I’ve just joined the board of directors for Cadimage, joining majority owners Campbell Yule and Tracey Gatland. Actually – there are three companies involved but one smart team.
Cadimage subsidiary Graphisoft NZ resells and supports ArchiCAD, which is the most popular CAD program used by architects here. It is pretty cool.
Graphisoft supports the industry in NZ in a few ways – but the one I like the most is the annual sponsorship of the New Zealand Institute of Architects Student Design Award. The winner last year, Simon Harrison, apparently designed a ‘neighbourly high-rise building’, putting urban spaces into the building itself. The runners up moved out of their flats into an old gallery to complete their installation – crazy stuff. It’s a great award, and the finalists and winners also send a fantastic signal to employers in what are pretty tough times for new graduates.
CAD has certainly come a long way since I played with a brand new program called Autocad on an IBM AT back in the day. That computer had a new fangled thing (for PCs) called a hard disk drive. Today the programs are immensely powerful and probably dangerous in the hands of someone like me.
The latest release of Archicad, for example, is all about better collaboration between architects and with engineers. It lets engineers use their program of choice, such as rival Autocad’s Revit Structure, to work on Archicad projects. The engineers make sure the buildings stay up – while the architects make sure we actually want to buy and use them. (Clearly I’ve already gained a deep understanding of this industry.)
The bit I’m excited about is that Cadimage develop and sell worldwide a range of add-on tools for Archicad – these are included free if you buy in NZ.
The tools help architects be more productive by making it easy to do things like extrude shapes, build doors and windows and annotate their work. Cadimage sells them to a growing list of customers across the world, building from a vibrant Archicad community. Our aim is to help architects the world over to focus on delivering their vision using the easiest and best tools around.
It’s great to join an already successful company, and I am looking forward to understanding the business more and helping them with the challenges of growth.
I’m on a learning curve, but rest assured I won’t be producing any architectural drawings any time soon. Or later.
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