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Architects and the New iPadPro: Should You Buy One?

11:30 - 13 December, 2018
Architects and the New iPadPro: Should You Buy One?, Max Mekhovnikov, The Walls Technology. Moscow, Russia. @thewallstechnology. Image via Morpholio
Max Mekhovnikov, The Walls Technology. Moscow, Russia. @thewallstechnology. Image via Morpholio

Can tablets help architects better conceive and execute their designs? If you’re skeptical, you’re not alone. To a certain extent, architects are still unsure if meaningful work can be created on an iPad. As the novel of virtual reality wears off, it’s worth asking if portable augmented reality is the push forward that will combine the best of traditional and digital architectural technology. So beyond their utility as lightweight, untethered screens, what can tablets offer the professional architect?

Create Color Palettes from Your Smartphone Pics with These 4 Free Apps

06:00 - 4 July, 2018
Luis Barragán House / Luis Barragán. Imagem © Flickr of LrBln
Luis Barragán House / Luis Barragán. Imagem © Flickr of LrBln

"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

04:30 - 19 June, 2018
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."

Mobile App Turns "Monotonous" Modernist Housing Blocks into a Game of Tetris

08:00 - 29 April, 2018
Mobile App Turns "Monotonous" Modernist Housing Blocks into a Game of Tetris, © Lukas Valiauga​
© Lukas Valiauga​

Modern architecture has had many faces and developments, ranging from post-war reconstruction strategies in Europe to the International Style in the United States. One of these facets - perhaps the least glorious - are the social housing buildings of the eastern part of Europe, the results of initiatives by the Soviet regime to offer low-cost housing to the population. 

Often associated with unsuccessful programs, these buildings were generally very similar to each other, presenting very simple prismatic geometries with little chromatic variation. Blocks, so to speak, that in the hands and imagination of designer Lukas Valiauga take on a ludic aspect that has never been natural to them.

3 Reasons Why Excel is the Ultimate BIM Sidekick

09:30 - 19 September, 2017
3 Reasons Why Excel is the Ultimate BIM Sidekick, Courtesy of ArchSmarter
Courtesy of ArchSmarter

This article was originally published by ArchSmarter.

Have you ever played the party game “telephone”? You know the one, where you tell something to the person next to you and they pass it on to the person next to them and so on down the line. Inevitably, your original message is badly mangled and misappropriated by the time it gets back to you. Everyone gets a good laugh at how far the end message is from your original one.

The 10 Best Revit Apps and Add-Ins

08:00 - 13 September, 2017
The 10 Best Revit Apps and Add-Ins, via Enscape
via Enscape

This article was originally published by ArchSmarter as "The 10 Revit Apps You Should Be Using in 2017."

I recently asked ArchSmarter readers what tools they’re using to be more productive in Revit. Over 75 different add-ins were recommended! I tallied up all the votes and came up with this list of top-ten recommendations. There are some repeat nominees from my previous round-ups (which you can read here and here) as well as some welcome newcomers.

So who made the cut? Here’s this year’s list of the top 10 Revit apps you should be using.

The Top 5 Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Apps for Architects

09:30 - 27 August, 2017
The Top 5 Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Apps for Architects, The app Pair allows architects to drag-and-drop 3-D models of consumer furnishings into their designs using iPhones or iPads. © Pair
The app Pair allows architects to drag-and-drop 3-D models of consumer furnishings into their designs using iPhones or iPads. © Pair

This article was originally published by Archipreneur.

Virtual reality and augmented reality tools for the AEC industry are getting increasingly better and more optimized. As prices keep dropping, there are fewer reasons why every architect, engineer, contractor, and owner shouldn’t use some form of VR/AR in bringing their projects to life.

From being a novelty a few years ago, VR/AR solutions are slowly becoming a medium that’s transforming the way professionals in the AEC industry communicate, create and experience content. Offering a more immersive experience of architectural designs, but also products and areas related to space building, VR and AR tools are becoming an industry standard that offers rapid iterations and opportunity to refine designs in collaboration with clients and colleagues.

This New App Wants to Answer All Your Building Code Questions

09:30 - 13 August, 2017
This New App Wants to Answer All Your Building Code Questions, © UpCodes
© UpCodes

Perhaps nothing can kill a project budget or give an owner heartburn quite like costly code fixes during (or in the worst case, after) construction. As architects, we do our best to navigate construction codes during design, but there’s no denying their complexity. Projects have to comply with multiple different codes at both the federal and local levels; different codes sometimes even contradict one another, leading to headaches for the design team.

However, a new website and mobile app hopes to make understanding and complying with building codes easier for architects and designers. “The solution we provide is a search engine tailored for architecture,” explains Scott Reynolds, co-founder of UpCodes. With his background in architecture, Reynolds has partnered with his brother Garrett Reynolds—who has a PhD in machine learning—and through UpCodes, the pair to ease some of that building code-driven frustration.

This Accurate, Augmented Reality Virtual Ruler Is Pretty Impressive

18:00 - 13 July, 2017

Not many people would consider augmented reality particularly useful; it makes for fun dog selfies and other filtered images. But our tunes will probably change with the release of AR Measure™, an app that turns your phone into an accurate ruler. Using augmented reality, the app can calculate distances in 3D spaces captured with your phone's camera.

Created by Laan Labs, the same company who brought us FaceSwap, the app is developed on top of Apple's ARKit framework. How does it work, you ask?

Decades After the Rise of CAD, Architecture Is Going “Paperless”—For Real This Time

09:30 - 11 July, 2017
Decades After the Rise of CAD, Architecture Is Going “Paperless”—For Real This Time, A view of Sean Gallagher's work as seen in Morpholio's Trace App. Image Courtesy of Morpholio
A view of Sean Gallagher's work as seen in Morpholio's Trace App. Image Courtesy of Morpholio

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 Device Attaches to Your Smartphone to Let You See Through Walls

14:20 - 30 May, 2017

Looking to mount something or make alternations to a wall, but worried about hitting something inside? A new device, the Walabot DIY, will end those fears forever by giving you the real-life equivalent of Superman’s X-ray vision.

Unlike a traditional stud finder, the Walabot is able to detect a variety of different materials and objects, including but not limited to pipes, wires, conduit, studs and even living creatures like mice. Additionally, the device can even find objects that aren’t directly touching the outer sheetrock or concrete surface, up to 4 inches deep.

Pl@ntNet: The "Shazam" of Plants Making Life Easier for Landscape Designers

12:00 - 21 May, 2017
Pl@ntNet: The "Shazam" of Plants Making Life Easier for Landscape Designers, Courtesy of: Pl@ntNet
Courtesy of: Pl@ntNet

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.

Upcoming App Promises to Create Basic 3D Models of Existing Spaces in 1 Minute

06:00 - 30 April, 2017
Upcoming App Promises to Create Basic 3D Models of Existing Spaces in 1 Minute, via screenshot from model on Sketchfab
via screenshot from model on Sketchfab

An upcoming app, named Walkabout Worlds, is hoping to drastically simplify the process of creating a 3D model of existing spaces. Designed as both a tool for turning 360 photographs into 3D models and for creating photographic 3D walkthroughs for VR viewing, the app has turned heads for its demonstration that a 360 photograph can be converted into a rough, simple 3D model in as little as a minute by selecting key points in the image such as the corners of the room, as shown in the video below.

5 Architects Who Turned to Selling Products, Not Architecture

09:30 - 21 January, 2017
5 Architects Who Turned to Selling Products, Not Architecture

This article was originally published by Archipreneur as "Turning Ideas into Products: 5 Architects who Successfully Sell their Designs."

The emergence of interconnectivity, smart and sensor-driven designs, home automation, clean energy, shared knowledge, and efficient software have created numerous opportunities for those looking to build their businesses around products. This includes architects who, by design, have a large skill set that allows them to engage with a wide variety of business models.

The idea of automating or productizing architectural design services is a contentious one and it trickles down to the very definition of architecture. But when it comes to the business aspect of the profession, it becomes clear that many among today’s most renowned architects owe their success to the idea of productizing their services.

10 Apps That Can Help You Be More Productive and Make Better Architecture

09:30 - 19 January, 2017

This article was originally published by Archipreneur as "Top 10 Apps to Help You Achieve Your Goals and Build New Habits."

With the daily distractions of Facebook, emails and calls, it can become difficult to keep your eye on the ball. This is why having an app that tracks habits and helps you stay organized can make a huge impact on your professional and personal success.

There are numerous digital tools dedicated to optimizing workflow, communication and time management, helping business owners and freelancers realize their full potential. This can also apply to goal setting. Goals are closely connected to our daily habits. Whether you’re looking to start a new project, learn to use a new tool or launch a product, your habits will play a crucial role in moving things forward. This is why we have compiled a list of great apps and tools that will help you keep track of your work dynamic and make good habits while breaking bad ones.

12 Top Apps for Architects on the Construction Site

08:00 - 8 January, 2017
12 Top Apps for Architects on the Construction Site

We have previously published the best apps for architects, many of which try to boost creativity and productivity for project design. Now, we’ve put together a series of helpful apps for the development and management of construction projects. From digital measuring tools to instant software-generated reports of work progress, we hope this new construction technology will be most useful to you.

This New Drawing App Shows How Digital Software Will Save Sketching, Not Destroy It

09:30 - 11 November, 2016

Mental Canvas is not the first software that attempts to save the act of sketching--we have seen 3D "sketching" tools such as SketchUp, as well as applications that simply simulate sketching on paper, such as Morpholio's popular range of sketching apps. But what makes Mental Canvas revolutionary is that you have the ability to sketch freely in a three-dimensional space without the constraints of traditional CAD modelling; it’s what Julie Dorsey, founder of Mental Canvas, calls a "graphical media"; not fully flat but not fully 3D. The software will be released later this year on Microsoft Surface devices, including the recently announced Surface Studio, working with the hardware of the Surface computers and the Surface Dial to provide a natural sketching experience on a virtual canvas.

Courtesy of Mental Canvas Courtesy of Mental Canvas Courtesy of Mental Canvas Courtesy of Mental Canvas + 10

Socialist Modernism on Your Smartphone: This Research Group is Raising Funds for a Crowdsourcing Mobile App

07:10 - 25 September, 2016
Slovak Radio building, Bratislava, Slovakia. Built 1967-83. Architect: Štefan Svetko, Štefan Ďurkovič, Barnabáš Kissling. Photo by Dumitru Rusu. Image © BACU
Slovak Radio building, Bratislava, Slovakia. Built 1967-83. Architect: Štefan Svetko, Štefan Ďurkovič, Barnabáš Kissling. Photo by Dumitru Rusu. Image © BACU

Recent years have seen a rapidly increasing interest in the architecture of the former Soviet Union. Thanks to the internet, enthusiasts of architectural history are now able to discover unknown buildings on a daily basis, and with the cultural and historical break caused by the collapse of the Soviet Union, each photograph of a neglected and decaying edifice can feel like an undiscovered gem. However, often it can be difficult to find more information about these buildings and to understand their place in the arc of architectural history.

That was the reason behind the creation of Socialist Modernism, a research platform started by BACU - Birou pentru Artă şi Cercetare Urbană (Bureau for Art and Urban Research) which "focuses on those modernist trends from Central and Eastern Europe which are insufficiently explored in the broader context of global architecture." Socialist Modernism already consists of a website on which BACU has cataloged a number of remarkable and little-known buildings. However, now the team is raising funds on Indiegogo's Generosity platform for the next step in their research project. With this money they hope to create an app on which users can add new sites and buildings to the database.

Bus stop in Tajikistan, built in the late 70s. Photo by Dumitru Rusu. Image © BACU 25 May Sportcenter, now the Sportsko rekreativno poslovni centar, Belgrade, Serbia. Built 1973-75. Architect: Ivan Antic. Photo by Dumitru Rusu. Image © BACU Housing complex, Manhattan, Wroclaw, Poland. Built 1968-1973. Architect: Jadwiga Hawrylak-Grabowska. Photo Dumitru Rusu. Image © BACU Public utilities building for telephone and postal services, Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Built 1966-69. Architect: Vasile Mitreaphoto. Photo by Dumitru Rusu. Image © BACU + 43