The originator of the virtual building concept, GRAPHISOFT hosts a free one-hour webcast – “Real Time Sharing is POWER. And EFFICIENCY. And PRODUCTIVITY: The Open Collaboration Webcast” on October 21st.
The webinar will show that Open Design Collaboration with ArchiCAD enables the AEC industry to work like they want to right now. It is Interoperability Redefined, so that architecture and engineering teams can collaborate using their own BIM models in a dynamic IFC based workflow. Come see ArchiCAD engage intelligent data exchange with Revit Structure, Tekla Structure, Autodesk MEP, Revit MEP and more.
It all began last year when Autodesk sent a survey to its customers asking how they imagined AutoCAD for Mac OSX. Then, back in May, we saw an early preview of the software running on Mac. This was a leaked version, and Autodesk didn’t say anything (we asked!) about it.
But today, Autodesk issued a press release confirming it: Autodesk AutoCAD for Mac OSX will be available to the public in October, at a MSRP of $3,995 (same as the PC version – Autodesk Education Community version available for free).
The announcement also included a free mobile version of AutoCAD for mobile devices, specifically for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.
And this announcements clarifies some things. Back in May we sat down with Phil Bernstein, VP of Industry Relations & Strategy at Autodesk, and talked about AEC software, social networks and the cloud.
Phil said something very interesting in regards to integration of Autodesk software: “3 screens: computer, cloud and mobile”. More than new, standalone versions for mobile devices, Autodesk is pushing forward the integration of workflow and collaboration across their software (not only Autocad), a move in which the cloud will play a key role. A hint of this was seen earlier in Autodesk Butterfly (part of Project Bluestreak), a technology developed by Autodesk Labs.
This move will sure change a lot of things. Collaboration, SaaS (Software as a Service), and eventually lower costs, among others.
Revit for Mac? Let the rumors begin.
Some of Shanghai’s most revered architecture was designed by a Hungarian, László Hudec (1893-1958), whose works are on display at Shanghai’s Museum of Contemporary Art as 3D virtual reality building explorations.
These tours are part of the museum’s tribute to Hungary (through Sept. 5), which highlights that country’s contributions to film, music and design. Museum patrons virtually “fly through” every nook, cranny, form, plane, space and detail of three architectural treasures that exemplify Hudec’s Art Deco and Modernist style:
Park Hotel: At 22 stories, this was the tallest building in the Far East for decades and Shanghai’s tallest building through the 1980s. Hudec was inspired by New York’s and Chicago’s skyscrapers, which he experienced firsthand in 1927. Completed in 1934, the Park Hotel is a masterpiece of modernism and Art Deco and a symbol of Shanghai’s rapid development in the 1930’s. Virtual visitors marvel at the hotel’s elegant Art Deco lobby.
Moore Memorial Church: Re-built by Hudec in 1931, the church was originally built in 1887 to serve the Methodist community. Gothic vaulted ceilings, stone ribbing, and stained glass windows exemplify the neo-Gothic style. The bell tower on the southwest corner, at 42.1 meters, was the highest tower in Shanghai at the time. This is one of several sacred buildings that Hudec designed in Shanghai on a pro bono basis.
D.V. Woo House: Completed in July 1938, this was one of the most spacious and luxurious homes in the Far East at the time. Known as the “green house” after the hue of the glazed tiles that covered its surface, this residence integrates modern architecture with Art Deco. The home was famous for its staggering array of rooms, including a banquet hall, ballroom, billiard room, bar, chess room, greenhouse, and sunroom. It was also the first home in Shanghai with an elevator and air conditioning. The Italian marble staircase, copper handrail and copper radiators were all novelties at the time.
Hudec was trained in Budapest as a classical architect. A visit to the USA in 1927 shifted Hudec’s vision from an eclectic, neo-Classical style first to Art Deco and then to Modernism. Hudec’s transition to Art Deco helped his buildings capture the excitement, promise and glamor of Shanghai’s golden age of prosperity. Hudec was one of the most interesting and culturally astute architects of the early 20th century, bridging the gap between European architecture and Chinese culture. His commercial, residential and religious buildings are especially noteworthy given that many are still in use today in their original function.
Augmented Reality amazed us over the last few years, evolving into something beyond simple visualization.
Augmented City, a video by Keiichi Matsuda, envisions a future on which AR interfaces are part of our environment. We have seen some interesting examples on visualization, installations, and even as a marketing tool.
How do you imagine a future on which AR is incorporated into the spaces we design?
Designing Educational districts is certainly a challenging topic for every architecture firm. In line with this topic, we would like to introduce you a California based firm who is committed to helping California school districts harness the power of the sun to generate renewable energy.
Founded in 1986, Quattrocchi Kwok Architects provides thoughtful collaborative design services to the clients they serve. They offer responsive design work that supports those who use the facilities they create through client centered design, human scale, innovation, sustainable practices and the willingness to stretch our imaginations to suit the needs of their clients. QKA’s diverse portfolio reflects our commitment to design that responds to use, climate and the community.
With a staff of 47, Quattrocchi Kwok Architects has provided design services for over $850 million of public and private projects. This experience includes master planning, new construction, renovations and historical restoration. While their experience is varied, each project shares a common goal: The facility must meet the needs and wishes of all the users. (more…)
Check out the latest video of Santiago Calatrava’s transit hub at the World Trade Center site, courtesy of the Wall Street Journal and funded by Brookfield Properties. Back in 2004, Calatrava first unveiled his vision for the transportation hub – a “mega-station” which will include PATH services and 12 subway lines – and it seems that we’ll still have to wait until 2014 for the project to be fully completed. Although certain aspects of the design have been modified since 2004, the overall vision embodies Calatrava’s original conceptual ideas. At $3.2 billion dollars, the station is an expensive, but vital, component of the new WTC complex. Millions of commuters, tourists, and residents pass through the station every day, filtering in and out of one of the most powerful financial districts in the world. The video’s alluring imagery of the main concourse piques our interest as Calatrava has opened the roof to allow natural light to flood the interior. This strategy creates a more transparent and open space, which is unusual for a New York subway station, that can also be enjoyed from above as people in the towers look down upon the hub. We are anxious to wait on the sleek platforms and walk down the commercial connection between the hub and the Winter Garden, but we’ll just have to patiently wait to see the final result!
We’ve seen tons of glitzy and glamorous renderings that immediately attract our attention. You know the kind we mean – a picturesque snapshot where the weather is absolutely perfect, the sunlight is bursting through the glass facade magnificently, and people are laughing and strolling hand in hand. And, sometimes, the rendering style speaks louder than the actual architecture – convincing clients and jurors, or perhaps misleading them, to invest in the project. Of course, we love seeing the variety of presentation styles and how firms market their work, but we also enjoy seeing construction shots and finished photography to see if the realized project lives up to the idealized renderings.
More after the break. (more…)
Architecture has always treasured the ideal of the lone creative genius but the reality we all work with today is that architecture is all about the team. Even Wright collaborated with the construction team and Gaudi based much of what he did on information learned from the trades.
Architecture, as always, involves a slew of stakeholders – not only the designers but also owners, operators, builders, colleagues, and partners working on various jobs like structural, HVAC, MEP or sustainability consulting.
Teamwork is the way of the world, so why should our profession be any different? And hey, whatever you think of Twitter and Facebook, this is the era of social communication. Why shouldn’t we get in on the action?
Even while collaborating, we can be architectural icons. We can still maintain our creative integrity. We might even do better work, make more money, and have more time for ourselves.
If you do want to collaborate effectively, start with a Building Information Modeling (BIM) software tool. This gives you not only the basic geometry, but packs spatial relationships, lighting, geography, quantities and properties of building components into the 3D model. The richer the foundation, the more powerful the collaboration.
Graphisoft recently released ArchiCAD 14. ArchiCAD was a pioneer in BIM, a tool that has now become standard not only in terms of design and construction, but also for the life cycle of buildings. ArchiCAD has been available for ages for the Mac users, having a large install base on that platform. Their pricing program has made it affordable for new practices.
But back to this new version. Graphisoft has added several new features aiming for better, open collaboration, something very important in terms of pushing BIM as a standard tool on which different professionals can work together. In ArchiCAD 14 we find several workflow enhancements (such as IFC integration, a neutral data model not controlled by any vendor) to successfully bridge along different CAD/BIM/MEP packages, such as Autodesk and Revit, a big step towards an effective IPD (Integrated Project Delivery).
This version also includes BIM Server to further improve teamwork collaboration (64-bit version for the Mac), and Teamwork “Pack & Go” (to allow you to keep working with your team anywhere you go).
More on ArchiCAD 14 new features after the break:
We’re happy to share Google’s launch of the newest Google Earth Pro 5.2. Lots of people in the profession use Google Earth for site work, bringing “geographic data to life”, and now, the latest version will make it easier to find and access the data. With three new productivity-enhancing layers, 5.2 will include demographic and parcel data in addition to daily traffic counts. Information regarding 2010 and projected 2015 income, age, education will be available at the state, county, tract, and block group level. Everything from use codes, and zoning data to even the sales history and average number of cars that have passed through an intersection will be link from each parcel selection. We are excited for this new version and to work with the new levels of information it provides.
With all the software options available, often times we jump between programs as some are suited better to certain aspects of design. Google SketchUp may be your software of choice for early design stages, as its ease of use does not limit schematic ideas from sprouting. Yet, now, with a new partnership between the Integrated Environmental Solutions (IES) and SketchUp, expect to use the program more frequently.
The partnership is a great balance between SketchUp’s strength for early stage design work and IES’ strength in performance analysis and simulations. Now, users can analyze design iterations across a wide range of areas, such as energy, carbon, solar and daylight from very early in the design process, which will lead to achieving low-energy sustainable building design plus the ability to assess the economics of low/zero carbon technology and renewable energy use.
We look forward to using this new creation and we hope you do, too!
A few days ago we showed you a series of screenshoots of the first Autodesk Autocad for Mac Beta (codename Sledgehammer), a preview of the UI improvements that we are going to see for this platform.
This video by ItaliaMac shows more details about the User Interface and mouse (touchpad) gestures.
Many of our readers are very excited about this new version, and we hope it sees the light before the fall semester.
Almost a year ago we told you of a survey Autodesk was conducting regarding the UI and printing capabilities of Autocad with Mac users, the first confirmation of Autodesk finally working on a version for this platform.
Federico Viticci from Macstories posted several screen shoots of Sledgehammer, the first Beta of Autocad for Mac OSX, running on a 64-bit machine. The UI presents several changes from what we were used to on the Windows version, and I´m happy to see mouse gestures (supported by Macbook’s touchpad and the Magic Mouse).
Not much details out there, but we do have a meeting with an Autodesk rep in the following weeks, when we will try to get you more details.
In the meanwhile, take a look at the following screen shoots and tell us what you think: Is Autodesk going in a good direction with this new version (more than an adaptation) of Autocad for Mac? Does the UI seem usable for you? What would you add?
Zebra Imaging 3D brings the future of 3D visualization, thanks to this thin holographic sheets.
Zebra Imaging makes digitally-mastered, actively-animated, true-color, full-parallax holographic images. These holographic images are available in full color, or in monochrome (green). Zebra’s holographic images can be scaled to any size, large or small. By tiling together multiple tiles, it is possible to create large city maps, full sized cars, humans, and machinery. The minimum you have to do is supply the digital data set–Zebra can do the rest.
But a new project coming out of Autodesk Labs promises to make online CAD collaboration feasible: Autodesk Butterfly.
As you can see on the above video, sharing works on a very simple way over email allowing people to work on a drawing at the same time. I gave Autodesk Butterfly a try at their technology preview website (no need to sign-in, just hit Try Now) and the flash interface loaded fast. It is very intuitive to use if you have used AutoCad, and the version control system allows you to go back to previous states of the drawing.
An iPhone version would be great, as it would allow you to do on-site review and annotations. Anyway, the preview looks very strong, and maybe we will have a full version of this tool available soon.
Last weekend I had the chance to spend the afternoon with a group of entrepreneurs and Chris Anderson, editor for Wired magazine and author of The Long Tail and Free, two books that define the new economies of the Internet (highly recommended if you haven´t read them yet, specially Free)
Chris did a little speech on his new research, which immediately made sense to me from an architect’s point of view. At this point, it is more than clear that the bit revolution turned our world in 360º, and thanks to the connected world it seems that the technology development curve is more steep than ever. And now, many rules of the online world are being adopted by the physical world, and according to Anderson “atoms are the new bits”.
First, it was the media revolution. Information became democratic, collaborative, the tools became free, and everyone is part of it. But how do we take this to the World (World 2.0?)? Actually… it´s happening and very close to our profession:
Qi Pan, a PhD student at the University of Cambridge, has developed an interesting technique to model objects using a webcam.
The results are very accurate, and this technique could lead to cheaper software for model scanning, extending the possibilities of how physical study models can be used in early stages of the project.