What do people use to get work done?


We all browse the web to find interesting stories and what others are doing. You often see the final product someone created, sometimes, glimpses of their process, but do you know exactly which tools they used?

The Setup is a website which interviews people from all fields, from poets to hackers and musicians, asking them what they use to get the job done. Check it out here.

Here are what my interview answers would be:

Who are you, and what do you do?

I am Amir Banihashem. I am a Master of Architecture student at the BAC and work as Studio Administrator for Image Conscious Studios.

What hardware do you use?

I have an iPhone 4S, a laptop and a desktop. For schoolwork, I use the computer labs and my desktop.

My desktop is a I7-930, with 8gb of ram, two 1tb hard drives and a Nvidia Quadro FX1800 graphics card running Windows 7. I use the Logitech Wave cordless keyboard and mouse. The mouse is great; it fits well in the palm and is really precise and responsive. This is especially useful when using the CAD software. I also have a 3Dconnexion SpacePilot Pro, a 3D mouse, which is remarkable for rotating objects and the viewport as you model in CAD. It is probably my favorite accessory for CAD.

In term of screens, I have a 23” Samsung and a Cintiq 21UX. The Cintiq is a bit of an overkill, however, sometimes the only solution is to draw on the screen. The only problem is that the color rendering on the Cintiq is much greater that on the Samsung and can sometimes create problem if one is not attentive to the screen used.

Other hardware, tools I use for architecture: my favorite pencil is a 4B with a brass Kum sharpener, usually found in my right pocket. For physical modeling, I use an X-acto knife, a diy Foam cutter, and about anything in the apartment. I collect, to the despair of my fiancée, any and every trivial item that has an unique shape and materiality; interestingly, they get used in projects up to 6 months, a year after, and they I am glad to have kept them.

At work, I inherited a 24” iMac called MegaBeth.

And what software:

For school: For modeling, I predominantly use Rhino with Grasshopper and I also use 3DS Max. For rendering, V-Ray. For presentations, Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. Other software I like to use: for diagramming yEd and Gephi, DropBox, FileZilla, the Snipping Tool.

At work: Mail, Chrome, Google Docs, Basecamp, Harvest, Excel and QuickBooks. To replicate the split screen effects Windows has, I use an app called SplitScreen from Gink Apps.

What would be your dream setup?

I would have a floating interactive holographic display, controlled by gesture, voice and thought, it would ideally fit in my pocket or watch.