From the prevalence of unpaid internships to the power of the C-suite, architecture is, according to writer Ann Lui, an “unlevel playing field.” Of the many obstacles facing young designers, one (that you may not have considered) is the prohibitive costs of design software for architects trying to start their own firms.
As Lui points out in her article for Archinect, the times have changed since Maya Lin won the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial competition “with a blurry, hand-rendered sketch of a thick black line in the haze.” Today, “the winning entries of recent widely-published architectural competitions, like eVolo, are thick with unearthly renderings. Recently issued RFPs and many contract docs, even for small projects, include BIM deliverables. LEED certification — or other more holistic methods of “sustainable design” — require energy modeling; and new advances in thermal calculations and daylighting rely on digital building data. Whether or not we continue analog methods for design and how they are integrated in an architectural process is besides the point: to be competitive, cutting-edge digital design programs are integrally necessary. [...]
Yet when it comes to purchasing software, the costs of programs like Autocad and Rhino could be resulting in a self-selecting pool of designers who are able to compete, at least initially, at a higher level.”
Do you think Software is a significant barrier to entry in architecture? Should software be more accessible to all? How could we alter the profession to be more inclusive? Let us know in the comments below.
Read Lui’s article in full at Archinect
Apple has released the latest version of their operating system: Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion. Over 200 new features have been integrated into Lion with the intent to streamline your work and life. Some of the highlighted features include the built in iCloud that keeps all your content updated and in-sync with your Apple products, a unified notification center to help you stay updated on everything, and ready-to-go dictation that makes typing optional.
Although this all sounds great, what about software we architects use on a daily basis?
A word of advice before you upgrade:
As if it weren’t enough that The New York Times just wrote a story on computer programs making architects obsolete, now it seems that computers are actually on the Architect-attack.
Find out how the worm works, and if you could be affected, after the break…
Autodesk also announced AutoCAD LT 2012 for Mac, available for immediate download at the App Store (US$899.99).
The new portfolio of AutoCAD products for Mac expands options for millions of users of the popular design, documentation and collaboration software. AutoCAD 2012 for Mac was built specifically for OS X Lion and helps users create stunning designs on their platform of choice. AutoCAD LT for Mac enables users to document designs, optimize workflow and collaborate with colleagues and clients. AutoCAD WS for Mac enables users to view and collaborate on DWG files through the Mac interface. In addition, AutoCAD WS users can plot DWG files to PDF or DWF formats and sync with their cloud-based AutoCAD WS account, making files accessible from their AutoCAD WS mobile app. AutoCAD LT 2012 for Mac and AutoCAD WS for Mac are available exclusively in the Mac App Store.
More images after the break:
Yesterday Apple released the latest version of their operative system: Mac OS X Lion. I started using it yesterday and it works like a charm on my Macbook. At a first glance, there’s a lot of focus on handling all your applications thanks to features like Mission Control (an improved view of everything running on your computer) and Launchpad (a new way to organize your apps). Other interesting feature is Airdrop, which will allow you to easily share files with your co-workers. There is also a lot of focus on security, back up, system recovery and versions of files, that I know will be very useful for architects.
But what about the software we architects use on a daily basis? A word of advice before you upgrade:
- Graphisoft Archicad r14/r15: Both versions work (and according to @ArqErvey it works faster) with Mac OS X Lion, but there is a small bug related to zooming that has been already documented and should be patched soon. Read the official announcement.
- Google SketchUp 8: Not yet supported for use with OS X 10.7. There are several known issues. Google SU team has stated that they are already working on it, fix should be out soon.
- AutoCAD 2011: Currently not supported on the Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) operating system. If AutoCAD 2011 for Mac is installed on Lion, undesirable side effects can occur, including issues with printing/plotting, Customer Error Reporting (CER), and more. Autodesk is working on a Service Pack to address these problems.
- Update: readers inform on our Facebook page that Vectorworks runs well, but there are some minor issues that will be addressed by Nemetschek.
Disclaimer: Graphisoft is the sponsor of our Software section.
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?
When I switched to Mac, I had to figure out how to run Windows on it, as the CAD (CAM) software I use the most wasn´t available for that platform: Autocad. It has been years since that and Autodesk never show any indications of an upcoming Mac OSX version, so i gave up on waiting and tried other solutions: Vectorworks, Sketchup, even Illustrator!… but I always missed Autocad.
But today a friend told me Autodesk sent him an email asking to complete a survey for their next generation of Autocad products for Mac OSX.
Some interesting questions appear on the survey, such as the importance of the command line, how do you plot (from model/layout), 3d capabilities and the relevance of an Autocad LT version.
Well, it seems Autocad for OSX will be available on the future… we just don´t know when.
You can take the survey here and help Autodesk shape this version.