl web site. were he outlines what he calls The Power of a personal Learning Network.

I like this idea a lot, I tend to talk to other academics a lot now and can see what he means, I have started to read academic papers, and expand that by making contact with some of the more interesting people I have found from all over the world.

Without realising it, I have already started this some time back with my often lengthy conversations with Jon Pickup, we did not alway talk about Vectorworks, but construction, and design. Plus my business partner, David, who is always ready to talk a detail through, or tell me of materials I might use.

I use, skype, email, and social media to link, Todd has started a hash tag to link these conversations,  try using #SLS15 on twitter, or #scayPLN

I am encouraging my students past and present to do the same, talk about detail, work, projects, materials lectures what ever.

As for Swivl, I have just purchased one of these interesting little devices, it allows me to video a lecture with ease, I tend to walk a lot going from a white board, to a screen and table, this little device follows me, always keeping me in frame, it does this by following not me, but a simple little hand held unit that also has a microphone installed, hung about my neck. More on this later.


CAD BIM, The Manufacturer or Client

Over the last few days, I have been taking an in depth look at BIM, not within the CAD community, who are very singular in their approach, to which CAD package they use, but to the wider understanding. By this I mean the clients who pay for buildings, and commission work, together with a fair number of manufacturers, who together have a very low understanding of CAD, BIM, and the new Architectural design process they are engaging.

Take a look at the CAD users, the Technologists and Architects, who are deeply immersed in the CAD technology, and embrace a lot of the new ideas that the creators of the current CAD programs have to offer. They are very singular in there approach, but they have to be, it’s would be a folly to design in one package and switch to another to detail, I have seen it done, and the confusion and mistakes pile up. Their knowledge of BIM, driven in part by the governments wish to use it on all their projects, and in part by the CAD companies who see it as a way to enhance their programs and sell upgrades, is constantly being upgraded, so often by experiment, but often by the background office teaching that goes on, hey have you seen this, the sneaker approach, they are usually at or just beneath the current end get of CAD, but the singular approach means they only know one side of a vast industry.

Clients on the other hand know so little, they rely on their team to advise and so often they accept what’s offered, after all they just want a building, paying little to the technology that’s going to design and help create it. This is a vast mistake, if a client is going to spend in the order of millions or even billions on a new building, part of his research, apart from the actual design, costing or material look of their build, is the CAD that’s going to create it, the impact of this technology on the running and maintenance of their building for it’s lifespan.

Next comes the manufacturers, and my starting point in all of this, they see BIM are the great messiah, the road to increased profits, we are BIM compatible, yet so many when questioned have little or no idea, they do not use CAD, and apart from a small section of the company probably have not even seen a CAD program being used. Yet they are going to increasingly be reliant on it, they thing bold words in an advert campaign will sort it out, and a web site with some downloads will do the trick. There are exceptions to the rule s I found out, but these manufacturers are small in number.

Then there are the marketing companies, the people who create the magic words that go to make the articles we read, that should convince us to use a certain manufacturer over another, I know most if not all the marketing companies I looked at are even farther behind the knowledge curve than the clients they purport to advice, and the companies they want to sell to.

So what’s the answer, my view is simple spend time to research the market, keep abreast of the constant changing CAD areana, and look further than your nose. For each individual sector there are going to be different rules, where do you stop, for a building owner, it’s the point of commission, the point at which he or she, appoints their architect to design a new building, once the line in the sand is drawn, he can’t change. For the manufacturer it’s going to be never ending, and not singular, they have to keep up to date with all different systems, and keep their products live in all of them.

For the Architectural staff, well we have never been far from the front end, but as I said before, we are very singular in our approach, and probably for good reason, we are there to design, detail, and communicate, in what ever CAD package we are asked to use, and may well stick to that package for a few years, only adding upgrade to solve bugs or add simple enhancements. But they also keep an eye on the CAD market, watching, learning, as the need arises, always wanting the next best thing.

For me, I sit back and watch, I have to lecture about, as well as use CAD, and the BIM technology it is encompassing, I need to stay on the cutting edge, so I read and try out all the different packages, watch the training videos. I also have to lecture on materials, their use and performance, and how CAD affects their use.

I post some of my lectures online, but they are so often geared towards students studying Architectural Technology, I have other, more selective lectures pointed at the client, and manufacturer, which I am prepaired to give to selected audiences. The dates, places, and method of these lectures I will post in the coming weeks.

Today’s photo is part of a CDM lecture I give on the need to record safety points on a site drawing.

Academic Papers

Debtors' Prison by BC Collective - Street art in Kochi, India - 1I am placed in a unique position as a Professor, I get to read a lot of papers, not just student papers but all sorts of academic papers written by some very intelligent people. This comes from in part researching my own papers, and in part following up lines of research for construction techniques, materials, design, physics, or just plain old interest.

University gives me access to such a lot of information, from the unusual well stocked library, to the online E library were I can search for almost anything. But unless your part of the academia, you , if your out side of academia, will probably never see them, which, I find strange, some one is hindering circulation, just so that they can control and make money and that some one is never the author or author’s. This is just absurd, one of the many reasons to write papers is to show case knowledge, make a name, but most of all share, let other people be part of your writing.

For Students, I can not enforce the ethos of writing, This week in my CPD Class i will discus the merits of creating their own web site and populating it with papers, thoughts and most of all their work, drawings, sketches, photos, thoughts on Architectural Technology and construction.

I will be going the free route, so its WordPress.com, or blogger, for written material, and perhaps Picasa or Flickr for photosI have no bias to any of them, I use them all.