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Sketchup-ur-space Magazine - June 14

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Rendezvous with Joao Gaspar

1. Welcome Joao to the space of SketchUp. Please introduce yourself to our readers.

I´m a brazilian architect and writer of the book "Google SketchUp Pro 8 Step by Step". With the architect Alexandre Villares, I have a training center on digital design, called TI Lab in São Paulo, since year 2000.

2. How did you find SketchUp?

I first met SketchUp in 2003, I think that at that time me and the TI Lab team were using version 3. We were already offering training of Vectorworks and Artlantis, so we thought it would a great idea to have SketchUp in our portfolio.


3. How do you incorporate SketchUp in your architectural work?

I think that SketchUp offers a wide range of possibilities to architects and designers, and now that my job is focused in the development of books and training, I try to keep an eye on what great things are been created for it, so we can choose our next steps. In my architectural works, I like to use SketchUp in the early stages of a project, when I have to deal with the expectations of the clients and get the best result I can before doing the executive drawings.

4. Tell us something about your organization VectorPro and TI Lab.

VectorPro is the former name of TI Lab, which is our training center in São Paulo, Brasil. We offer trainings and consultancy on SketchUp, Vectorworks, Photoshop, Artlantis, Render[in], among others. We also have a brand called "Rede AEC Pro", which identifies our material, that is distributed in training centers in Rio de Janeiro, Campinas, São José dos Campos and Sorocaba.

5. When did you think to write a book on SketchUp?

We started to teach SketchUp in 2005, and soon we realized that something big was about to happen with it. Later on, Google bought SketchUp, and for us was a clear sign that we had to make a book based on our training material. So we did the first SketchUp book in SketchUp written in portuguese in 2008, that had its english version launched last year. We also have the book translated to spanish (Google SketchUp Pro 8 paso a paso en español), which is the only book about SketchUp written in that language until now.


6. What is your inspiration of writing a book on SketchUp?

SketchUp is, maybe, the first software owned by a huge company that has a free version that really works. That changed a lot of things for us in Brasil, and we noticed that we needed to had a product to get along with SketchUp, besides our traditional training, which is not acessible for a lot of people in our country (in terms of reaching the most far sides of Brasil, and also because of its cost). I think that this is what served of inspiration for the making of the book.

7. Please tell us something about your book” Google SketchUp Pro 8: Step by Step”.

I wanted the book to be as easy to read and learn as it could be. So I and the TI Lab team had focused in build pieces of explanation that have to be concise and straight to the point, just like we do in our live classes. I also think that the experience as architect and designer also contributes a lot to the book, because I act at the same time as the author and the editor of it, and that means more control of what is being presented to our readers, including the design of the cover page and the interior of the book, the website and its forum, proposed activities and more.


8. When will we get your next book?

I am finishing a book on Vectorworks (another great software) that will be launched in a few weeks in Brasil, and we have plans to get it translated to english as soon as possible. In the SketchUp world, we are going to translate our book on advanced skills in SketchUp to english and spanish too.

9. Why do you think to become an architect?

I think one of the great things about being an architect, interior designer, and related careers, is that you´re going to deal with the dreams and the best expectations one can have about a new house, a new building, all that kind of things. The idea of making that kind of difference in peoples´ lives that made me an architect and a book author too.


10. How much SketchUp is popular in Brazil?

SketchUp is one of the most used design softwares in Brasil. A lot of students and professionals of architecture, furniture design, interior design, landscape design, engineering, scenography are SketchUp users. We were told, in an SketchUp event that occured last year in Brasil, that brazilian portuguese is the third more used language in SketchUp at that time (behind english and spanish), and we are certain that there is still a lot of space for the growing of the software.

11. Till date how do you see the evolution of SketchUp?

I think that the idea of keeping SketchUp a simple (yet powerful) tool to operate is the secret of the software´s success. Google also made a good strategy in creating 3D Warehouse, and probably they are to going to keep things that way. The possibility of extend the capabilities of SketchUp by using plug-ins is also a great feature.


12. Apart from writing and designing what are the things you like to do in your spare time?

I like to travel, read, and to play the drums in a rock'n'roll band here in São Paulo!

13. There are so many 3D designing software available in the market. Why do you choose SketchUp?

Because SketchUp is simple to learn and use, has a lot of powerful features and connects seamlessly to Google 3D warehouse and Google Earth. And has a free version, that gives anyone who has a computer the power to design and communicate in 3D.

14. In future how do you like to see the development of SketchUp?

I think one of the great improvements that could be done for SketchUp is related to cloud storage and computing.


15. Please give some advices to the budding designers and architect.

I think we are in the middle of an age in which there are opportunities for good professionals from all parts of the world, so I guess now is the time for us to show what we can do, with simplicity, responsability, commitment with budgets and deadlines. By doing things that way, architects and designers will have their careers even more respected.

16. What is your opinion about Sketchup ur Space? Please give us some advices.

"Sketchup Ur Space" is a very important source of information for everybody that wants to know what´s going on in the SketchUp world. Just like the software, I think the website doing a good job and have to keep it in that direction. One thing that maybe a good suggestion is creating Android and iOS versions for the site, that should be nice.

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