Could Virtual Cities Make Our Real Cities Smarter?

Seattle’s citywide model. Image Courtesy of Autodesk

This article, by Klaus Philipsen, FAIA originally appeared on his blog Community Architect

As BIM (Building Information ) slowly finds broader acceptance in the architecture and engineering of individual buildings, perhaps it is time to consider the next scale: the city. Just like virtual models help us design and understand buildings and embed information, virtual city simulations could have an application in real city planning, allowing us to go from “flat” GIS to three dimensional information modeling that includes terrain, infrastructure, buildings and public spaces. Could virtual cities be the answer to “smart cities“? Find out after the break.

ArchDaily App Guide: Sketchfab

ArchDaily’s Architecture App Guide will introduce you to web and mobile apps that can help you as an architect: productivity, inspiration, drafting, and more.

computer has become a ubiquitous tool in architecture and design, but – even now – there’s no real solution to the problem of easily displaying or sharing models. An exciting new tool, however, might just change this. It’s called Sketchfab, and it displays 3D models natively in the browser – no plugins necessary, and no need to download to your desktop. A resource like this allows any viewer or reader to glimpse into the future of publishing and communicating architecture online.

Users sign up for Sketchfab and upload models directly in 27 native 3D formats (including .3ds, .stl, .kmz, .dwf, .lwo and others); these models can then be embedded anywhere. Not only will this allow architects to showcase finalized projects, but designs can be followed as they evolve and change. It will be particularly valuable in the remote review process that occurs between the architect and 3D visualizers. And Sketchfab’s platform has an integrated comment and like system to foster discussion and critique.

A Brief History of BIM / Michael S. Bergin

“Patrick Schumacher of Zaha Hadid Architects wrote about the influence of BIM and parametric in the Parametricist Manifesto, recognizing the impact of on style in avant-garde design.” Image via the Parametricisit Manifesto.

This brief history of BIM (“the software that has disrupted traditional methods of representation and collaboration in architecture”) comes to us thanks to our friend at the Architecture Research LabMichael S Bergin.

Building Information (BIM) is a term that has become ubiquitous in the design and construction fields over the past 20 years, but where did it come from? The story is rich and complex with players from the United States, Western Europe and the Soviet Block competing to create the perfect architectural software solution to disrupt 2-Dimensional CAD workflows.

Find out the beginnings of BIM, after the break…

When Literature Turns Into Architecture…

Each element in this model represents a character in Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, and the space between these elements represents the relationship between them. Model by writer Kanasu Nagathihalli and architecture student
Chelsea Hyduk. Image Courtesy of The New York Times

“Great architects build structures that can make us feel enclosed, liberated or suspended. They lead us through space, make us slow down, speed up or stop to contemplate. Great writers, in devising their literary structures, do exactly the same.” A recent post by Matteo Pericoli of The New York Times describes what happens when writers, students in Pericoli’s creative course, team up with architects in order to “physically build the architecture of a text.” The resulting models are physical representations of the emotions, relationships, and narrative-styles of stories by authors as varied as David Foster Wallace, Ayn Rand, and Virginia Woolf. Check out all the models, and their accompanying descriptions, at the NYT.