Autodesk is under fresh fire from top architects

A group of UK-based practices largely followed a letter in 2020 to producer Revit saying it had failed to hear what its customers were saying.

A consortium of four bodies for the architecture profession across Scandinavia published its own accusations, accusing Autodesk of doing “nothing substantive” about the complaints two years ago.

The disappointment with the California-based software giant is due to a June 2020 survey that revealed that several practices have seen the cost of using Revit in projects rise by as much as 70 percent in just five years.

Shortly after these results came out, a group including Zaha Hadid Architects, Allies and Morrison wrote an initial open letter calling for change. This required “a vision, roadmap, and investment strategy aimed at adding value and performance to design-based organizations” and said this should “prioritize replacing Revit from the ground up”.

However, two years after that exchange, the group of eminent architects released a new statement saying that while Autodesk has spoken to a variety of client groups, the software company has “listened” but “hasn’t.”

“The pandemic has expanded and accelerated how design software can be used in a remote, hybrid, virtual or flexible office environment,” the latest statement read. “Software delivery and licensing must keep pace with the pragmatism of the times and the multiplicity of infrastructures that have been deployed.”

The letter said the premium subscription service “added a little value, but it feels bad”.

She added, “There is still a need for a strategic restart in order to create a fit-for-purpose platform for interoperable design and deliver next-generation global projects. This is clearly a difficult thing to do while associated with the RVT file format.

“Open Message Collection Awaiting Revit Roadmap Update”.

Meanwhile, the Association of Finnish Architects’ Offices, the Danish Association of Architectural Firms, the Association of Norwegian Consulting Architects, and the Association of Architectural Firms in Iceland have come together to publish their open letter to Autodesk.

This lamented the software giant’s “limited response” to previous letters and claimed that the company’s management “failed to recognize and address the frustration behind years of public and industry concerns”.

“With the slow development of software and business models imposed on customers, it is clear that actions so far have not been close enough,” the Scandinavian letter read.

In response to recent messages, an Autodesk spokesperson said: “We are aware of recent feedback we’ve received from some customers about the pace of development in Revit. We always welcome customer feedback, and look forward to continuing conversations with our customers about Revit’s future.

Autodesk remains committed to investing in, innovating, and delivering solutions to the Architectural, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industries that provide connected workflows across every stage of the project lifecycle.

Across our AEC portfolio broadly, and for Revit specifically, we’ve made many improvements that deliver better productivity and efficiency, robust automation, more sustainable results and greater openness—many of which are directly inspired by customer demands.

“In fact, over the last several releases of Revit, we have introduced over 270 new product improvements and features that are a direct result of customer ideas and feedback provided via Revit Ideas.”

Autodesk clients have referenced files Revit public roadmap And the New hub for Revit gates She said customers can “dive deep into all the features and innovations offered in Revit, and add their voice to the conversation about where Revit is headed in the future.”

“We also have several exciting announcements planned for Autodesk University this month,” the company said. “Including new integrations and partnerships that expand Revit’s interoperability, put new capabilities in the hands of Revit users, and deliver more value to our customers.”