Autodesk wants to kill the "master builder" once and for all!


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Anyone who is still in belief that the "master builder spirit" should and still exists in this suffocating profession please take some time to read through the very heated debate happening on the BIM Experts LinkedIN group. I feel very strongly that this is a MAJOR TURNING POINT because Autodesk has pushed it too far.
I brought the conversation here because I know the true spirit of architect as the "master builder" still lives here and I wanted to take the discussion to the real source of the problem. It is getting lost in long legal documents that hardly anyone ever reads! It is not just Autodesk...the real problem is the architecture profession as a whole has slowly let go of too much control to GC's and others for far too long. It is time that the next generation of architects stands up and fight for what should already be there to hand off to them. I know that spirit still exists here if not anywhere else in a public architecture forum.
Please voice this major concern to everyone you possibly can in AEC because Autodesk is trying to move in on the architect's IP and their fee. They are putting their own customers out of business. It was a fear before but now it is a real thing that is happening and awareness must be raised to fight back!
"You can't fight against the youth" -SUBLIME

It's actually happening...


I could be wrong,but isn't the goal behind what Autodesk is doing is more for marketing purposes. To show that their software works, not take credit for designs that are not theirs Look at it this, if you are able to obtain their software as an architecture student, which is practically free, then for Autodesk to ask to use your work as a marketing tool is a small price to pay. Thieds, you know the prices for Autodesk software. It's not a few hundred bucks. Its a few thousand bucks. Thieds, break it down for me. There may be something I'm not seing.

chris moody,
I think a lot of people/companies may be fed up with Autodesk shenanigans and are looking for a tipping point to lash back. Lack of backwards compatibility in Revit is totally intentional. Designed to extort money. But they pretty much have a monopoly on our niche profession, and there is not much to be done about it. In this economy cost of software licenses has lead to additional layoffs. Pay for licences or fire 3 more people. No brainer. I dream of both Autodesk and Adobe going bankrupt. I'm sure I'm not the only one.

Autodesk is moving into the practice of architecture more and more with "expert services" so what may be for marketing purposes and liability of data in the cloud has quickly turned into Autodesk having a lot of expert architects working for them. They are essentially taking away work from their own customers because they have done the math and they know that they will make a lot more money even while losing a % of their customer base. The architect fee on a project averaging from 6-11% (approx.) of the construction cost is what Autodesk is now after as well as selling the software and locking everyone into subscription fees. They are working hard to retain their monopoly and stronghold on the entire AEC industry.
Just as Rusty mentioned they lock customers into using Revit for example. A more detailed example is that the mentalray rendering materials in Revit are encrypted. The only way to get them out now is by purchasing 3DS Max from Autodesk. Otherwise now they have opened up one more channel which is their cloud render. We founded a startup and showed a cloud rendering tool at Autodesk University two years ago that is still much more powerful than the cloud render solution they offer today because it is open and works with any software you chose as your preference that you want to use. Autodesk is friendly to us but behind the scenes I think trying to do anything they possibly can to put us out of business. It is not just us but any company that competes with them in any way...I guess it is the cooperate spirit! This is and always has been how they play with startup companies that are doing anything innovative that competes with them.
From a startup company perspective the only way Autodesk will deal with competing technology is the following: Copy (steal if they can legally get away with it), Asset Aqusition, and lastly if the first two options don't work then they will try to put you out of business. It was one thing before when Autodesk just did this to competing software companies but now it is also the architects IP they are after and that is NOT ok!
The major concern is not just Autodesk but architects in general giving up control. It has been a problem in the profession for far too long.
I am hoping to get architects and others feedback on why the "architect IP" is dwindling away more and more. How can architecture as a profession regain its control over its own IP?
Hope to hear from other architectageors on the subject.

How can this be reversed?

at some point autodesk needs to open-source revit.

That would be really amazing if they did open source Revit and all of their other products but then they would need to make their money from support services. Architects usually do not mind paying for Autodesk software.
Some are saying that Autodesk may try to figure out how to make money from other methods such as Google. They are currently trading user behavior statistics of end-user in the Autodesk 360 Cloud...according to the LinkedIN forum posted above.
Chris, are you part of AIAS? If so then you can advocate your concern for the mistrust happening in AEC. It takes strength in numbers and everyones voice makes a difference when heard together. ;-)
Happy New Year!

the real problem is the architecture profession as a whole has slowly let go of too much control to GC's and others for far too long. It is time that the next generation of architects stands up and fight for what should already be there to hand off to them. I know that spirit still exists here if not anywhere else in a public architecture forum.

well - this makes partial sense considering the prevalence of architects hiring out CD production work to ICs and other 3rd parties without understanding that by doing this you only really have legal control over whatever your stamp is on.

This is very similar - except now autodesk can use items that were created during production for their own purposes that were created in-house (as long as you have an internet connection, I guess) . Unless people just start abandoning autodesk products, make their own production software, or refuse to buy products that utilize "the cloud" then I don't think anything is going to change...

I'd more like to see people flood their servers with garbage content, though. if they're going to steal our work from us - why not make it crap that they can't use?

Anybody who uses cloud services for mission-critical or proprietary business information is an idiot.

@gwharton is absolutely-where ever you put your stuff be it shared portfolios, clouds, youtube, etc, etc,....its theirs. but also extends to mail servers - google owns your gmails, yahoo and the lot also. and if you have a company email its theirs, not yours.

In the news today...some companies in America are asking for their employees or even prospective employees to hand over access to social media accounts. Congress was so slow to outlaw those employers from being unethical that some individual states passed a law banning employers from requiring their staff to share their FB password. I think some of those companies maybe wanted to use their employees accounts to gain more PR clout for products. It is a shady practice that some companies hire groups to blog and make fake twitter / FB accounts in fake names to help raise their" followers" and company "likes"
Google's internal company moto is "Don't be evil" and for some reason that simply makes me feel better about them. Should be concerned when sharing drawings using Google Apps for business? Autodesk has gone out of its way to force users of their cloud into releasing their copyrights. Hardly anyone ever reads those EULA's.
Autodesk is widely used but just because they do something that is unethical does not mean that other cloud service providers are going to act unethically as well. They are making it difficult for others using online systems of any kind because of their unethical actions.
Please spread the word to everyone that Autodesk should simply not be trusted anymore with confidential data. Architecture competitions public and private are at most risk for us.

Also what do you make of this:
Autodesk is putting their own customers out of business right in front of our eyes and for some reason we still trust them. Is their software that good that we will risk all of our hard work to use it? Right now it is only the Autodesk 360 Cloud EULA that is in questions, but NEXT it will be all Autodesk products. They are taking the easy legal path of covering libilities and also opening up many doors for them to generate more revenue in the future. That means stealing away more of the percentage of the "architect's fee!"
This was also in the news just today.

Google's internal company moto is "Don't be evil" and for some reason that simply makes me feel better about them.


Do you ever feel like your XBox connect is watching you? ;-)

that's why i don't have an xbox connect
tinfoil protects me from everything else

This problem, and the larger issues in AEC are what prompted me to move to smaller scale projects in experimental methods.
I know I am not the only graduate to spend 5 years creating new and innovative building assemblies in school only to be asked to use the same 4 revit wall definitions repeatedly at my first job. Not only does this realization discourage many architects, it becomes inculcated in the way they design and you end up with a bunch of "designers" who only design in as much they rearrange various assemblies and materials. Not to slag off any of the posters here, you know, if you are one of those people.
Reliance on proven assemblies can be beneficial in many aspects of construction, but encouraging and allowing architects to design and implement new assemblies, detailing, and building solutions is integral to developing new types of construction that are more environmentally sustainable, both in end-use, and in acquisition, fabrication, and transportation stages of a building material. Autodesk makes a strong case for constraining one's practice to the limits they set - better efficiency, greater profits, but they forget that Architecture is fundamentally a research discipline, something not necessarily compatible with the type of limits they are attempting to impose.

Rhinoceros is so much better anyways. I can't remember when I last opened or even thought about AutoCAD, Maya, SoftImage, Inventor, or any of their other software. McNeel gives one program with expandable functionality. AutocratDesk gives minimal functionality in the maximum number of programs.

When I was in school, I created my own BIM system within Alias/wavefront Maya - then Alias/Wavefront got jacked by Autodesk - I made numerous assemblies with Maya instances - maybe I should try Rhinocerous - You seem to be onto something -

Xenakis - if you have not yet explored Grasshopper, you need to. You will love it based on what you posted above. And it is free.

Rhino running Grasshopper, Lunch Box, Paneling Tools, and Visual Arq will put any AutoDesk program to shame, and given a choice, I would choose it over even CATIA or Digital Project.

"Not to slag off any of the posters here, you know, if you are one of those people."

Curious - does an actual designer invent a new assembly for every project?

I think it depends what kind of firm you work at and what kind of work you do.

As more people pick up and start using these programs, they become part of necessary skills for attaining a job, then they become part of the school curriculum, then you have "design tools" constraining the types and appearance of projects, even academic projects, then you have those tools affecting the very thoughts that designers have, constraining the limits of what is possible.

While a designer may not invent new assemblies, they may find that deploying an existing, popular assembly in a new way is an effective design move, or that slightly altering the construction of a traditional assembly is effective for a specific climate/ site/ economy. Neither of these things is terribly easy to do in Revit, especially the former.
So, yes, I would say that designers should approach construction assembly and detailing with the same scrupulous research and detailing they give to the layout of spaces and choice of materials. (I can't even tell if I am being sarcastic - if you work at a firm that actually works like this, keep your job and hug your boss.)


Isn't the 'master builder' a myth, anyways?
If Autodesk is slaying mythical beasts, I fear Perseus' job may also have been made redundant.

it's quite arrogant of autodesk to think they can compete with perseus. i hope perseus kicks their ass.

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