In the last 20 years, AUGI has seen its share of milestones. From humble, grass-roots beginnings, AUGI grew to become the first officially recognized user group of Autodesk, Inc. Recently, AUGI reached another milestone as the 200,000th member joined the organization.
AUGI interviewed Isamu Kimura, AUGI’s newest member, earlier this month. Here is the conversation.
AUGI: What is your occupation? Your job title?
Kimura: I’m a designer in an architecture firm.
AUGI: Tell us about the company you work for.
Kimura: I work for McGuire Igleski & Associates, Inc. We have one office in Evanston, Illinois. There are seven of us: two principals and five employees. We provide full architectural services with a focus on historic preservation work. Most of our projects are rehabilitations, renovations, and additions to existing buildings/structures. Recently we have been working on projects that are ADA and/or LEED driven. We also provide historic preservation consulting services.
AUGI: What markets does your company serve? Housing, commercial, industrial, others?
Kimura: Our clients are primarily in the educational, government, and institutional sectors. Lately our projects have been more focused in the educational sector, where we have worked on several schools (both higher-education and K-12) in the area. We have done some housing and commercial work as well.
AUGI: What specifically do you do at your firm? Describe your day.
Kimura: Since this is a small firm, I might do a little bit of everything and a typical day will depend on the particular project phase. During construction, there is a lot of submittal and shop drawing review, meetings, site visits, etc. Most of my projects have been nearby in Evanston or in Chicago, so travel isn't bad. Of course there are days spent entirely at the computer, heavy on drafting/detailing/design/emailing/research.
Recently we have had projects going out to bid, so there has been work associated with that like packaging and sending documents, etc. Several of our employees have a strong background in historic preservation, so days are often spent researching and performing inspections.
AUGI: How long have you worked at your company?
Kimura: I have been at this firm for about two and a half years.
AUGI: What Autodesk products do you use?
Kimura: Our office recently upgraded from AutoCAD 2008 LT to 2011 LT, with one full version of AutoCAD 2011. I happened to get the full version, but I do not use it to anywhere near its full capability.
Other Autodesk products I have used previously include Maya and 3ds Max. While I appreciate traditional and historic architecture, there is another side of me that really likes the type of architectural work that comes into being through the logic of the software. For this reason I really think that Maya is a great product.
AUGI: What do you like about the products you use?
Kimura: Our firm is starting to take on some bigger projects, so even just a few of the little differences between 2008 and 2011 have been huge for us. Here are a couple examples.
In the past, we haven't worked too much with xrefs because 2008 LT had practically no xref editing capability. With 2011, both full and LT, we can easily edit xrefs in place and clip them - so that has been a big step out of the dark ages!
Also, since we do historic preservation, we often work with beautiful old
original architectural drawings that have been scanned and converted to an image file. Often, we need to either insert these drawings into CAD and trace, or the inserted file can serve as a background upon which we overlay our new content/data. Or sometimes we just like to include reference photos in our drawings. With 2008 it was impossible for us to insert an image file (or at least very cumbersome) unless you already had a .dwg file with an image previously inserted. Then you could swap it out, but then you couldn't really ever delete it or add more images, etc. so drawing files became messy and part of the process became searching for old cad files with images inserted.
AUGI: How long have you used CAD?
Kimura: I have used CAD for about 9 years.
AUGI: Can you tell us about any large/interesting projects you have worked on?
Kimura: The Evanston Civic Center roof replacement. It might not sound too exciting, but in replacing an existing 80+ year old, 29,000 sf. slate roof installed on a concrete roof deck with a new asphalt shingle roof, there were some interesting technical issues to work out. Also, we replaced/repaired much of the existing historic metal work associated with the roof, including dormers, balustrades, and a large cornice. The challenge was to provide a high-performing roof system within the project budget and in keeping with the historic character of the building.
AUGI: Why did you join AUGI?
Kimura: We are currently in the process of revamping our office CAD standards, so one thing that I am doing is developing a new plot style. I saw that someone in an AUGI forum had shared some of their plot styles, so I wanted to access these for reference.
AUGI: What areas of AUGI do you think you will use the most (website, newsletter, forums, etc.)?
Kimura: I'll probably check the website often. I'm definitely curious to see this profile in the newsletter!
AUGI: Do you belong to any local CAD user groups?
Kimura: No, I do not.
AUGI: What do you do in your spare time?
Kimura: I have two boys, a 2 ½-year-old and 4-month old who keep me busy.
AUGI: We’re very pleased to say that you have helped us reach a major milestone. We now have over 200,000 members - and you were the 200,000th member to join AUGI. Thanks for agreeing to do this interview and thanks for joining AUGI!