The nature of design and especially architecture is changing every minute. With the new software and plugins that are popping out from everywhere, the available tools for design are increasing at a tremendous speed. Notably, architects use a variety of software and tools to provide aesthetical and functional space. That is to say, with tools like Grasshopper 3D and Dynamo, it is an effortless job for an architect to create a parametric design definition. However, none of these tools are completely flawless. Also, the limits they have can be very frustrating. Learning to code is a great way of pushing the limits away. So why should architects learn to code?
5 reasons why architects should learn to code
1. By coding, you learn systematic thinking.
What is systematic thinking you ask? “Systematic thinking is understanding how different parts of a system can influence one another within a whole”. Humans usually tend to analyze matters and objectives in isolation or solve the problems linearly. Instead, systematic thinking, with the availability of information can reconstruct our methods and structures into a more efficient and complex form.
The educational systems are avoiding the fact that the new systems in our world are evolving and changing. At the same time, studies show that our faculties understand the dimensions of systematic thinking. You need multiple sets of skills for explaining the behavior and setting up a broad view of the system. Systematic thinking is an inseparable part of the architecture. As a result, new technologies such as BIM are always emerging.
So, what can an architect do to learn systematic thinking while our education system cannot embed it into schooling? They should learn to code! Whether you like it or not by learning to program, you will learn to think systematically. In other words, you will be forced to learn new approaches and methods of solving problems. Also, by learning how to code you will learn how to analyze and read a system, besides how to establish a system or implement new methods of problem-solving.
Architecture is a system. From phase zero up to when construction is finished, even after that, while maintenance phase, all are part of a bigger system. The life cycle of a building is a process that is part of a system. By learning systematic thinking, an architectural firm will benefit from it. Important to realize, the systematic thinking will even change the way that the architect designs the building.
2. If you don’t have the right tool, just make them!
There are many times that you as an architect won’t find the right tool to do the job. Thus, these are frustrating times. Accordingly, you must find a devious way to get the result you want. Besides, no matter how much you struggle, sometimes, you will get stuck in an infinite loop. As a result, you must change the whole design system.
By learning to code, it will be much easier to remove these obstacles. Moreover, you will find your toolbox with infinite tools. If you can’t find the right tool you need, you only have to make it!
3. Work lazy.
Though many think programming is way too hard to learn or time-consuming to implement, with enough experience and the right skills, it can speed up the work you are doing. For example, it is way faster to code a random sequence with specific desired numbers in python than use nodes in Grasshopper 3D to generate them. In addition to the speed, also the accuracy is too high. There is no right or wrong, what matters is only the result. In fact, with each optimization of your code, you can get a higher level of accuracy.
4. Learn more about computational design by learning to code.
“Computational design is the application of computational strategies to the design process”. By encoding design decisions using computer language, designers tend to improve the design process. Though most computational design environments are visual programming languages, such as Grasshopper 3D, Dynamo, or Houdini, most platforms support programming languages like python. Some even have specific programming languages to themselves like VEX in Houdini. By learning to code, you can embed the design rules into your code. Consequently, you can explore multiple design options while evaluating the result with criteria.
Get rid of that everyday task, by coding it! Many architectural firms do tasks that can be done using computers. “Automation describes a wide range of technologies that reduces human intervention in process”. Automation can reduce the cost and time needed for finishing tasks whit a high accuracy in the construction industry. The construction industry is usually the last industry to use the benefits of new technologies. After all, automation is already an inseparable part of many industries. Whit this in mind, there are efforts on creating a whole building using robots and programming. Even some big companies like “Zaha Hadid Architects” used coding in other to create an astounding sculpture in both design and manufacturing. Learning to code can help you to firstly, get rid of that boring and exhausting repeating everyday task. Secondly, it can improve the efficiency of your work. Thirdly, it can reduce the hours needed for doing a task and at last, it will reduce the cost.
Coding as an everyday life partner
There is no doubt that computers and software are an indivisible part of our life. CAD systems made a revolution in the architecture industry. Though the construction industry, is always the last to use the newest technologies, there is no doubt that the benefits of coding have already been experimented with. To clarify, we may say that the most important effect of coding in the architecture industry can be systematic thinking. And solely, it is enough reason for an architect to learn to code. If you want to see how coding can benefit you in your process, check out our project on how to use artificial intelligence (AI) in our project. What do you think about learning to code? Let us know on social media.