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?
Morpholio: The Latest Architecture and News
Morpholio has released details of Smart Fill, which they describe as “the world’s first area calculator for live design sketching.” Designed for the TracePro app on iPad and iPhone, Smart Fill calculates the area of spaces in active sketches, without the need for further drawing or alterations.
The Smart Fill calculation evolves as space is altered through further sketching. As rooms are sliced in half, the area reduces, while as walls are erased, the area expands. The app also allows for the space to be filled in with color, text labels, or numerical data.
Have you ever been on the construction site and had a problem arise that needed immediate attention? The answer to that question is almost guaranteed to be yes. The Construction Administration phase is not intended to be a time for big design decisions, but with unforeseen field conditions, contractor errors and never-ending client changes, your team can keep designing and problem-solving throughout CA. Morpholio's new update to their Trace app for iPhone, TracePro, aims to transform site visits by "importing key components of the design process into the Construction Administration phase."
With the launch today of Apple's iOS 11—and with it, the release of the company's powerful system for augmented reality apps, ARKit—Morpholio has released a new update to their popular Trace app that allows users to sketch over photographs with perfect accuracy. While it has always been an option to sketch over photographs in Trace, the new "Perspective Finder" tool superimposes a scaled grid over the photograph that helps designers follow the perspective of the image and measure their drawings accurately.
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.
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.
Today, Morpholio has unveiled a new addition to their flagship Trace app. The new addition, called simply “Stencil,” offers a quick way to add figures and annotations to your Trace sketches using a tool that has been familiar to architects for years. The update to the app features a number of pre-loaded stencil designs, but thanks to its new digital twist, the act of stenciling is also augmented through the ability to take any image you can find or photograph and turn it into a stencil in seconds.
Capitalizing on the emergence of the touchscreen tablet and stylus as a drafting tool, Morpholio has released the brand new, patent-pending ScalePen, which provides a new way to draw on their popular iPad app, “Trace” (available in the App Store). The ScalePen simultaneously checks the drawing scale and iPad zoom level and offers an array of pens that respond as you move through the drawing. The result “brings precision and clarity to line weight, and gives architects the ability to make beautiful sketches at multiple scales, within a single drawing, set of layers, or layouts.”
The recent unveiling of Apple’s iPad Pro and Pencil to the public have spawned fantasies of beautiful, precise, scaled drawings, able to be created digitally both quickly and accurately. Now, with Morpholio’s newest app TracePro, architects around the world will be able to create those fantasies themselves. As an update to their previous Trace apps for the iPad Pro (which will be released on Friday) TracePro is the latest in a line of ever-improving apps by Morpholio designed to make sketching and communicating with other architects easier than ever.
Continuing their streak of new apps for architects and designers, today Morpholio has released their latest work – a digital notebook known as “Journal.” An improvement to existing digital sketchbooks, Journal seeks to capture the day-to-day recording of ideas, inspiration, thoughts and recollections of an analog notebook as faithfully as possible. Unlike most digital sketchbooks, Journal allows users to combine the amalgamation of photos, images, hand sketches and drawings that a real journal might encompass, lending new material to the debate between digital versus analog. But could such an app ever really replace the role that analog journals have in the life of an architect? To find out, we spoke to the people of Morpholio about Journal and the future of digital and analog media.
Adding to an already stellar range of apps for architects and designers, today The Morpholio Project has launched Crit, a messaging app for architects which allows users to critique designs, share ideas and send key information such as dimensions and materials. With modern architectural projects relying on increasingly large teams of architects, engineers, project managers and contractors, design decisions have to be shared with a large number of people - leading to slow decisions in an increasingly fast-paced world. According to Morpholio, the idea for the Crit App arose from the question: "What if photos, sketches, images, drawings, and comments could be instantly fused into a single legible “design” discussion?"
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."
Building upon our Top 10 Apps for Architects, this collection brings together some of the best quality and most valued technical apps for designing, sketching, calculating and collaborating. Although the majority of those featured here are designed solely for the iOS platform, every time we collate lists such as these it's clear that more and more high quality apps for the Android and Windows platforms are being developed. From condensed versions of large scale software packages that architects and designers use every day, to blank canvases to scratch ideas down onto, you might just find an app that could improve the way you work.
The Morpholio Project's latest iPhone application, Morpholio Frame, "is like having a DJ booth for your photos." The application allows users to merge, crop, and filter photographs before posting them to social media outlets like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Sounds typical, right? Not so fast.
The application gives users more control than most thanks to an interactive matrix approach. Users can select up to three filters and three related masks, creating an image with one of 64 million unique filter combinations. One of the most interesting filters for architecture fans is "sketch" – as seen in the image after the break.
Our friends at The Morpholio Project have just announced that submissions are open for Pinup 2014 - a free competition for students and young professionals to submit up to three digital images of their studio, 3D-printed, or unbuilt work. All work should acknowledge the existence of technology and question why/how "we harness it as designers." The guest jury includes participants from Fast Company, Metropolis Magazine, Columbia GSAPP, and even our very own Editor-in-Chief, David Basulto. Learn how to apply after the break!
Smart phones are designed to collect a variety of personal data, from location and orientation to sight and sound. But what if these devices were capable of tracking our visceral response to the built environment?
The architects and academics behind The Morpholio Project have been researching ways in which biometrics, such as EEG, EMG, face tracking and pulse measurement, could be used to quantify the physical impact of an image on the human body. By turning to the medical industry, Morpholio has studied the capabilities of photoplethysmography (PPG) and envisioned ways in which it could be integrated with the smart phone.
With a simple 3D printed fitting, the iphone can be transformed into a miniaturized blood pressure machine that records the heart rate fluctuations of a user while they photograph their surroundings. By tracking an individual’s unique emotional response to what they are seeing and experiencing, Morpholio believes they can unlock new potentials in which technology can evolve of the design process.
More information from the creators after the break...