Envision your ideal neighborhood. Maybe it’s on a cul-de-sac in the suburbs, where every neighbor has a well-manicured lawn, a two-car garage, and everyone gives each other a friendly wave on their way to work. Or maybe you live in a high-rise building in a dense urban center, where you take public transit to the office five days a week and say hello to your doorman on your way out. Whatever your neighborhood might look like, there’s always a sense of wanting to know the people who live around your- or at least an unspoken reliance on one another to ensure that your surroundings are safe. What happens when technology brings you and your neighbors together to report on local happenings? Is it a good thing, or does it create a vigilante situation gone awry?
App: The Latest Architecture and News
Mayor of London Launches Housing Design App to Transform Construction
In order to assist the city of London and encourage constructions after Covid-19, the Mayor of London, with tech-led design practice Bryden Wood and leading residential consultancy Cast, have launched a new version of the housing design app PRiSM. Using the latest digital technology and data to help design and build manufactured homes, the freely available application will allow users to share expertise and use technology to transform the design process and get the city building the homes Londoners need.
An App That Frees Architects From the Hassle of Field Reports and Punch Lists
In 2012, Belgian software developers Peter Eerlings and Jerry De Paepe were contacted by an architecture firm looking for a solution to simplify their field reports. Creating field reports was an extremely time-consuming activity for them: first, writing down notes on paper and taking photos during a site visit. Back at the office, transferring the photos to the PC with a cable. Next, adding annotations to photos with Paint, deciphering and typing out the handwritten notes, struggling with the layout while inserting photos in Word, and so on. Over and over again. It was an administrative hassle that easily took more than an hour for each field report - sometimes two or three.
A Free Tool to Create Textures for Architectural Images
All too often, architects and designers spend hours searching for textures and materials to represent their visions. This struggle takes many forms: from scrolling through Google, Pinterest, and databases in search of the perfect texture, to manually creating one over the course of several hours, or even days. In either case, the result is frequently painful, and rarely perfect. A database organized, reliable, free and easy to use is not always a simple thing to find.
Architextures began in 2014 as a library of high-quality image files, with textures submitted by users or created by the platform itself. Over time, the platform’s creator Ryan Canning noticed that, in his professional work as an architect, the array of static image files available online did not meet the specific textures he was looking for in his design projects. Frustrated with the endless process of searching, editing and overlaying textures in Photoshop, Ryan reinvented Architextures in 2019 as an interactive tool where designers like himself could create specified, high-quality textures in seconds. And importantly, being free to use for personal and educational use, with professional accounts available for a small fee to support the tool’s development.
Can a Machine Perform the Work of an Architect? A Chat with Jesper Wallgren, Founder of Finch 3D
There has been a lot of talk about how automation will affect the way we do architecture, and what our role will be when technologies reach our own desks and work tables. In recent years, while we have seen how robotics and advanced technology are gaining ground in construction and manufacturing, new tools are emerging that promise to automate the design process itself. These would allow us to quickly and easily configure living spaces and their dimensions in the initial stages of a project, using simulations and artificial intelligence.
Will this automation be the future of architectural design? We talked with Jesper Wallgren, architect and founder of Finch 3D, to better understand this tool and its possible scope.
Streamline Construction Administration with Digital Tools by Archireport
Most architects can agree that they would prefer to spend more time designing and less time managing. Management is a vital role architects play, yet increased efficiency is always valuable. Whether it involves coordinating consultants or ensuring a job site is progressing to meet the contract documents, architects are in charge of orchestrating many moving parts throughout the life of a project. With an app like Archireport, architects can keep track of projects in the office or on site, wherever the work day may lead.
London Launches Open Source App for Homebuilding
Bryden Wood, Cast, and the Mayor of London have launched a new app to speed up the capital’s home building. The freely-available app, titled PRISM, is aimed at the design and construction of high-quality, factory-built homes to address the current demand of 50,000+ houses per year.
Create Color Palettes from Your Smartphone Pics with These 4 Free Apps
"Anyone can be a photographer nowadays, all you need is a smartphone." Although this is a well-known cliche, that doesn't mean it's entirely untrue. Recently, with the advancement of smartphone technology, aided by social networks, the growth of photographic capabilities on these devices has increased at an exponential speed.
The iPad App That Can Make Your Client Meetings Fast, Efficient and Productive
Sketching is the best way to work through design problems. Since no designer is an island, sometimes sketching collaboratively is the best way of working through design problems together. Other times, you sketch a bit, create a proper drawing, and then present to colleagues, clients or stakeholders.
"Whether you're resolving a challenging condition by yourself, or helping a client to visualize, we all sketch it out first," explained Sophie Amini, Creative Director at Pooky. "With Archisketch, more often than not, even I prefer to put aside my paper and pencil and whip off a sketch on my iPad. At Pooky, we work very closely, both with each other and with the manufacturers. We talk through sketches and ideas at length before deciding which samples to get made up. Sketches are translated into technical drawings, from which the manufacturers can work."
This Online Tool Generates High-Quality Geographic Maps of Data in Seconds
Have you ever had to create a map for your project, thinking you could get it done within 30 minutes, but then spent an entire afternoon on it? Between collecting data, creating a base map, choosing a color scheme, and finally putting together a graphic, creating a map can be a long, trying process, taking up precious time when you could be doing other work. Map-making shouldn’t be this way.
Created by Darkhorse Analytics, mapinseconds.com is a free online productivity tool which generates clear, quality maps based off of your data. Here’s how it works: collect and organize your data into two columns on either an Excel or Google spreadsheet, open mapinseconds.com, paste your data into the application’s spreadsheet, and voila! Your custom map is finished!
The Real Star of The Apple Keynote? ARKit Augmented Reality Technology
Apple’s fall 2017 Keynote, which at the time of publication is already underway, is the first ever event held at the new Steve Jobs Theater right at the center of the Apple Headquarters in Cupertino. Every year at its fall keynotes, the company makes it major product announcements—last year, they announced the iPhone 7, Apple Watch series 2, and Airpods. This year, most of the hype surrounded the expected announcement of the iPhone 8 (and iPhone X!).
However, we have also been eagerly awaiting the announcement of updates to iOS 11 and its release to the public. First introduced on June 5, 2017 at the Worldwide Developers Conference, the discussion of the new Apple operating system will feature user updates but also developer updates—and it's here where we find the true star of the show: ARKit, the back-end tools which developers can use to create next-generation augmented reality (AR) apps for users of iOS 11 devices.
Pl@ntNet: The "Shazam" of Plants Making Life Easier for Landscape Designers
You've probably used or heard of the app Shazam, used by millions of people to identify songs and song lyrics. A team of researchers from Cirad, IRA, Inria / IRD and Tela Botanica Network - had the idea of developing a similar application, but instead of identifying songs, the application identifies plant species.
Pl@ntNet is a new tool that helps identify plants using pictures. Collecting data from a large social network that constantly uploads images and information about plant species, Pl@ntNet has a visualization software that recognizes the plant photographed and links it to its plant library.
WaPo's New Augmented Reality Series Begins With a Virtual Look at the Ceiling of Herzog & de Meuron's Elbphilharmonie
The Washington Post (WaPo) has launched a new architectural augmented reality series that will provide readers with an in-depth look at the details behind some of the world’s most innovative new buildings. For its first edition, architecture critic Philip Kennicott narrates an AR projection of the unique ceiling of the main concert hall at Herzog & de Meuron’s recently completed Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, Germany.
Citymapper, World-Renowned Urban Mobility App, Launches London's First Pop-Up Bus Route
Citymapper, which is just over five years old, has become the go-to mobility app for the majority of the world's major cities. It's strength lies in its accuracy and integration: the app parses local data and always seems to deliver the fastest route, even in comparison to its leviathan, data-rich competitors – Google Maps and Apple Maps. Having always focused their attention on public transport, as opposed to cars and taxis, Citymapper has become embedded into the way large amounts of urbanites navigate cities both familiar and foreign. As of today, they are building buses—and bus routes—of their own.
Portable Precision: Scale Drawing On iOS
Arrette Scale have released an update ($8.99) for their iOS app which addresses the level of precision and dexterity in the use of the Edge Tools, which have new controls and behavior. The app itself has proved popular among architects, aiming to provide designers with a simple, familiar drawing environment usable by anyone comfortable with traditional drawing tools. Allowing users to digitally review work by sharing ideas and drawings, Arrette’s platform welcomes incremental design changes and collaboration on iPad without the need for printing reams of paper.
Find out what's new after the break.
An App That Draws Impressively Accurate Floor Plans In Minutes
RoomScan is an app for iOS which draws floor plans in minutes - touching your device to a wall is the only input required. Using the iPhone's internal sensors, RoomScan recognises a sequence of flat vertical surfaces, measuring the distance in between and creating impressively accurate plans. When you come to a door, you just tap the phone to the door frame and continue. Claiming that measurements are accurate to the nearest 10cm (or 6 inches), this app - the basic features of which are available for free - is not only great fun to play with, but also considerably useful in every day situations.
AD App Guide: Morpholio Board 2.0.
Consistently ranked as among some of the best digital tools available for architects and designers, the team behind the Morpholio Project today release Board 2.0., the second version of their moodboard and layout app for iOS. The app has been made possible by a number of collaborations with high profile interior designers in order to develop a 'gallery' of "significant design objects", with contributions from the likes of Dyson, Herman Miller, and Knoll. For the past year Morpholio have "assembled research groups and canvased design leaders worldwide" in order to better understand the power and potential of the 'board'. The general consensus was that getting style, products, and sketching onto a single platform could "change the way designers access, build, and share ideas."
CurrentSet: A Digital Drawing App That Fosters Collaboration
CurrentSet, one of a number of cloud-based digital apps for managing construction drawings on the go, seeks to foster collaboration among architects, project managers and on-site professionals. Uniquely, the app is offered free of charge before allowing users to add features as and when they require them.