Tuesday, October 15, 2013

It all started with a surprise rejection.

No, it was not really a surprise, that…

"The HKIBIM Conference Working Group regrets to inform you that your paper identified below will not be included in the program of the HKIBIM Hong Kong BIM Conference 2011 on 25-Nov-2011.
Paper Title: An alternative form of use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) : BIM Forensics, theory and practice
Author: Zolna Murray
The paper is not accepted as the paper review panel considered that the topic of the paper submitted is not fully aligned with the focus of the conference."

Totally understandable. After all, the conference is being promoted with the following PR masterpiece:

 The HKIBIM Hong Kong BIM Conference 2013 is the premier event and 4th Annual Conference for experienced BIM and AEC professionals to demonstrate the practical use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) processes using real cases and an ideal networking opportunities with experienced BIM professionals, Executives and practitioners in the industry.

What was I thinking, Forensic BIM?... in Hong Kong?
Anyway… This was just the start. I did look up the programme, a nice line-up of familiar faces and an old favourite to top it off.

Not a speaker, sorry, but a building.
Between the 10:50 – 11:10 on the day of the conference a Mr Stuart Bull, Managing Director, BIM Consulting  will be speaking on the topic of the
Sydney Opera House : BIM for the past, present and future

Over the last 2 decades it had become a bit of a hobby (obsession?) of mine to take an interest in the creation and re-creation of that particular building, to the extent that while researching for an academic paper on the use of Parametric Digital Tools in architectural design (wait for it, in 1996!) I exchanged a pair of letters with Mr Joern Utzon, himself.
So, as I was reminiscing about the time of my first attempt to master Computervision’s CADDS5 through 14 massive printed manuals to enable me do some speculative work on Utzon’s famous shells, I remembered another publication, though much smaller I devoured enthusiastically at the same time: John Yeomans’ The Other Taj Mahal.
And the thought of the little book brought me back to the present.

Yeomans played an important role in the History of the Sydney Opera House. His book about controversies surrounding the architecture, construction and design of the Sydney Opera House, ‘The other Taj Mahal: what happened to the Sydney Opera House’ was first published by Longmans in 1968. He won the Walkley national award for headline writing in 1987.

That WAS investigative journalism. And it was done about a building.
Can you match it with anything like that these days?

And forget the HKBIM conference; I never wanted to go there, anyway – the latest similar one I organised myself and funded it to a minimum of 300K HK$.