21 April 2009 : A blueprint for IT at design companies

April's forum, held at the Building Centre, was structured to discuss various aspects of IT and operations at design and professional practices within the context of operational aims, expenditure and upcoming trends in IT and design. Part of the context for the forum was our recent article on "Recession Ready IT" in BD. » more.

The forum had the following presentations:

  • Introduction and questionnaire results : Tim Whiteley, Campbell-Lange Workshop
  • "Let your clients walk through your CAD model" : David Appel, Partner, FCBStudios (formerly known as Fielden Clegg Bradley)
  • "Save money with clash detection and BS1192" : Mervyn Richards, MR1 Consulting Ltd
  • Rapid Prototyping : Nick Grace, RapidformRCA, Royal College of Art
  • "A Blueprint for IT at Design Companies" : Rory Campbell-Lange

Forum Notes

Tim Whiteley, Operations Manager at Campbell-Lange Workshop, presented the results of our questionnaire about the percentage breakdown of costs for IT at the eleven practices that responded.

Tim Whiteley presents the questionnaire results
Click to download the questionnaire results (PDF).

Let your clients walk through your CAD model

David Appel gave an engaging address about their experiments with ArchiCAD's Virtual Building Explorer (VBE). David explained that a gaming software engine has been used to allow the "explorer" of a virtual building to move around within the model using keyboard controls familiar to anyone who has used computer game controls. The demonstration of one's virtual self ducking and jumping (to avoid gunshots in a game, presumably) were amusing, but the possibilities of exploring the spatial effects of moving through a model were of considerable interest to the audience, as was David's explication of FCBStudio's enlightened approach to trying various CAD products. » more about FCBStudios. » more about VBE.

David Appel presents at the April 09 CLW forum
Click to download David's presentation (PDF, 1.1MB).

Save money with clash detection and BS1192

Mervyn Richards, of MR1 Consulting Ltd, spoke about how clash detection and proper information coordination on building projects can save considerable sums of money normally lost through rework. The approach Mervyn advises, developed as the Government-funded CPIC/Avanti management method for data has been codified in BS1192, which Mervyn was instrumental in writing. The method for managing information between the "WIP" (Work in Progress) area and Shared Area is straight-forward, but its effects on the efficacy of the design team has been proven with considerable savings on large projects including Heathrow Express. » more about CPIC/Avanti.

Mervyn Richards presents at the April 09 CLW forum
Click to download Mervyn's presentation (PPT, zipped, 6.2MB).

Rapid Prototyping

RapidformRCA is the digital manufacturing and rapid prototyping (RP) centre at the Royal College of Art which services enterprises within the Greater London area as well as RCA designers. Nick Grace, Business Development Manager at RapidformRCA, eloquently described the differences between several sorts of rapid prototyping techniques and showed slides of both the equipment involved and the resulting products. Nick's display of RP objects was a source of great interest at the the end of his talk. » more about RapidformRCA.

Nick Grace presents at the April 09 CLW forum
Click to download Nick's presentation (PDF, 1.1MB).

The Digital Practice

Rory Campbell-Lange, Director at Campbell-Lange Workshop Ltd., presented a text on the "Digital Practice", a proposed conceptual approach to improving information re-use, partly through the use of social media. Rory's presentation will be available soon in the articles section of this website. A concise version of the article will be published in BD magazine in May 2009, and "Information re-use and social media" will be the subject of the next forum on 16 June 2009.


  • David Appel: FCBStudios
  • Mervyn Richards: MR1 Consulting
  • Nick Grace: RapidformRCA
  • Bevan Badenhorst: Steffian
  • Sham Summan, Darren Carroll: Jestico + Whiles
  • Jasper Pinnington: Scott Wilson
  • Sami Mansour: Prime-Meridian engineers
  • Nick Kent: Tangram
  • John Milsom: Fletcher Priest
  • Ben Stratton-Woodward: Exposure
  • Andy Sheldon: Urban Initiatives
  • Richard Brown: Keith Williams
  • Graham Thomas: John Thompson
  • Nick Russell: Thomasons engineers
  • Jonathan McDowell : McDowell + Benedetti
  • David Cruse: ABK
  • Jochen Glemser : David Chipperfield
  • Simon Johns: Broadway Malyan
  • Tim Hall and Eva : Iris-ProjectMinder
  • Stuart Bell and Matthew Nickerson: Union Square
  • Pete Walsham: Axomic
  • Dan Phillips: SEA
  • Jevon Tucker: 3D Reid
  • Mark Adams: Campbell-Lange Workshop
  • Sebastian Ritter: Campbell-Lange Workshop
  • Paul Adams: Campbell-Lange Workshop
  • Va Hua: Campbell-Lange Workshop

About the Forums

Campbell-Lange Workshop runs forums on a regular basis. Most are for IT managers, and are intended to provide an informal environment in which attendees can discuss ideas, approaches and ways to improve working practices while keeping abreast of changes in the industry.