When I was in college, no one used Revit. That was quite a few years ago, so things should have changed since BIM is now mainstream. Right?
It turns out that it is not the case. Looking at resumes and portfolios of recent graduates, Rhino, Sketchup and Grasshoper are high on the skill list, but Revit is rarely even mentionned. I brought this up with friends involved in architecture schools: they told me Revit is considered "not cool" on campus.
I wanted to know if that was true or not, so I asked college students on Reddit to find out. Here is what they told me:
PROFESSORS DON'T WANT REVIT IN THE STUDIO
Most users report professors are generally not enthusiastic of Revit in college:
«The professor who runs the second year is pretty anti-Revit for her students.» - user YoStephen
«Some professors strictly forbid it. [...] They did mark down projects that would use the base Revit doors, windows and railings.» - user chu12ch
STUDENTS PERCEIVE REVIT AS A TECHNICAL TOOL
A lot of students think it is an important tool, but that it should not be used in the studio:
«I think education should be equal parts technical and theoretical. I loved how my university did it: teach Revit in separate BIM/construction document courses, and ban it in studios.» - user TTUporter
Most students think that Revit is good for technical work, but not for design:
«There are many other tools which are simpler than Revit and better fit for producing more graphical and visually stimulating drawings you are expected to produce in academia.» - user Sobieski526
«4th year undergrad student here. Some people never touch it, some would use it a little bit. These people would never design in Revit» - user chu12ch
Other students saw an opportunity to get ready for the workplace:
«I used Revit for 3 years in school. And now graduated, it's one of the only programs I use, unless something else needs it. It wasn't "cool" in college, but it was the smart choice to learn for the real job in the workplace.» - user loadbearingcunt
The few students that used Revit in the studio were quickly spotted:
«At my University Revit was seen as a bit of a crutch. [...] To be honest, when I saw a project done in Revit it was usually pretty obvious and the detailing was often very standard.» - user stone_opera
So it is confirmed: it's not cool to use Revit in college. It makes you look like a boring drafter, especially when the guy next to you is using Rhino and Grasshoper to create curved parametric blobscrapers.
CAN AUTODESK MAKE REVIT MORE EXCITING?
As described in this post, I think Revit can be an excellent design tool. It would be easy to blame students for not realizing this. But if you put yourself in beginners shoes, you realize Revit design and presentation capabilities are obscure and hidden.
When opening Revit for the first time, everything seems very technical. You can understand why the few students that use it in the studio get stuck on pre-made components, building projects with default families.
Professors keep this first impression of Revit and don't want it anymore in the studio. Obviously there is an education problem here, most of these professors probably never used Revit themselves. They are unaware that if used correctly, Revit can be a great design tool.
Maybe Autodesk can help with this problem. They should make their design and presentation tools more obvious. They should also revamp the problematic Model In-Place tool to be more "sketchup-like". Why not integrate some of FormIt capabilities directly in Revit?
REVIT IS A TOOL AMONG OTHERS
I am not advocating for Revit to be the sole and only program used in college. I think it should be part of the many tools you learn, as should be hand drawing, physical models, Rhino and Sketchup. College is an opportunity to immerse yourself in different mindsets and experiment.
But at some point we need to reduce the gap between the workplace and college. I would really like to see Revit more often in resumes we receive from graduates.
It has to move both ways: college should be less reluctant towards it and embrace BIM tools, while Autodesk should be more proactive with the design capabilities of Revit.
Liked this post? Maybe you should try the 2nd issue of our free Pamphlets publication, containing 19 tips to master Revit Schedules. Pamphlets are sent 4 times a year by email. No spam or annoying emails. Just fun and useful content.