Sometimes it is difficult to understand just how much computers have changed our lives. Take architecture. These days the majority of drawings, images and information after the initial stages are produced using computers. All our communication bar the phone passes through a computer at some point and our diaries, contact books and record keeping are all stored on a hard disk. There is no doubt that many of the programs we architects use have made the office more efficient – programs that help you prepare specification documents, paint programs making photomontages look more polished and still being faster than by hand – but at the same time the fact that information is easier to produce has meant that sometimes we are producing more than before. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should, but clients come to expect 3D views and photomontages – and at an early stage of the project too.
They are a double edged sword then, computers, and we should be sure to keep them as a tool, rather than letting them determine how we do things.