Innovation: From the drawing tables to digital


Today’s architecture is tinged by the advent of new technologies. In less than 40 years, drawing tables have given way to drawing and 3D modeling software, changing the way architecture is performed. These major changes have allowed architects to better share their know-how and better express their conceptual ideas. A pioneer for 40 years, LemayMichaud has grown by often being among the first to adopt the new digital options that were proposed.

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When we opened our offices in 1979, the architect’s job was entirely manual. On large drawing tables, architects and technologists designed and executed important projects, using only pencils, rulers and compasses, as well as their great dexterity. The architects’ know-how was closely linked to their ability to execute drawings. The work was long and individual. Alone at his drawing table, the architect put his mark on it, one plan at a time.

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As Pierre Lagueux, partner architect and a firm employee for nearly 35 years, says, “The progress of the projects was careful and time-consuming. Throughout the projects, like real gold mines, the plans had to be stored in the vault,” like the one of the former bank in which LemayMichaud has its Quebec City offices.

In 1982, AutoCAD was launched on the market, exchanging pencil and eraser for mouse and keyboard. The digitization of the field will have allowed architects to present more objective concepts and to propose more complete views on their projects. It became much faster to create the concept and bring out several perspectives from it. With higher expectations, the architects had to adapt and perfect themselves. Sensitive and powerful, AutoCAD and the new software that followed made it easier to transmit our work and also allowed us to build shapes that go beyond the X and Y axes. Today, new technologies such as BIM (Building Information Modeling), allow us to work hand in hand with the various participants in a project by sharing information from all sectors on the same drawing. This is an important technology for communication and the more efficient for the creation of new spaces.

The beauty of a constantly evolving field is that it offers us the opportunity to reinvent ourselves time and time again. Stimulated, we keep an eye on the technological advances that will influence our work in the future, and evolve to make our projects ever more precise and complete.

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