Five Ways to Revolutionize the Exploration, Design, and Creation of Buildings

Architecture encompasses a comprehensive design process that incorporates various steps and considerations for transforming abstract ideas into well-designed and functional projects. While specific approaches may vary, this dynamic and iterative process involves understanding the requirements, goals, and constraints of each case, followed by a conceptual design and detailed development of the spatial organization, relationships, and aesthetic aspects. It concludes with a construction and post-occupancy evaluation. Creativity, collaboration, problem-solving, and previous site analysis guide the creation of functional and aesthetically pleasing designs.

As the most impactful part of the process, the concept design stage is where the shape of a project comes together. Utilizing technologies to revolutionize the nature of design processes, Codesign emerges as a pioneering tool that leverages the power of the iPad and the flexibility of sketching to inform and encourage architects in exploring all the angles and potentialities of their ideas. By transforming sketches into 3D building models, Codesign facilitates an iterative process, enabling architects to explore, iterate, and promptly comprehend the downstream effects of their design possibilities. Here are five ways they are helping leading practices and principles design more today.

1. Maximizing design time for architects

Traditionally done by using pen and paper, the conceptual stage of the design process establishes the project’s character, shape, and boundaries. As architects strive to visualize and share these ideas, this innovative tool allows them to import their sketches into complex software programs, which involve decision-making and the definition of numerous details. By enabling architects to devote more time to unleash their creativity and imagination through sketching, it encourages exploration beyond the conventional confines of design.

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Sketches. Image Courtesy of Codesign

2. Instant access to building-related data

Fulfilling the missing connection between pen and paper methods with BIM software, this tool enables architects to draw 2D shapes and instantly visualize them as 3D building models. In addition to sketching each project, architects can specify the number of floors and layout features, allowing them to instantly start developing and accessing building-related data. This design process ensures the value and understanding of a project while adhering to planning constraints, allowing for freedom of action by analyzing problems from different angles and immediately observing downstream impacts related to design iterations.

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Courtesy of Codesign

3. Explore all the possibilities, while change is still possible

In traditional design methodologies, when transitioning from the concept stage to BIM software too early, there is a risk of compromising the project’s potential. Taking a step forward, the use of Codesign allows for the rapid iteration of concepts, idea development, and continuous testing to determine feasibility, resulting in thoroughly explored and further developed ideas. By leveraging the specified information section, architects can assess the impact of each option throughout the process, easily erasing lines to delve deeper into exploration.

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Exploring design alternatives. Image Courtesy of Codesign

4. Delve into down-stream details, context, and site-specifics

Conventional design methodologies require significant time, spanning hours or weeks to gather data on the context, street appearance, and sun studies related to a project’s site. By integrating this tool into the architect’s design process, they can swiftly visualize how the building appears in its intended location, considering factors such as shadows and its integration with the surroundings. The app enables architects to promptly acknowledge the immediate context and site-specific data, facilitating consideration of future implications and their incorporation into the design strategy. 

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Residential apartments. Image Courtesy of Codesign

5. Immediate visuals for sharing ideas

Sharing their ideas at the speed of sketching, architects can utilize the ability to take the model and transition it back into sketchbook mode, enabling them to incorporate more details and street elements, and experiment with multiple perspectives. This allows for a swift and easy sharing of their proposed concepts accompanied by visual resources. Through this app, each project can develop a unified language for sharing ideas by combining 2D drawings, diverse perspectives, and 3D models. 

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Early images - Residential Apartments. Image Courtesy of Codesign

A collaborative partner for architects on concept design

After recognizing the need for a dedicated concept design app that bridges the gap between traditional pencil and paper methods and BIM software, Codesign has opened a new realm for architects to delve into their sketches and explore project possibilities. This achievement was made possible by harnessing the power of the iPad and Apple Pencil, combining the speed of sketching with data creation, while also introducing the benefits of portability and disconnection from the desktop.

Initially, the tool was set to address the challenges associated with generating comprehensive data related to volume and materials, launching the app under the name of ‘Spaces’. However, as more features were incorporated to maximize the potential of the concept design stage in the architectural process, the app underwent a rebranding to ‘Codesign’. This new name aims to communicate the app’s role as a collaborative partner for architects during the concept design phase. 

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Library design. Image Courtesy of Codesign

For more information on Codesign and how to integrate it into your future architecture projects, visit their website.

This article is part of the ArchDaily Topics: Design Process, proudly presented by Codesign. The first purpose-built iPad app for the concept design stage of the architectural process.

Codesign turns sketches into 3D building models in moments, with the ability to iterate, explore and understand down-stream effects immediately. Architects can explore all the possibilities of a project, and spend more time doing what they love the most, designing.
(Codesign was previously known as Spaces)

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About this author
Cite: Camila Prieto. "Five Ways to Revolutionize the Exploration, Design, and Creation of Buildings " 14 Jul 2023. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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