1. ArchDaily
  2. Software

Software: The Latest Architecture and News

MVRDV Wins Competition to Design Two Buildings in Tianfu Software Park, China

MVRDV has won the competition to design two structures within the Tianfu Software Park in Chengdu, China. One of the structures is a 150-meter-tall tower that acts as a centerpiece to the entire campus. The other is a four-story cultural center featuring an art museum, conference hall, library, and exhibition space. Boasting a faceted sloping design, the scheme invites visitors to explore its interior.

The Top Apps for Architects

Smartphones and tablets have become so powerful that has abruptly changed the concept of workshops since the introduction of apps into the architecture industry. They have generated a more productive and efficient workflow on-site or on the go, covering different aspects of the field with versatility and variety. While some are 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 in 2023 featuring technical drawing and modeling essentials, sketching canvas for all levels, construction and management platforms, toolbox apps, and interfaces to get inspiration from.

The Top Apps for Architects - Image 1 of 4The Top Apps for Architects - Image 2 of 4The Top Apps for Architects - Image 3 of 4The Top Apps for Architects - Image 4 of 4The Top Apps for Architects - More Images+ 24

BIM and the Future of Architecture: Accelerating Design Processes with Archicad 27

 | Sponsored Content

Architecture is a unique field that combines equally constant aesthetic and functional needs, while immersed in dynamic technological environments. At this juncture, design processes and buildings are becoming increasingly intricate, requiring architects to manage projects efficiently while fostering multidisciplinary and multi-level collaboration throughout workflows. Additionally, the new technologies and tools we employ in the process must evolve at the same pace —sometimes even faster— by embracing aspects such as sustainability and efficiency, all while keeping an eye on the future.

The tools available in the multidisciplinary architectural environment have evolved significantly quickly. Both students and experienced architects have now nearly completely transitioned from manual methods to computer-aided drafting software. Today, we find ourselves immersed in the era of architecture driven by technologies such as Building Information Modeling (BIM), artificial intelligence, and digital processes. At the same time, the fundamentals of BIM and its historical background trace back to the early days of computing, research, and new technologies, which sparked a rapid evolution within the AEC industry and among its professionals.

Architects vs. AI: Who Will Design the Future?

 | Sponsored Content

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is poised to shape the future of architecture. As the AEC (Architecture, Engineering, Construction) industry rapidly evolves, AI matches the momentum. With these simultaneous evolutions, a burning question arises: will architects continue to be the primary creators of our built environment, or will AI dominate?

According to AIA, “90 percent of [architecture] firms anticipate they will be using or increasing usage of AI over the next three years.” This futuristic technology is now more than a subplot of science fiction, offering unprecedented capabilities for optimizing design and automating tasks. However, can the depth of an architect’s creativity and context outweigh machines?

Scan, Set, Sketch: Measure and Design On-Site with Morpholio Trace's New "RoomPlan" Feature

In the blink of an eye, we've entered an era where architects and interior designers can effortlessly craft 3D floor plans of a room, capturing essential elements like dimensions and furnishings, using the LiDAR Scanner on our iPhone or iPad. This cutting-edge technology is a key updated feature in Apple's new iOS 17, available Monday September 18th, known as "RoomPlan."

Streamlining the design process and leaving behind the "days of laborious measurements, reconstructed in CAD only to find missing data and inconsistencies," as Morpholio co-founder Mark Collins points out, you can instantly scan almost any interior space to create floor plans or 3D room models. "This is the fastest 'scan to plan' experience ever available," he adds.

A New Tool and Collaborative Workflow for the Future of Architecture

 | Sponsored Content

As we stand at the dawn of a new technological era, architects and designers are witnessing a paradigm shift in the industry. The advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and collaborative design solutions are transforming the professional landscape, redefining the boundaries between creativity and technology. This article delves into these emerging trends and introduces cutting-edge tools designed to address the challenges inherent in this sweeping wave of innovation, relieving architects from the anxiety of navigating the unknown.

What is the Future Role of Architects in the Age of AI and Data?

 | Sponsored Content

The complexity of our world is constantly increasing, and with it, the pressure and demands placed upon our built environment. Architects are faced with a monumental task: to translate society’s ever-changing needs into tangible, effective and sustainable solutions. Pressing issues such as the climate crisis, rapid urbanization, population density and housing shortages call for a new architecture –one that isn’t afraid to question the traditional way of working and is prepared to take on the challenge. Today the industry must adapt, evolve and innovate to cope with these challenges. The availability of data is changing the game, and as technology continues to advance, it will open new ways of thinking, creating and engaging with the built environment.

In this article, we delve into the effects of the digital transformation, how it is reshaping the industry and the questions it raises about the future role of architects. 

Navigating Complexity and Change in Architecture with Data-Driven Technologies

The architecture profession is increasingly facing the pressures of a rapidly changing era marked by urbanization, population growth, and climate change. To effectively navigate the complexities surrounding architectural and urban projects, there has been an acceleration in the adoption and integration of data-driven technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning. However, valid concerns have risen regarding the potential loss of the designer's creative control, with fears that their role may be reduced to a mere "parameter adjuster." Is this a genuine possibility or merely a reflection of resistance to change?

In a conversation with Carl Christensen, Autodesk's Vice President of Product, we delve into the impact of AI on the traditional role of the architect and explore the opportunities that arise with these technological advances. As paradigms shift, forward-thinking architects and designers could find themselves especially empowered to expand their influence and shape a new future for the discipline.

How Enscape Provides a Quick and Easy Design Workflow

 | Sponsored Content

Real-time visualization takes a 3D architectural model and transforms it into something that can be used to communicate with those less technically inclined. Your vision and design intent can be understood easily, which allows you to make decisions faster.

Architectural visualization technology has made this process accessible, but many tools on the market claim to offer the same thing; real-time updates, a seamless design experience, and high-quality, industry-standardized renderings. So, how do you know which one to choose?

The Metaverse in Practice: How to Build in the Digital Space

“All the physical spaces that we (architects) design – buildings, interiors and cities are born as metaspaces, and we call them 3D models”. With this statement Brian Jencek, director of planning at San Francisco-based architecture firm HOK, narrows the boundaries between the current way of designing and the future of architecture in the metaverse. According to him, we are not that far from this technology, since we already use the same tools that visual designers use to create realistic environments, such as Unity, Twin motion and Blender.

MVRDV, Superworld, and the City of Rotterdam Create Software for Reimagining Rooftops

“Understanding precedes action.” That is the motto of the Urban Observatory, an interactive installation and web app created by TED founder Richard Saul Wurman that compiled a wide range of urban data for over 150 cities, allowing users to compare various characteristics of those cities – from population density to traffic speed limits – side-by-side. Urban Observatory was first created in 2013, a banner year for news about urban big data; later that same year, Waag made headlines with its interactive map visualising the age of every building in the Netherlands. The emergence of such platforms allowed people to see the world around them in new ways.

With the rise of Google Earth and other GIS tools, and platforms like envelope.city, or environmental simulations based on digital twin models of cities, urban big data has quietly come to underpin a wide range of tools used by professionals who shape our cities, with both the amount of data collected and the influence it has over decision-making expanding dramatically. However, these advances typically happen behind closed doors and in undemocratic spaces. How long must we wait for software that has all the user-friendliness, accessibility, and appeal of those older platforms, but which provides the average person with the tools to shape their city? In other words, if “understanding precedes action”, then why after almost a decade are we not seeing big-data-driven apps that encourage the public to actually do something?

MVRDV, Superworld, and the City of Rotterdam Create Software for Reimagining Rooftops - Image 3 of 4MVRDV, Superworld, and the City of Rotterdam Create Software for Reimagining Rooftops - Image 1 of 4MVRDV, Superworld, and the City of Rotterdam Create Software for Reimagining Rooftops - Image 2 of 4MVRDV, Superworld, and the City of Rotterdam Create Software for Reimagining Rooftops - Image 4 of 4MVRDV, Superworld, and the City of Rotterdam Create Software for Reimagining Rooftops - More Images+ 9

Powerful Crowd Simulation Software for Human-Centered Design

From smartphones to space rockets and self-driving cars, the power of technology in this modern digital era is enormous (and practically limitless). It has impacted every aspect of our lives and will continue to open up endless possibilities that today we cannot even begin to fathom. When applied in a socially and environmentally responsible way, technology has the power to enhance productivity, communication and sustainability, enabling global communities to function efficiently, addressing people’s everyday needs and improving their quality of life. Simply put, good technology serves humanity. And just as the healthcare or manufacturing industries have taken advantage of this, the architecture, design and construction world cannot fall behind.

What is the Future of BIM? Graphisoft Unveils Archicad 26

 | Sponsored Content

Considered the second most requested skill (behind field experience) in the industry and used by a growing number of design professionals, Building Information Modeling (BIM) has proved to be the present of architecture. But with constant new features and exciting improvements, it is also very much the future. For decades, the revolutionary software has established itself as a powerful tool with a long list of invaluable capabilities: detecting errors, reducing costs and material waste, mitigating risks, optimizing workflows and, above all, allowing for seamless, multi-disciplinary collaboration.

The Use of Artificial Intelligence as a Strategy to Analyse Urban Informality

Within the Latin American and Caribbean region, it has been recorded that at least 25% of the population lives in informal settlements. Given that their expansion is one of the major problems afflicting these cities, a project is presented, supported by the IDB, which proposes how new technologies are capable of contributing to the identification and detection of these areas in order to intervene in them and help reduce urban informality.