Leading from the Model

May 9, 2011

If you read about IPD, BIM, and Revit on-line then you have surely heard of Randy Deutsch.  If not you should look him and his webpages up.  He has recently a soon to be published book titled BIM and Integrated Design: Strategies for Architectural Practice.

That said, I have not read the book but I do strongly recommend that you read his essay titled BIM Beyond Boundaries which was recently published in Design Intelligence.  Near the end of this essay Randy touches on a subject he calls “Leading from the Model”. The three paragraphs under this heading are short and sweet but the resonance behind what he wrote should be closely examined, studied and reflected upon. These two specifically struck a chord with me and my experiences:

Working in BIM provides a completely different work flow — one we have yet to leverage fully. Because those on the front lines are not only the first to discover clashes and inconsistencies but also to visualize what something looks like and how it might function, BIM allows our emerging talent to lead the process — to learn on the job while recognizing their power from their privileged position of the first look in the model.

The new leadership mandate in this process is for architects to lead from their involvement in the BIM environment. Leading from the model can be likened to leading from the middle in that BIM requires and even enables followership, and servant- and situational-leadership, as opposed to top-down or command-and-control. While leadership historically has been top-down, working in BIM and on integrated teams changes that. Leading in BIM and integrated design is more similar to followership, in which middle managers lead from within the organization. Thus with BIM, the top-down and bottom-up approaches converge, where leading from the middle becomes leading from the model.

Without getting too far towards opinion, theory and personal experiences I will leave you with two words: Paradigm shift.

Read the article in its entirety here: http://www.di.net/articles/archive/bim_beyond_boundaries/



  1. Thanks Jake for the shoutout and for bringing attention to my piece in DesignIntelligence. I’m glad you liked it and truly appreciate it!

    For those interested in my BIM and IPD blog, feel free to stop by at http://bimandintegrateddesign.com/

    If interested in discussions impacting architects, see my other blog http://architects2zebras.com/

    And lastly, just to clarify, my book, BIM and Integrated Design: Strategies for Architectural Practice, will be published in September 2011 http://amzn.to/iZ2rZN

  2. According to sales data from Amazon.com, not a single person in the state of Arizona has purchased a copy of BIM and Integrated Design: Strategies for Architectural Practice


    Even taking into consideration the economy, demands on time, etc. this seems extreme (and far behind cities such as SF and Chicago.)

    Can anyone at SARUG tell me if this is inaccurate? Thanks!

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