Dana Probert

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August 09, 2011

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While I am all for visualization, it makes me think of how photos taken for real estate listings are often shown to promote the very best view in order to sell the house. Likewise, I fear that the public might fall in love with the fact that there is a 'pretty picture' (or video or whatnot) versus what is in the pretty picture and issues will still arise in the end (and cost more on the way). The visualization is only as good as the person who is generating it is capable of. That said, I do see visualization as an integral part of the future of design and permitting. The closer we can get visualization to fully and accurately represent the project, the less it will be like the real estate listings which hide that which they don't want to be seen.

At times like this I return to a philosophy we (some of anyways) use in construction science - specifically heavy construction. It is the American Pragmatism http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pragmatism of Peirce, Dewey, and James. As we apply it, it has one core rule; whatever is happening right now is the optimal solution regardless if we understand or can represent it. If we look long enough we will find why it is optimal, but by then there will be a new now and the previous optimum is now irrelevant. That may be a corruption of what Pierce intended but it works for validating Virtual Design and Construction on heavy construction projects, either it works pragmatically or it does not. We can ignore the complex and obscure details of our construction world. So, your current recycle bin implementation, according to this interpretation of pragmatism, is as good as it gets - for your town, right now, for unknown reasons.

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