Architecture is the art and science of designing buildings and other physical structures. Since we moved from our primitive abode, we started exploring and setting new milestones. What initially used to be jungles and mountains have taken shape into beautiful skyscrapers and monuments, which definitely represents the creative genius in us. Taj Mahal in India, along with other wonders is the evidence of this art of erecting dreams and the fact that these wonders have withstood the test of time emphasizes the science involved in making these dreams come true. Another example is The Great Sphinx of Egypt, one of the wonders of ancient Egyptian architecture, which adjoins the pyramids of Giza. It is 240 feet long and is approximately 4,500 years old.
Architectural drawing is the pre planning (plan & different cross sections) or vision put on papers before the building gets the final shape. Most important aspect of architectural drawing is the beauty combined with the strength. In architectural applications, aesthetic demands require greater attention as strength of the building is the subject matter of civil engineers.
Gone are the days when it used to take years to plan structures with drawing board, sheets, t-square, scales, drafter, pencil, eraser and lots of hard work. With the latest software available in the market everything has become so simple. Today all we need is to put the dimensions and the virtual image comes up on the screen. Architectural designs have become so much simpler as every applicable standards, every factor of safety is taken care of.
These days many architectural design and architectural drafting programs in which one can acquire the fundamental skills in drafting and building designs are available such as AutoCAD which comes with many courses like Working Drawings and Building Systems. Yes! It is talent coupled with imagination, which allows one to excel in a specialized career, such as remodeling, and design of building. Many of the design and drafting students start their own businesses or work for giant design firms after graduation.
With the software available in the market, things have really become simple. These software are user-friendly and all you need is little imagination. All you will ever need comes inbuilt with these software; you can use the mouse, the keyboard, or a combination of both to build the plan. A full array of graphic drawing tools is provided and a host of pre-drawn figures are included to represent furniture, fixtures, windows, doors and so forth. Complete instructions are provided at every step, which is very helpful and simple.
Some of the software available are
- Bentley Architecture: In their words “Bentley Architecture is an advanced, yet intuitive and easy-to-use architectural building information modeling (BIM) application that empowers architects and designers to create with unlimited freedom.”
- Chief Architect: “Chief Architect is specifically designed for the residential and light commercial design professional. Chief Architect makes it easy for you to visualize your design ideas for your client’s home or remodeling project. Move a wall, add a room, redesign a kitchen, change materials, estimate costs – all before you build.”- chiefarchitect.com.
There are many more software, the famous ones being Home Plan Pro, Softplan Architectural Software, ViaCAD.
In case you are stuck and require help, technical support will definitely help you out. These software can be updated with time to keep up with the pace of technological advancement on daily basis. Of course one can get complete information on the net. There are many associations and groups on the net that can be very helpful plus the online library is a resource you can bank on. You might like to visit the bredemeyer.com, which I found to be a very good one.
No discussion about architecture can be completed without mentioning Howard Roark, the hero architect of Ayn Rand in Fountainhead. If your architect is not Howard Roark then you must take the initiative yourself. Someone else can never understand and see your vision completely and hence if I have to design a house for myself, I would rather do it myself. Of course the technical expertise has to be taken care of by the professionals and it is advisable also to take their help for safety and security reasons.
It is really amazing to use these software, which translate the dream into two and three-dimensional images and it is a great feeling to see your house much before it is completed…like baby in mother’s womb, try it and I bet you won’t regret.