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BIM Notebooks (for a worthy cause)

(Versione italiana qui) As you might have noticed, I am and always have been quite a prolific writer. Writing is my way of coping with things, both of understanding  technical topics and dealing with emotional issues. Since 2015 and considering only the technical articles around BIM, I ended up with something like 120 articles, and counting. […]

(Versione italiana qui)

As you might have noticed, I am and always have been quite a prolific writer. Writing is my way of coping with things, both of understanding  technical topics and dealing with emotional issues. Since 2015 and considering only the technical articles around BIM, I ended up with something like 120 articles, and counting.

Lots of you people have been reading my stuff.

This always straight-out flatters and amazes me.

Lots of you, less surprisingly, have also been complaining on how it’s hard to keep track of them on the blog and have requested an index, a compendium, an annual.

The idea of collecting some of the more significant articles in a publication, cherry-picking some of the evergreens I might say, came sometime around two years ago. I then put it aside. More than collecting articles, I was in need of collecting pieces of myself.

It then came back this year, upon renewed requests, and I started thinking to put it into action. It took the shape of a ‘BIM notebook’, in both digital and paper form. I selected the pieces I deemed relevant and asked a friend to start working on the layout for the pages.

My dear and long-time friend Chiara De Giovannini, who is a graphic designer, has been working on the notebooks for months, now. It will be a collection of articles both in Italian and English, in chronological order and with an index by topic. It is starting to look as the whole thing is going to be between 500-600 pages, so we’ll split them by language and by year. It will be on Amazon and it will be available both as an eBook and as a printed leaflet. Something for your waiting rooms and lounges, I guess.

I am very happy that this is taking shape and I have to thank my editor, Tecniche Nuove, for allowing me to work on this while I am also writing my second book for them. You guys are spectacular.

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Something was baffling me, though, even if I couldn’t quite wrap my head around it. Then it hit me. For it to be a proper publication, with the option of receiving it printed as many were requesting, it would have to be something with a price tag on it. And in all due honesty I could not charge for something that is and always will be available for free on the world fucking wide web.

What I could do, though, was taking my small share and devolve it to a worthy cause.

Giving recent circumstances, I had an absolute clarity of mind on what the cause should have been.

According to the United Nations, one in three women has experienced or is experiencing gender violence, whether physical or psychological. The data has been confirmed by the Italian Institute for Statistics, so it’s not a far-away phenomenon, something of interest only in what we arrogantly define third-world Countries. It’s as real and close as your left hand. One in three women. If it’s not you, it’s me. If it’s not us two, it’s our friend.

«Look at all the women in the street
You know the statistics, Jill
Even though they may not help
Isn’t it amazing
How we can never tell
Who is in an identical hell»
(A. Palmer, Voicemail for Jill)

The construction industry is a particularly tough working environment, on that account and it seems to be more prone to violence than other industries. There’s a lot of research, if only people were interested in reading it to make a change.

I have always been a strong advocate of fostering diversity, more than equality, for I do not believe that we are born equal. None of us. Each and every person is different and uniforming our policies, the expectancy of how we demand employees and fellow practitioners to behave, would be detrimental to the development of a working culture that’s really mature. I do on the other hand believe in equal opportunities and in the right of every human being to be treated as such, without being objectified. I do not see this happening. I do not see this happening at all, especially when it comes to women. We are not respected and, as soon as we become objects of sexual desire, what we think and feel ceases to be entitled to exist.

This needs to stop.

Cerchi d’acqua is a cooperative association working to help women free themselves from oppressive and abusive situations. Their beautiful name (literally, Circles of Water) is evocative of the concept of how a small gesture can grow and make an impact in an ecosystemic environment, like throwing a stone in a pool of water. It’s a group of amazing women offering consultation, practical help in moments of crisis and, most importantly, ongoing support to help women taking back their lives after an abuse.

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«Violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations in our world today and remains largely unreported due to the impunity, silence, stigma and shame surrounding it».
(United Nations report)

Receiving support and understanding is one of the most important things, when you are in a difficult situation. I am luckier than most, on that account, for I have a wonderful father, a handful of loyal friends and you, as a community of digital practitioners in construction, have supported me through difficult times in a way that has been more significant than I’ll ever be able to convey.

Other women are not that lucky and we live in a world that actively creates isolation.

This is why I’ll devolve to Cerchi d’Acqua every dime I’ll get from the notebooks. It’s a small gesture, but it makes me happy and I hope it will make you happy just as much as I hope it will be able to make even a tiny bit of difference. I hope we’ll be able to do more in the future, you and me together, as the amazing community you have proven to be.

Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Like in previous years, today marks the beginning of 16 days of activism that will lead us to International Human Rights Day on December, 10th.

You’ll hear back from me, then, with more details on the notebooks and information on other initiatives that will help us make a change.

Now go out there, and make a change.

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