CAD Monkeys, Dinosaur Babies and T-Shaped People

What’s with the weird title, you’re wondering?

“T Shaped People” I have written about here in the past.

“CAD Monkeys?” Most readers of this blog are aware of the term and probably wish they weren’t, having at one time or another in their career either served as one or know someone who did.

But “Dinosaur Babies?”

I’ll get to that in a moment.

But first I want to address a subject most people think about this time of year: namely, change.

We all want to make changes in our lives. Most of us for the better.

Not everybody, though, is willing to do what is necessary to make these changes for real.

So they take shortcuts. They embellish, they pad.

Back to the Title

The other day I ordered what appeared to be a new book by Warren Berger

The title of this post is also the title of the book.

CAD Monkeys Dinosaur Babies and T Shaped People

A book I almost bought – yes, I admit, in part because of its suggestive and quirky title – among other reasons.

In fact, I did buy it – until I realized that I had already read it.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s is a great book with great thoughts and ideas about design thinking. One that would warrant several readings.

Some who design for a living complain that the book didn’t teach them anything they didn’t already know.

I design for a living – and have done so for 25 years – and still got a great deal out of the book.

One wrote that the book is “for the beginners only – designers don’t waste your time.”

But isn’t that the point? When we design it is best to put yourself in the position of beginner’s mind – to see yourself as a beginner, not an expert.

We’re all – in other words – beginners.

See for yourself.

Or check out these “Glimmerisms” excerpted from the book.

The Glimmer quotes are truly amazing – I promise. Here’s one more chance in case you missed it.

But I had no need for 2 copies of the same book.

So I cancelled my order.

I “un-bought” it. Something you can only do online.

I read a lot of books. A lot. Almost one a day.

So how could I not remember having read a book called CAD Monkeys Dinosaur Babies and T Shaped People?

Because that is not what it was called when I read it…just 6 months earlier.

At that time, the book had a different title.


Glimmer, the hardcover, has just been issued in paperback as CAD Monkeys Dinosaur Babies and T Shaped People

Glimmer’s subtitle is: How Design Can Transform Your Life, and Maybe Even the World

That had also changed.

You would think with a title as ungainly as CAD Monkeys Dinosaur Babies and T Shaped People would at least have a shorter subtitle.

Nope. The new subtitle is this:

Inside the World of Design Thinking and How It Can Spark Creativity and Innovation

I know. There are books that change when issued in paperback.

They have new chapters, a new foreword or epilogue.

Or have been revised based on new information.

This is not one of them.

In fact, if you look in Glimmer’s index, there is only one (1!) mention of CAD monkeys in the book.

Ascribed to Architecture for Humanity’s Cameron Sinclair. Describing the role he found himself in before being inspired to make a change for himself.

One subsequently having a profound impact on our world.

Sometimes books do change their titles – for marketing reasons. That’s fine.

As long as they mention it – so would-be customers don’t make the mistake I almost made. (And have done so before…)

And mention it in something larger than 4 pt. font at the bottom of the postage size stamp image if the book.

There’s a message here.

Make it your cause to become more of who you already are.

If you are dedicated to truly changing then do so. Be transparent about it.

Don’t go around changing your status and headline, your resume and bio, when nothing has really changed.

In other words, don’t go around changing your online identity.

Change – for real.

Don’t opportunistically change because you think that’s what the market wants.

Where are the BIM monkeys?

This incident got me thinking

If there was such a thing as a BIM monkey, what would that be?

Why aren’t there BIM monkeys?

It’s simple, really.

There are Reviteers – a cross between Revit, Musketeers and Imagineers. But it’s too vendor specific.

Someone working in BIM is empowered from the start – gets a first look at what they’re creating – often before anyone else.

Are they often tired, overworked, overly-challenged by the technology? Sure.

But they’re at the front lines.

Strategizing, creating, not just picking up someone else’s redlines.

BIM monkeys? Never.

Call them BIM guerillas.

As for “Dinosaur Babies?” That’s a term coined by IDEO designer Paul Bennett.

They’re the early design efforts (read: quirky and idiosyncratic) that, well, only its designer can love.

“Destined to be loved by only its creator,” Berger puts it.

Kind of like the title of his book.



Filed under BIM, people, Uncategorized

6 responses to “CAD Monkeys, Dinosaur Babies and T-Shaped People

  1. Erik

    And those that choose to act like CAD Monkeys while trying to use BIM? I suggest BIM-panzee…

    • I am amazed how you remember saying this almost 2 years ago. But there you are:

      “I believe Greg’s exact words were, ‘We don’t want these students graduating and being a bunch of BIMpanzees!'” Well said – all of it – and ahead of your time, as usual!

      Next time I’ll consult with both you, and Erik, in a conference call…

  2. Pingback: Tweets that mention CAD Monkeys, Dinosaur Babies and T-Shaped People | BIM + Integrated Design --

  3. There is nothing wrong in being a BIMPanzee. we are an evolution next step to the CAD Monkey. I am a BIMPanzee and proud of it

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