August 26, 2004

"Never ask an architect anything."

"A full-size drawing is thirty inches by forty-two inches, but you always say the width first. So it's forty-two by thirty."
"Well, but we always just say thirty by forty-two."
"Really? Width first?"
"Oh, so, you look at it this way [drawing a tall skinny rectangle in the air]. So it's thirty by forty-two."
"But, you know, when you look at the document in AutoCAD it always says thirty by forty-two."
"Width first."
"Long ways!"
"When you specify a door you'll say something like, three-oh by seven-oh."
"Forty-two by thirty."
"It's a portrait, see."
"Never ask an architect anything."

This is what happened when I asked three architects and one interior designer whether full-size drawings are thirty-two by forty, or forty-two by thirty. I spent fully three minutes looking from one of them to another and occasionally saying, "Yes, but thirty-two doesn't feature anywhere in here, right?" "Okay, thirty by forty-two, then?" "Forty-two and thirty are the key dimensions here?" and finally, "I'm never going to believe anything you tell me again" (that last was to the interior designer, who was flat-out lying with a miraculously straight face).

The company picnic is this weekend. I can't wait to see what happens when you put these people in a park with four six-packs of beer and two jungle gyms. I'm confident that it will be an event to remember.

Posted by dianna at August 26, 2004 02:53 PM

You're correct in the sense that sheet sizes should be referred to by width (x) height,based on typical XYZ coordinates, although even AutoCAD defines the Architectural E size sheet as 30x42, then differentiates between 'portrait' and 'landscape' layouts. So it's no wonder there is a lot of confusion.
By the way, map coordinates are read the same way, X to Y or 'right and up'; if you go hiking with your architect friends, make sure you control the map. ;)

Posted by: B.A.D. at December 21, 2004 11:51 AM