Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Note to QRail: Get in touch with the designers of Thomas the Tank Engine…*

…before you start building your real, sophisticated rail-system!

I got into trouble in the past for suggesting large AEC organizations should consider customizing gaming programs to fulfill their BIM needs ahead of settling down to the ‘mainstream’ BIM solutions on offer.
Similarly, this time, sharing the idea that a large AEC client should look at a toy manufacturer for clues on how to make a real-railway work – could be viewed as something said in a ‘flippant way’.
Far from it.

Spend some time observing professional engineering teams design complex AEC systems (like a railway) ‘from scratch’ and you’ll come to the same conclusion.
Something is just not quite right there!

Is it the fragmented process, the lack of overview, that bothers me?
The archaic way of documenting they use for the design process, the inability to bring flexibility in-at a higher level not seen before?
Them ignoring economies of scale, possible-hidden modularity and surface-level customization?

Or is it just the way these guys sit around meeting tables for hours, with one eye always on their latest-model phone?
They tend to pore over zillion-paged reports…create new ones and mark up one-another’s…

Why not make a scale-model of their proposal, instead?
Plastic, wooden or digital, any of them will do.

Doha has made a good start by supporting** Vicon in their competition to digitize the city.
Why not make the bold step towards a truly-smartly designed, model-based transport system?

* Thomas & Friends is TM of Gullane (Thomas)
**or at least not opposing it, I’m not part of the in-crowed there to know the details – looks like a good idea, regardless! Check it out: