HomeAuthor InterviewsInterview with Ruben Van de Walle

Interview with Ruben Van de Walle

Ruben Van de Walle is the author of A BIM Professional’s Guide to Learning Archicad; we got the chance to sit down and find out more about his experience of writing with Packt.

Q: What is the name of your book?

Ruben: A BIM Professional’s Guide to Learning Archicad

Q: What are your specialist tech areas?

Ruben: Building Information Modeling – Building Informatics – Computer Aided Architectural Design & Education

Q: How did you become an author for Packt? Tell us about your journey. What was your motivation for writing this book?

Ruben: I was contacted by co-author Stefan Boeykens. Stefan and I have known each other for quite a long time, as teachers in several postgraduate programs on BIM as well as BIM consultants in Belgium. Stefan knew I have been teaching a course on Archicad for 10 years (at Howest University College – Bachelor in Applied Architecture) and asked me if I was interested in writing a new book together. I happily joined him in this wonderful adventure. Writing this book helped me to restructure some of the ideas I had on the matter and provided me with an opportunity to share my knowledge of Archicad with more people than ‘just’ the 100 students I teach every year. A book would also mean that I could use this for classes as well as for my activities in studiov2 (my own BIM consulting company). We often get questions from our clients for a good way to start modeling with Archicad – writing the book would provide an answer…

Q: What kind of research did you do, and how long did you spend researching before beginning the book?

Ruben: Most of the research was already done, as I teach and use the software on a daily basis. Some tools were refreshed though and using the International Template also was new for both Stefan and me.

Q: Did you face any challenges during the writing process? How did you overcome them?

Ruben: The biggest challenge we faced was when we realized we would have to transfer interactive ‘live’ lessons into written text (as we absolutely wanted to include real exercises and a basic step-by-step model in the book). Turned out that we add a lot of tips and tricks in our lessons with spoken word (accompanied by concise descriptions)… Given the limits of a publication, this also meant we had to leave out some topics we initially would have loved adding to the book. But who knows, maybe a second part could focus on this more advanced stuff.

Q: What’s your take on the technologies discussed in the book? Where do you see these technologies heading in the future?

Ruben: BIM is no longer ‘future tech’, but it is constantly evolving off course. For sure AI will have a big influence on Visualization and modeling, and I personally have high expectations of what Graphisoft is going to work on for Interoperability (this was always a strong point for Archicad).

Q: Why should readers choose this book over others already on the market? How would you differentiate your book from its competition?

Ruben: This book is written for the most recent versions of Archicad (26) and is based both on our experience as users and as teachers. We believe it provides a comprehensive introduction to this complex software and we find it quite important to provide in-depth explanations on how the software works and why things have to be done in a certain way. This should provide the readers with an insight that is useful for anything they do with Archicad, until long after they have finished reading the book.

Q: What are the key takeaways you want readers to come away with from the book?

Ruben: Truly understanding how Archicad works and how it can be used to implement BIM into your workflow efficiently. The reader will be able to fully model, document and visualize their designs with the software, but they also will have knowledge of what is happening ‘under the hood’ (attributes and their relations) and how data can be added into and extracted from a model made in Archicad.

Q. What advice would you give to readers jumping into this technology? Do you have any top tips?

Ruben: Yes – read our book ;0)

Q. Do you have a blog that readers can follow?

Ruben: No

Q: Can you share any blogs, websites, and forums to help readers gain a holistic view of the tech they are learning? What are the key takeaways you want readers to come away with from the book?

Ruben: Yes! Some of the most interesting ones are mentioned in the book. If I would have to choose one, I would recommend anything written by Shoegnome (aka Jared Banks – http://www.shoegnome.com). I learned a lot from him when starting with Archicad!

Q. How would you describe your author’s journey with Packt? Would you recommend Packt to aspiring authors?

Ruben: The road was sometimes bumpy, but we were assisted and supported continuously by the team at Packt. As a first-time writer I found the workflow very nice and the editors extremely helpful.

Q. Do you belong to any tech community groups?

Ruben: I am active on many BIM and Archicad-related groups and communities (through LinkedIn or in the Graphisoft Community)

Q. What are your favorite tech journals? How do you keep yourself up to date on tech?

Ruben: Mostly online/through LinkedIn

Q. How did you organize, plan, and prioritize your work and write the book?

Ruben: Organically ;0)

Q. What is that one writing tip that you found most crucial and would like to share with aspiring authors?

Ruben: Make a good outline – it is the backbone of the book and something to hold on to when writing becomes difficult or deadlines are piling up.

Q. Would you like to share your social handles? If so, please share.

Ruben: LinkedIn

You can find Ruben’s book on Amazon by following this link: Please click here

A BIM Professional’s Guide to Learning Archicad is available on Amazon.com