We have previously published the best apps for architects, many of which try to boost creativity and productivity for project design. Now, we’ve put together a series of helpful apps for the development and management of construction projects. From digital measuring tools to instant software-generated reports of work progress, we hope this new construction technology will be most useful to you.
Mental Canvas is not the first software that attempts to save the act of sketching--we have seen 3D "sketching" tools such as SketchUp, as well as applications that simply simulate sketching on paper, such as Morpholio's popular range of sketching apps. But what makes Mental Canvas revolutionary is that you have the ability to sketch freely in a three-dimensional space without the constraints of traditional CAD modelling; it’s what Julie Dorsey, founder of Mental Canvas, calls a "graphical media"; not fully flat but not fully 3D. The software will be released later this year on Microsoft Surface devices, including the recently announced Surface Studio, working with the hardware of the Surface computers and the Surface Dial to provide a natural sketching experience on a virtual canvas.
Socialist Modernism on Your Smartphone: This Research Group is Raising Funds for a Crowdsourcing Mobile App
Recent years have seen a rapidly increasing interest in the architecture of the former Soviet Union. Thanks to the internet, enthusiasts of architectural history are now able to discover unknown buildings on a daily basis, and with the cultural and historical break caused by the collapse of the Soviet Union, each photograph of a neglected and decaying edifice can feel like an undiscovered gem. However, often it can be difficult to find more information about these buildings and to understand their place in the arc of architectural history.
That was the reason behind the creation of Socialist Modernism, a research platform started by BACU - Birou pentru Artă şi Cercetare Urbană (Bureau for Art and Urban Research) which "focuses on those modernist trends from Central and Eastern Europe which are insufficiently explored in the broader context of global architecture." Socialist Modernism already consists of a website on which BACU has cataloged a number of remarkable and little-known buildings. However, now the team is raising funds on Indiegogo's Generosity platform for the next step in their research project. With this money they hope to create an app on which users can add new sites and buildings to the database.
Today, Morpholio has unveiled a new addition to their flagship Trace app. The new addition, called simply “Stencil,” offers a quick way to add figures and annotations to your Trace sketches using a tool that has been familiar to architects for years. The update to the app features a number of pre-loaded stencil designs, but thanks to its new digital twist, the act of stenciling is also augmented through the ability to take any image you can find or photograph and turn it into a stencil in seconds.
ArchDaily just reached 1 million followers on Instagram! To celebrate, we’re featuring 25 new Instagram feeds to follow. As with parts one, two and three of our Instagram round-up, we’ve selected a varied group of accounts which includes architecture photographers like Laurian Ghinitoiu, whose stunning images have appeared on ArchDaily countless times, and prominent architecture firms like Mad Architects, MVRDV, Sou Fujimoto and OMA. We’ve also added well-curated feeds on certain subjects like socialist_modernism, and perfectly symmetrical buildings via symmetrical_monsters which are sure to inspire you.
If you’re looking for daily inspiration, these feeds are definite must-follows.
Capitalizing on the emergence of the touchscreen tablet and stylus as a drafting tool, Morpholio has released the brand new, patent-pending ScalePen, which provides a new way to draw on their popular iPad app, “Trace” (available in the App Store). The ScalePen simultaneously checks the drawing scale and iPad zoom level and offers an array of pens that respond as you move through the drawing. The result “brings precision and clarity to line weight, and gives architects the ability to make beautiful sketches at multiple scales, within a single drawing, set of layers, or layouts.”
A new mobile application created by Dutch designer Richard Vijgen visualises the 'infosphere'—an interdependent 'network of networks' that is "populated by informational entities"—in realtime augmented reality, transforming our intangible environment into an abstracted world of pulsating waves of energy. We are "completely surrounded by a hidden system of data cables and radio signals from access points, cell towers and overhead satellites," according to the designer. The Architecture of Radio works by "reversing the ambient nature of the 'infosphere', hiding the visible while revealing the invisible technological landscape we interact with through our devices."
The recent unveiling of Apple’s iPad Pro and Pencil to the public have spawned fantasies of beautiful, precise, scaled drawings, able to be created digitally both quickly and accurately. Now, with Morpholio’s newest app TracePro, architects around the world will be able to create those fantasies themselves. As an update to their previous Trace apps for the iPad Pro (which will be released on Friday) TracePro is the latest in a line of ever-improving apps by Morpholio designed to make sketching and communicating with other architects easier than ever.
Efficiency is the name of the game in the business world. And as any working architect knows, working at an architecture firm is as much about business as it is design - even if in architecture, efficiency can be hard to come by. By using applications that span platforms, though, you can remain efficient no matter where you go.
Following the success of our list of 22 Websites You Didn't Know Were Useful to Architects, we’ve assembled a list of 20 productivity apps to keep you on track. Whether you’re trying to keep your schedule in check, remember your passwords, or simply get the most out of your shrinking sleep time, there’s an app that can maximize your ability to do what you’re doing.
In 2013 and 2014, we published two posts rounding up some of the best architectural Instagrammers out there. Now, with the #ArchDaily hashtag recently surpassing 500,000 posts across the whole of Instagram, we thought it was high time for an update. Our latest list, of course, includes many very talented photographers that are sure to fill your stream with great architectural images. Also included though are a number of photographers who fill more niche areas of interest: from updates on major New York construction projects from field_condition, to updates from filmmaker tomaskoolhaas as he creates his documentary on his father Rem; and from dailyoverview's captivating images of our Earth from above, to sejkko's charming photographs of Portugal's "Lonely Houses," there's something to interest everyone.
Announced at their fall event today, Apple has unveiled “the biggest news for the iPad since the iPad”: the iPad Pro, the company’s largest ever tablet device with a 12.9” screen. As ever, technology websites were alight with live updates about the new iPad, sharing everything from the device specifications and capabilities to the price.
But what does the iPad Pro mean for architects? Here’s 4 ways the new device could change the way you work.
It's no secret that most architects who are also parents want their children to follow in their footsteps. But how can we encourage our children to think like architects – critically, spatially and creatively? For parents in Manhattan, for the past five years Rockwell Group's Imagination Playground has provided an answer. The educational play system consists of large-scale blocks of varying sizes and uses, allowing children to build whatever they can imagine – without the long hours and deadlines. Now, with the release of Imagination Playground 3D Builder, the creative platform is now available digitally, for free.
Continuing their streak of new apps for architects and designers, today Morpholio has released their latest work – a digital notebook known as “Journal.” An improvement to existing digital sketchbooks, Journal seeks to capture the day-to-day recording of ideas, inspiration, thoughts and recollections of an analog notebook as faithfully as possible. Unlike most digital sketchbooks, Journal allows users to combine the amalgamation of photos, images, hand sketches and drawings that a real journal might encompass, lending new material to the debate between digital versus analog. But could such an app ever really replace the role that analog journals have in the life of an architect? To find out, we spoke to the people of Morpholio about Journal and the future of digital and analog media.
Spanish architect Josep Lluís Mateo of Mateo Arquitectura has launched the “BCN Architecture Guide,” a free application to help travelers and architecture lovers explore Barcelona. The app guides users to both highlights of the city’s built environment as well as its natural environment, including some “places to experience nature in tension with the city, places to be rather than objects to look at.”
Adding to an already stellar range of apps for architects and designers, today The Morpholio Project has launched Crit, a messaging app for architects which allows users to critique designs, share ideas and send key information such as dimensions and materials. With modern architectural projects relying on increasingly large teams of architects, engineers, project managers and contractors, design decisions have to be shared with a large number of people - leading to slow decisions in an increasingly fast-paced world. According to Morpholio, the idea for the Crit App arose from the question: "What if photos, sketches, images, drawings, and comments could be instantly fused into a single legible “design” discussion?"
In 2014 renowned Dutch politician Neelie Kroes, then a commissioner for the European Union, stated that coding should be taught in elementary school in the Netherlands, arguing that “Coding is the reading and writing of the future” and that if the Dutch didn’t incorporate it into their education system it would fall behind school systems in other countries. The reactions to both Kroes’ statement and Michael Kilkelly's article "5 Reasons Architects Should Learn To Code" were quite similar. Those already capable of writing code agreed; many who have never even seen, let alone written any script responded negatively. Many reactions to Micheal Kilkelly's article covered the same ideas: “There's no time!” “Coding is not designing!” Or just plain, “No!”
A version of this article originally appeared on the Percolate Blog.
In spring of 2009, I graduated from architecture school. At the time, the post-recession economy was rough and not much was happening for architects. With an interest in entrepreneurship and technology, I took a risk and decided to try working at a tech startup. Much to my surprise, I fell in love with the industry and 5 years later, I’m now a Product Designer at Percolate in NYC, a company which produces web and mobile marketing software.
Since my career pivot, I’ve noticed many interesting parallels between architecture and product design. Although the mediums are different, it’s amazing to see how many of the design principles and processes are the same. To some degree, even the tools can be applied to both design industries. In this post, I will discuss how circulation is a fundamental property in the usefulness of both buildings and products.
One of the greatest lessons I learned in architecture school is the importance of circulation systems in the design of buildings.
As part of their quest to synchronise our digital and analogue worlds, sketchbook designer Moleskine have joined forces with the Adobe Creative Cloud platform to "simplify workflows" for illustrators, designers and architects. Suggesting that the initial stages of the creative process often occur offline, out of the studio or in transit, the team behind the collaboration note that as a portable, uncomplicated object, the Moleskine notebook "can be used anytime, anywhere and especially on the move. Sketching on paper is immediate, and can even be done on a crowded train."
Now users with a Creative Cloud subscription, combined with a special Moleskine sketchbook, can capture images of their drawings with the associated app (iOS only). These are then converted into smooth vector files which are automatically synchronised to desktop programs such as Photoshop (as a .jpeg) or Illustrator (as a .svg).