Student, educator and industry: Reconciling digital technologies
Authors: Kelly, Steve
ABSTRACT: Within the realm of digital technologies, the student, the educator and the design industry
all seemingly want different things. The industry desires fast and accurate documenters, the educator
persuades the student to explore the potentials of massing and modeling, and the student wants to
present their work with photographic realism. Digital technologies can be a distraction to design
discourse by making it “about the image” rather than the ideas or the creative process. Two groups,
design academics and those who resist technological change, also commonly hold this view.
Can education of digital communications reconcile all these needs? Are BIM (Building Information
Modeling) and parametric systems the panacea, the next generation of CAD software combining
drafting, modeling and presentation in one user-friendly program? Or are they simply another
marketing approach by software developers and resellers?
This paper will explore the individual requirements of each of the stakeholders, identify the causal
relationships, both fundamental and contributory, between them and relate their experience to the
Australian context. The discussion will also focus on the question of digital training: Should it be the
sole function of the University to educate students in the digital technologies, or should the design
industry share the load by taking a greater responsibility for in-house digital training of staff?