Credit: Tim Evans of Saturn Lounge
Architect and consultant Randy Deutsch maintains two streams of thought on the Web: Architects 2 Zebras is about design practice and culture, while BIM + Integrated Design zeros in on the benefits of the collaborative, technology-driven model for building structures. “BIM allows the architect to tap into all the core attributes I talk about on Zebras,” Deutsch says.
For 10 years, Randy Deutsch led a double life. A building designer by day, he was also a playwright whose romantic comedies found homes at small theaters in various cities. Today, the Chicago-based architect and consultant unites his love of design and of writing in two blogs: Architects 2 Zebras and BIM + Integrated Design.
Architects 2 Zebras came first, in January 2009. Deutsch wanted to spark a dialogue about how the fundamental aspects of an architecture career were changing. “A lot is happening to the profession,” Deutsch says. “I saw a gap in information representing the core competency of what architects are today.” His blog attempts to bridge that gap with coverage that speaks to both building and software architects, whether it’s book reviews, Q&A’s, commentary on current events, or service pieces with titles like “55 Ways to Help You Evolve as an Architect.”
Deutsch quickly noticed that he was posting a stream of items around the benefits of integrated design, a topic that is close to his heart. He spun off a second blog, called BIM + Integrated Design, which is also the title of a book being published in 2011. An early adopter of BIM, Deutsch says the book, like the blog, examines the sociological side of BIM and looks at the psychological impacts of this new technology on firm culture as well as its potential uses. “BIM is important,” Deutsch notes, “because it has the potential to stop the marginalization of the profession.”
It’s evident that an architect’s synthesizing mind is at work on these blogs. Deutsch moves seamlessly across disciplines and genres, blending vast amounts of information succinctly. He references Claude Monet when discussing BIM’s 3D qualities, quotes F. Scott Fitzgerald for a piece on ambiguity, and finds inspiration for a post on BIM physics in Neil Young lyrics. Deutsch says his goal is to help ease other architects into this next technological and creative phase and get them comfortable working in an integrated way. “Architects [can] translate from one medium to another,” Deutsch says. BIM lets them “work harmoniously … for a common goal.”