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Old People and Technology

This video is a bit of a rant about stereotypes.  I personally love learning new ways of doing my job faster and better.  

When I was in graduate school there was a bit of controversy over the gaining popularity of the computer as a design tool.  This was back in 1992-1996, when we were still taught drafting by hand.  A prospective student asked the head of our graduate program if SCI-Arc had a computer department- “the computer is just a tool, we don’t have a pencil department” was his response.  I still wonder what that REALLY means.  Self-proclaimed Luddites refused to embrace the new technology and waxed poetic about drawing and building by hand.  Some people used computers to generate forms, but I don’t remember any drafting software being used.  I don’t think laptops were a thing then (only one person that I can think of in the school had a cell phone, the rest of us used the pay phones by the cafe).  I do have fond memories of drafting, of my lead holders and lead sharpeners and the electric eraser that felt so high tech and finding interesting drafting dots, the way that the sharp lead buried into the paper, the wider bit at the end of each line. I also have unfond memories of sweating onto drawings and tearing the paper and smudging the drawings and erasing holes in the drawings and not lining up the drawings correctly when putting it back on the board and so ending up with a non-orthogonal mess.  Drawing the same thing over and over and over was part of the education process, I suppose.  

In my practice I gave up hand drafting for AutoCAD in about 1999, then after 17 years switched to a 3D program.  I admire hand drawing, but the computer is faster and more practical for the renovation work that I do.  I get a lot out of it and I think my clients appreciate it too. 

Some people are interested in new programs that help them get their work done more efficiently, some people want to stick to what they know and love. They believe that their _______ (phone, drafting method, AOL) has served them well over the years and doesn’t need to change. 

I believe that this isn’t a function of their age as much as their interest level and personality type.  

At 52 I’m looking at ageism as a crazy social construct.  It makes no sense!  Don’t get me going about that again.   

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