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Friday25 July 2014

Me & my IT: Annalie Riches

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We may be considered a younger generation practice, but I think that the generation below us is much more comfortable working with new technologies.

We tend to muddle along. Whenever we work on a project we always work by hand and it takes quite a while before we put anything on the computer.

I wouldn’t say we’re technophobic, but we’re certainly not technology-orientated. I think it stems from our education – we tended to hand draw our projects at university. A lot of people who have come to us straight out of college are hesitant about drawing by hand They’re much more comfortable drawing straight into the computer. We try and encourage them to pick up a pencil, but at the same time we quite like people who can do computer visualisations and 3D modeling because it’s not really a skill we’ve got.

As a practice we’re mostly Mac based. Both Cathy Hawley and I were already working on Macs when we formed the practice and we managed to convert David (Mikhail) to a Mac as well.

David still runs David Mikhail Architects and we share staff. Some of his staff work in Autocad, which isn’t supported on our Macs so they work on PCs. Generally it doesn’t cause too many complications, but if we start a drawing package on a PC and then have to convert it onto a Mac it can be quite difficult.

Generally, I think Macs are more intuitive. For drawings we would usually use Vectorworks. We like its flexibility – it’s almost like a desktop publishing tool in that you can import and
mix images and text in the same programme. We also use Photoshop and Indesign for most of our documents.

For 3D work we tend to make a lot of models and photograph them, but we do do some images on 3D Studio MAX and Photoshop. We also use computers for office management, which we do ourselves using Word, Entourage and Excel. They seem to do what they’re supposed to, but I don’t really know what else is available to be honest.

Annalie Riches is a partner at Riches Hawley Mikhail Architects

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