If you visit an architecture office today, you may sense a slight change. The days of bulky desktops, ergonomic mouse pads and tower-high stacks of drawing sets are slowly giving way to digital pencils, tablets, and tons of architects’ hand-drawings—both physical and digital. Architects across the globe are clearing their desks, literally, and utilizing emerging touchscreen tools and software for designing, sharing and collaborating. It seems possible that, for the first time in years, the architecture profession could revisit Bernard Tschumi’s “paperless” studio which formed a key part of his tenure as dean of Columbia University’s GSAPP in the mid-1990s. However, this time, “paperless” starts with a pencil, instead of a click.
This video is part of a conference held every two years by the Rob|Arch Conference series, developed by the Association for Robots in Architecture and related to robotic fabrication in architecture, art, and design.
'Carrara Robotics' was presented in 2014 by Jelle Feringa (Odico) and Lucas Terhall (Hyperbody), and shows a robot that is able to cut through marble with such flexibility and freedom of movement that it generates uniquely beautiful forms. The robot occupies the technology of abrasive cutting and -through a software- it cuts marble, as well as different types of foam, delivering pieces of high geometric complexity as a result.
In this video, British YouTuber Tom Scott explores Thyssenkrupp’s potentially disruptive new "MULTI" elevator system,” which the company revealed in detail this week. Though only in its beta stage of development, being tested within the confines of ThyssenKrupp’s 246-meter tall “innovation” tower in Rottweil, Germany, Multi aims to transform high rise building design with horizontally moving elevator cabs.
The German firm’s cable-free system utilizes vertically mounted tracks, in-cab braking systems, and pivoting elevator tracks to whisk occupants up and across buildings faster and safer than traditional shaft based systems.
The Indian Government’s Smart City Mission, launched in 2015, envisions the development of one hundred “smart cities” by 2020 to address the country’s rapid urbanization; thirty cities were added to the official list last week, taking the current total of planned initiatives to ninety. The $7.5-billion mission entails the comprehensive development of core infrastructure—water and electricity supply, urban mobility, affordable housing, sanitation, health, and safety—while infusing technology-based “smart solutions” to drive economic growth and improve the citizens’ quality of life in cities.
In a country bogged down by bureaucratic corruption, the mission has been commended for its transparent and innovative use of a nation-wide “City Challenge” to award funding to the best proposals from local municipal bodies. Its utopian manifesto and on-ground implementation, however, are a cause of serious concern among urban planners and policy-makers today, who question if the very idea of the Indian smart city is inherently flawed.
In their latest press release, elevator manufacturer ThyssenKrupp announced new information about their cable-free system that rethinks the movement of the 1853 invention. Allowing for both horizontal and vertical transportation, “MULTI” has the capacity to innovate tall building design through its elimination of architectural constraints such as vertical alignment and elevator shaft dimensions. First unveiled as a concept in 2014, MULTI reported this month that the elevator has been installed into a test building and is soon to be implemented publicly into new developments.
Invis Mx2 is a device that allows you to connect screws and bolts easily without leaving any holes. Its cordless screwdriver works through a MiniMag rotary magnetic field, which adapts to any conventional drill, allowing to generate detachable connections with a tensile force of 250 kg per connector.
The system is designed to be applied to wooden elements and ceramic materials, allowing the construction of furniture, railings, coatings, stairs, among others.
Influence the future of Riverside, CA by merging design & tech to positively impact tourism in the city.
This article was originally published on Autodesk's Redshift publication as "Augmented Reality in Construction Lets You See Through Walls."
Imagine you’re part of a crew constructing a new office building: Midway through the process, you’re on-site, inspecting the installation of HVAC systems. You put on a funny-looking construction helmet and step out of the service elevator. As you look up, there’s a drop ceiling being installed, but you want to know what’s going on behind it.
Through the visor on your helmet, you pull up the Building Information Model (BIM), which is instantly projected across your field of vision. There are heating ducts, water pipes, and electrical boxes, moving and shifting with your point of view as you walk along the corridors. Peel back layers of the model to see the building’s steel structure, insulation, and material finishes. It’s like having comic book-style X-ray vision—and soon, it could be a reality on a construction site near you.
The ability to draw well is one of the most coveted skills in architecture. Unfortunately for those without an innate gift for sketching, it's also one of the most difficult to learn—even if it can, contrary to popular opinion, be learned with commitment and practice. But for those poor souls without such talents, there is now a fix: an app called SketchAR.
Available for iPhone and Android devices that incorporate Google's Tango technology, SketchAR can take photographs or other images, convert them into sketchable line drawings, and then use augmented reality to overlay them onto real-world surfaces.
Laptops and tablets are great tools for the designer on the move—but when it comes to maximizing your productivity, there's simply no alternative to a larger desktop screen. Smaller devices simply don't have enough space to efficiently display the many apps, images, multiple view frames and other documents that most designers juggle in their work, and while switching between different apps and programs might only take a few seconds, those seconds add up over the course of a long day. According to a study by the University of Utah, using a larger screen allowed people to complete tasks up to 52% faster, saving as much as 2.5 hours per day. These findings are also backed up by myriad anecdotal evidence: ask any architect and they will likely agree that a larger monitor helps them professionally.
This article originally appeared on Curbed as "How air conditioning shaped modern architecture—and changed our climate."
During a conversation with the New Yorker, a window washer who worked on the Empire State Building says that some of his toughest moments have been cleaning the trash that tenants toss out the windows. In his many years working on the Depression-era skyscraper, he’s wiped numerous half-empty coffee cups off window panes, and even scraped 20 gallons of strawberry preserves from the building’s facade. Tossed out in the winter, it stubbornly clung to the outside of the skyscraper.
Cracking a window open in a skyscraper seems like a quirk, especially today, when hermetically sealed steel-and-glass giants offer the promise of climate-controlled comfort. But ever since Chicago’s Home Insurance Building, considered one of the first skyscrapers, opened in 1884, the challenge of airflow, ventilation, and keeping tenants cool has been an important engineering consideration shaping modern architecture.
The great commercial buildings of the modern era owe their existence, in many ways, to air conditioning, an invention with a decidedly mixed legacy.
Responding in part to recent debates on how big data will affect our built environments, Synthesis Design + Architecture have teamed up with IBM Watson Analytics to design an interior feature wall for the Watson Experience Center in San Francisco. The project, named Data Moiré after the dizzying patterns created by overlapping sets of lines, uses data from the influence of mobile phones on monthly consumer spending to create a precise screen material that defines the wall.
Today, app developer Morpholio has unveiled the newest addition to its collection of architectural aids. Ava, short for Automated Visual Assembly, aims to streamline the interior design process by allowing the user to navigate seamlessly between visually-appealing presentation boards and detailed, editable data spreadsheets.
Ava seeks to reform the status quo for interior design projects, which often involves the separate creation of visual presentation boards for clients, cut sheets and specs for drawing sets, and product lists for purchasing. Ava has been invented to package images and information more intelligently, optimizing beauty, clarity, and ease, and allowing designers to navigate neatly from process, to presentation, to project delivery.
IBM and New-York-based design studio SOFTlab have teamed up to create the first thinking sculpture, inspired by Gaudí and developed with IBM’s Watson cognitive technology for the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.
In order to help design the sculpture, Watson was taught about the history and style of Gaudí and the architecture of Barcelona through volumes of images, literary works, articles, and even music. From these references, Watson helped to uncover critical insights on patterns in Gaudí's work—like crabs, spiders, and color palettes—that the design team didn't initially associate with Gaudí. The resulting four-meter-tall sculpture features a structural surface made of over 1200 unique aluminum parts, and is unmistakably reminiscent of Gaudí’s work both in look and feel, yet entirely distinct.
The sculpture was on display from February 27 to March 2 at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, where it interacted with visitors by changing shape in real-time, in response to sentiments from Twitter. To learn more about the sculpture, ArchDaily was given to opportunity to speak with IBM Watson Manager Jonas Nwuke.
"False Binaries": Why the Battle Between Art and Business in Architecture Education Doesn't Make Sense
This article was originally published by The Architect's Newspaper as "Phil Bernstein pens inaugural column on technology, value, and architects’ evolving role."
This is the inaugural column “Practice Values,” a new bi-monthly series by architect and technologist Phil Bernstein. The column will focus on the evolving role of the architect at the intersection of design and construction, including subjects such as alternative delivery systems and value generation. Bernstein was formerly vice president at Autodesk and now teaches at the Yale School of Architecture.
This semester, I’m teaching a course called “Exploring New Value Propositions for Practice” that’s based on the premise that the changing role of architects in the building industry requires us to think critically about our value as designers in that system. After studying the structure and dynamics of practice business models, the supply chain, and other examples of innovative design enterprises, they’ll be asked to create a business plan for a “next generation” architectural practice. I’m agnostic as to what this practice does per se, as long as it operates somewhere in the constellation of things that architects can do, but there is one constraint—your proposed firm can’t be paid fixed or hourly rate fees. It has to create value (and profit) through some other strategy.
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The conference, organized by the IARC (Independent Architecture Research Colloquia) of the University of Architecture of Innsbruck, is related to the issue of aesthetics; recollecting and reframing the reflections over architecture, representation, formalism, aesthetics, composition and historical changes that have been discussed within the last years. The Symposium’s aim is to collect a comprehensive set of state-of-the-art approaches to the questions of architectural and urban form and thus provide an updated examination of aesthetic, formal and typological investigations.
The ShiftxDesign Conference at Harvard, this February 19th, is an annual exploration of all things design. Launched in 2012, the conference is a collaborative effort between student groups at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Harvard Business School, and Harvard College - and the only cross-school event of its kind. The event brings together creative thinkers, design luminaries, experts from a variety of backgrounds, and students to engage in and reinterpret the design process.
The New York Times has published an in-depth article entitled ‘How China Built iPhone City With Billions in Perks for Apple’s Partners’, revealing a treasure chest of public benefits for the world’s biggest iPhone factory in Zhengzhou, China. In a city of six million inhabitants in an impoverished region of China, the local government has contributed $1.5 billion to Foxconn, Apple’s supplier of iPhones. The money is used, in part, to improve local infrastructure, reduce Foxconn's export costs, and build housing for the factory’s 350,000-strong workforce (five times the number of people employed directly by Apple in the United States).