Architecture professor designed CAD software


Leslie Sturm (left), 22, interior design major, gets help from Armando Arias del Cid in the computer assisted drafting and design 2 class.

Linda Sturesson, Staff Writer

Armando Arias del Cid, chair of the CAD drafting department, helped develop the architecture software City College students use.

The software, called Revit, was designed by a small company with the same name, where Arias del Cid served on the advisory committee. Revit was so well designed that Autodesk, a global software company who made $2.2 billion in sales last year, bought the company for $133 million.

“There are a lot of types of creators,” Arias del Cid said. “The ones that create because they can’t sleep at night and the ones that can’t sleep at night because they need to create. I am the second one.”

In 2002, two years after the software was released, Arias del Cid returned to Costa Rica to lecture on the new software. He visited the University of Latina and his alma mater, University of Costa Rica (UCR), where he earned his degree in architecture in 1986.

Arias del Cid explained UCR was not interested in implementing the software. However, the University of Latina, a more progressive school, adopted Revit.
“Right away they started using this new software and now they are the most advanced architectural school in Costa Rica,” Arias del Cid said.

A jack-of-all-trades, Arias del Cid is an entrepreneur with his own design company, a painter and a poet with a published book in Spanish. He is an architecture teacher, a musician and is the mind behind architectural software worth millions.

“I’m impressed,” drafting and design major Eric Hollems said. “I mean, he’s been here since CAD was invented, we’re lucky.”

Drafting tutor and design major Brenda Freeman agrees.

“Anyone can read a book,” Freeman said, “but in a class you want something more and that is really what he gives you.”

He grew up in Sabalito, Costa Rica, a small village in the middle of the rainforest. He was born to follow in his father’s footsteps as a ‘Sabanero,’ a cowboy, but fate had something else in mind for Arias del Cid.

When Armando was six years old, his dad passed away leaving his mother to raise him and his six siblings alone.

Arias del Cid believes that his father’s death led him to stop working on the farm and start reading a lot. If this incident in his life hadn’t happened, Armando thinks he would’ve grown up to become a rodeo cowboy.

“I kind of isolated myself a bit and by the time I was out of elementary school, I had pretty much read all the classics,” he said. “By then I knew that I had found this fascinating interest, this thing called architecture.”