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Interview with Ahmed Maher, Teaching Assistant, Architecture and Urban Design Program in GUC.

Interviewer : Rajib Dey (Editor-in-chief)

My name is Ahmad Maher, I'm from Cairo, Egypt. I am a Teacher Assistant in German University in Cairo - Architecture department, Authorized Instructor for Trimble SketchUp The first in Egypt And Autodesk certified Instructor. Iam also Instructor in CADMasters training Center in Egypt.

For more than 9 years now SketchUp is my main tool for design and visualization, either for Training.

I am interested in the world of Education, Active Learnings and Architecture, and I trying hard to integrate the Computerized vision in Architecture Learning based on the rational aspects of the world Architecture Community hierarchies. So here in GUC we try to focus on parametric modelling and how to teach the students different ways to use the software in Architecture visualization, specially in our Course "CAD-CAM".

In GUC, it is the first time here to mix the Sketchup, Vray and lumion in Design conceptual methods, so we established "The Morphological visualization Track" with Architectural competition "Morphing or Forming" which is to prepare students for modelling architectural geometry through the development of parametric schemes for architecture. They have to redesign the unused spaces in the campus by Morph it or they should Form anew masses for the new buildings.

My first contact with sketchup was in 2006 it was in my college, Architecture department i felt that i have to find a software to draw my sketches and design and i found that Sketchup is the best way to create 3D models in easy way, so I started to master it by self learning, after that and in 2010 I started my career in Teaching it in the university and in the training centers.

Interview with Ahmed Maher

SketchUp Pro is rewriting the stigma that CAD programs are hard to use. The layout of SketchUp Pro is very intuitive and easy to use, even for the least knowledgeable CAD designers. The added bonus of the 3D Warehouse is a great resource as you'll have constantly new models and symbols to choose from and work with. Although support only lasts for a year, and architectural tools are not plentiful, SketchUp Pro is still a wonderful program for designing and editing 3D models and designs.and we can also use vray or any other render engine or stand alone software to render the outcome of Sketchup.

SketchUp is owned by Trimble Navigation, best known for their GPS products. They purchased what was formerly Google SketchUp from Google in 2012, and since then have dedicated efforts to ensuring the much-relied-upon SketchUp software continues to reign as a top choice for architects, engineers, building developers, interior decorators, moviemakers — and those just looking to have plain old fun with design technology.New features make it easier and faster to create, access, share and collaborate on 2D drawings and 3D models. SketchUp 2015 offers 64-bit support for Windows or Mac, while IFC file import capabilities allows back-and-forth sharing of IFC files between SketchUp Pro and any other application.

Yes, as i mentioned before this is the first time here we work on an Architectural competition in the educational curriculum, so we found the "Morphing or forming competition" which is mainly refers to how the students could use their campus spaces to modify, morph and redesign the unused one. We have another track its about interactive Architecture named "Responsive Prototyping track", it is a magnificent experiment to enhance the computerized Architecture vision of students.

I think its the time to develop Sketchup as a BIM tool which is a great system to draw and design, and i want to see anew systems of parametric modeling like Grasshopper Plug-in for sketchup.

I want to say that sketchup is a magnificent tool to design and create 3Ds in minutes, so it must be considered as one of the best softwares in the world.

If you can be excited and willing to get out of bed in the morning to be an architect and happy to put in the hours and hours of hard work then you are off to a good start. You will become a person that thinks about architecture all day everyday, as it dominates your mind. If this is something you already feel, then you are in a good place, and work won’t seem like work at all!

Creativity and passion for design
If design gives you a real buzz and you love to get creative then architecture is a great field for you. Tie that in with some of the skills below you will smash it as an architect!

Problem solver
Working in architecture is a constant puzzle. You must be able to identify a problem (preferably before it arises) and find a suitable solution to address the problem. A problem solver with a curious mind – questions everything… how can this be improved, how will this work, how does this go together...?

Be patient – it takes a long time to learn this trade – and you never really know it all. The benefit of this is that if you keep on learning all the different factors of an architects role, you shouldn’t really get bored, and amongst it all you will find the part you love.

I consider it to be really important for architects to know the information they need, and have the initiative to go and find it. When you reach a stumbling block, instead of just giving up it is important to be able to find the resources you need to solve the problems you face.

Technical knowledge
An enthusiasm for the technical side of things is an advantage. A bit of maths, physics and IT will help – as architecture is not just about design. Implementation of your design and ideas in order to make something that produces functional design solutions and can actually be built requires technical ability.

Communication – and listening...and persuasion
You are going to be working with clients from different background with different goals and requirements and you have be able to communicate with the client effectively. You will need to be able to listen and understand what your client needs, and often put those needs before your personal tastes, or be able to integrate the two together.

There is a lot of negotiation in architecture, whether you are persuading your client that your design is suitable for their needs or communicating with planners who don’t want to approve your proposal. Either way, it is important to have good people skills to get the job done.

If you don’t have all these qualities there are always actions you can take to improve your ability to become a great architect.

It`s very helpful Magazine and one of the best Magazines of Sketchup users in the world, the criteria and it could be a next generation of worldwide media announcement about the up comings in Sketchup.

Interview with Ahmed Maher

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