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Apps: The Latest Architecture and News

How to Make End-to-End Design/Build Easier for Architects

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How to Make End-to-End Design/Build Easier for Architects, Federation Square, near the head office of SiteSupervisor, Melbourne, Australia
Federation Square, near the head office of SiteSupervisor, Melbourne, Australia

As architects, we often find ourselves as defacto Project Manager on site throughout construction. Whether it’s a small or large project, many of us find ourselves going from documentation to construction. SiteSupervisor provides a seamless transition from design to build that can be easily set up at the beginning of a project without costing your team more transition time, effort and money. The architect can set up the hierarchy of the project and share relevant details with assigned consultants and contractors, who can then easily pass on information to the subcontractors without breaking the communication protocols in place. So, don’t worry, you still remain in control of your project at all times.

Why Managing Communications is Essential

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Why Managing Communications is Essential, Courtesy of SiteSupervisor
Courtesy of SiteSupervisor

Communication is key. As architects, clear communication is possibly the most vital part of our role. It enables us to share our ideas with clients and is crucial in getting that vision built exactly how we want it. Starting with the parti diagrams through to intricate construction details, we know by now (many, many years post-architecture school) that we’re pretty darn good at communicating our ideas across. But have you ever thought about managing communications?

Wait. Hold on… Managing... Communications? Don’t worry, it’s not as complicated as you might think. This is just about keeping everything organized, such as your correspondence with a builder/general contractor or client. SiteSupervisor can help make this an easy process with its user-friendly interface for project communication. Here are some of the communication benefits I have found with SiteSupervisor.

Realize Your Vision

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Realize Your Vision, Courtesy of SiteSupervisor
Courtesy of SiteSupervisor

It’s a tale as old as time. The architect slaves away night after night designing the most beautiful architecture. The people are raving, excited to see what new and impressive building will go up this time. The render looks amazing!

MIT's New Travel Platform Finds You Cheaper Flights Around the World

04:00 - 3 April, 2019
 MIT's New Travel Platform Finds You Cheaper Flights Around the World

MIT's Senseable City Lab, led by the architect Carlo Ratti, has launched Escape, an interactive platform for visualizing air travel data. "Escape" serves as a search engine that helps users find the cheapest flights from a particular city, and to make the decision on their next trip faster and easier.

Access Your Portfolio Anytime, Anywhere

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Access Your Portfolio Anytime, Anywhere, Courtesy of SiteSupervisor
Courtesy of SiteSupervisor

There may be times when you remember an old project you did, perhaps at uni, that you want to show someone. The one that had the amazing render that took 10hrs of Photoshopping. But no, it’s at home on hard-drive no.2 of 5. If only you had uploaded that one to SiteSupervisor, you could be showing it off right... about... now.

SiteSupervisor is your new pocket portfolio. No, not the portfolio that you keep in the drawing tube that only ever sees the light of day at a job interview, but a real, live portfolio that you can access on your phone anytime, anywhere. It's time to take pride in the work you do and have done, and really use what you have to not only bring in more work, but also solve problems.

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.