Architecture apps have completely altered the working habits of architects around the world. On-site or in the office, they have generated a more productive and efficient workflow. Used on PC, smartphones, or tablets, these applications multiplied exponentially over the years, becoming more versatile and covering different aspects of the field. While some are very specific to professionals, others appeal to every architecture enthusiast, with user-friendly interfaces, simplified navigations, and reachable information.
ArchDaily has selected the best architecture apps used in 2020, featuring recurring essentials and newcomers on the tech scene. Read on to discover the top 10 applications, available on IOS and Android.
AI in the architecture industry has provoked much debate in recent years - yet it seems like very few of us know exactly what it is or why it has created this storm of emotions. There are professionals researching AI who know more about the field than I do, but I have hands-on experience using AI and algorithms in my design over the past 10 years through various projects. This is one of the challenges that our field faces. How can we make practical use of these new tools?
During the academic formation process, beginner architects are educated and trained to develop projects on the most “traditional” software. Several reasons might explain that: the partnerships that these companies usually make with the university labs, the lack of time to learn a new program, or the culture to use the most popular software.
Architectural rendering and visualization have become crucial tools in the art of communication. From client presentations to internal design reviews, showing your 3D models in lifelike, beautiful environments can convey both practical information about the project’s development, as well as the feeling and experience of a space.
It's very common for architects to use more than one program when developing a project. While one software can help us with the conceptual design and image of the project, other programs may work better for the development of technical documents, such as drawings, sections, and details. On the other hand, other software products can help us make a three-dimensional model, and yet others allow us to create renderings. There are also programs used for the postproduction of images, videos, or even to diagram panels and portfolios. The list is long and as a result our computer processors may suffer.
Although with BIM (Building Information Model) programs, this pilgrimage between programs tends to decrease when covering the entire design process, understanding the extensive list of file extensions is not as simple as it seems. In addition, it's not uncommon to find incompatibilities between versions and file types when, for example, the project must be opened on complementary equipment. Next, we review the file extensions most used by architects, focusing mainly on BIM programs.
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.
V-Ray is an incredibly powerful renderer — but it’s also remarkably easy to use. The number-one* 3D renderer used in architectural visualization is battle-tested and industry-proven, used daily to realize world-class products, buildings and much more. And if you like to spend the majority of your time being creative but still crave the highest quality images possible, V-Ray can help you easily and speedily render everything from your quickest concepts to your largest and most detailed 3D models.
What’s more, it works seamlessly with SketchUp’s versatile 3D modeling tools while also being built with a full set of creative tools for lights and materials. The best part, perhaps, is that you don’t need to be a rendering expert to get great results with V-Ray. This collection of six, simple, quick-start tutorials will help you learn how to use V-Ray Next for SketchUp — and give your renders a boost in no time at all.
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.
The Midnight Charette is an explicit podcast about design, architecture, and the everyday. Hosted by architectural designers David Lee and Marina Bourderonnet, it features a variety of creative professionals in unscripted conversations that allow for thoughtful takes and personal discussions. A wide array of subjects are covered with honesty and humor: some episodes provide useful tips for designers, while others are project reviews, interviews, or explorations of everyday life and design. The Midnight Charette is also available on iTunes, Spotify, and YouTube.
This week David and Marina discuss software in design and architecture. It's not as boring as it sounds! The two cover the more pragmatic and specific issues and the more conceptual ones: everything from what programs you need to know to design and to get hired different offices; how to learn programs; balancing technical skillsets with conceptual thinking; why working in the computer is both advantageous and dangerous; 2D drafting versus 3D modeling; things to consider when choosing a software; the failures of successes of BIM programs for employers and employees; key issues to consider before transitioning to BIM; what BIM programs are best (Revit or ArchiCAD) for small and large offices and which project types (the more office-focused and BIM-focused conversation starts at 37:30) and workflows between different programs. If you have any questions or advice about portfolios or any other design-related topics, leave a voicemail at The Midnight Charette hotline: 213-222-6950.
Morpholio has announced that it’s bringing the Morpholio Board app to Mac with Apple’s Mac Catalyst. The move aims to address how more people are using mobile software for professional use and meet the need to go between their desktop and phone. The app is available now on the Mac App Store on Macs running macOS Catalina, and it will also feature Dark Mode.
By now, you’ve likely heard about real-time rendering for architectural visualization and how it’s changing the way designs are presented. With real-time rendering, you can edit your design and see the changes updated instantly, at full quality, and you can produce animations and panoramas in minutes instead of days. Real-time rendering also opens the door to immersive experiences like 360° videos and virtual reality.
Artificial intelligence, machine learning and generative design have begun to shape architecture as we know it. As systems and tools to reimagine the built environment, they present diverse opportunities to rethink traditional workflows. Designers also fear they may inversely affect practice, limiting the services of the architect. Looking to building technologies, new companies are creating software and projects to explore the future of design.
With a very fast-paced life, we are becoming more and more accustomed to utilities that can make our workflow easier, more productive and efficient especially when some of us are always “on the go”. Our mobile devices, tablets, and laptops are gaining prominence every year, offering us more suitable and useful applications. Read on to discover the top architecture applications for 2019, with recurring big names and newcomers on the tech scene.
Presenting your model containing various assets can give your client a better understanding and vision of how everything would look in real life. There is no need for building 3D scene objects by yourself or pay a lot of money for them. For example, if you own an Enscape license you have access to many kinds of 3D models, such as people, furniture, vegetation, street items, vehicles and other accessories. Just by using drag and drop, you can put the assets into your model and scale them to the size you need.
In some cases, an experienced user would be able to create similar content using your CAD software or import it from other sources – but even then, those assets would demand a lot more resources. But if you would use unnecessarily complex and/or foreign geometry in your CAD, those assets would take a lot more resources and the 3D views would be much slower. Enscape content, instead, is represented by a simple placeholder in your CAD program (Revit, SketchUp, Rhino or ArchiCAD) and replaced with these high-quality components in Enscape’s real-time rendering environment. The web-based library is being updated regularly.
This is just one of the many questions we architects frequently ask, and get asked. But how much easier it would be if there was a foolproof way to manage revisions and know that everyone else is on top of it too.
As an architect turned user experience (UX) designer I have many strong opinions about both my former and my current profession. But in short, I am now enjoying greener pastures, getting the fulfillment I expected while studying architecture but the profession didn’t provide.
Many like-minded architects ask me when and why I decided to transition into software. This puts me in the unusual position of praising the initial skill-set achieved by studying architecture, while promoting departure from it. That said, I have a very abstract definition of architecture, and believe if you have the interest to pursue any other design discipline, you’ll be successful. This guide is intended for those driven and curious architects who are looking for a change.
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.