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Software: The Latest Architecture and News

DWG, IFC, RVT, PLN? Most Common File Extensions in Architecture

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.

Can a Machine Perform the Work of an Architect? A Chat with Jesper Wallgren, Founder of Finch 3D

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.

6 Easy Tutorials for Better SketchUp Renders

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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.

Let’s get started!

Courtesy of Chaos Group Courtesy of Chaos Group Courtesy of Chaos Group Courtesy of Chaos Group + 7

Streamline Construction Administration with Digital Tools by Archireport

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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.

Invite Others to See the Life in your Designs with Lumion 10, out now

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From residential homes and commercial buildings to interiors and landscape designs, Lumion helps architects breathe life into their 3D models and invite others to see the beauty in their designs.

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.

Architectural Softwares: Tips on How to Choose and Discover the Right Programs

Courtesy of The Midnight Charette
Courtesy of The Midnight Charette

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 Board is Now Available on Mac

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.

Courtesy of Morpholio Courtesy of Morpholio Courtesy of Morpholio Courtesy of Morpholio + 14

Real-Time Rendering for All of Us

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.

BuildTech Futures: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

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.

Boost Your Project Using Assets In 3D Scenes

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.

Courtesy of Enscape Courtesy of Enscape Courtesy of Enscape Courtesy of Enscape + 10

The Foolproof Way to Manage Revisions

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“Are you looking at the latest revision?”

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.

Why a Career in UX Design is Perfect for Dissatisfied Architects

This article by Gavin Johns was originally published on Medium as "Architects, stop everything and pursue a career in UX."

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.

Adaptative Plans: An Algorithm That Predicts Spatial Configurations

Automation has finally reached our desks. If just a few years ago we believed that technology (including robots) could replace the work done by humans, minus the design specifications and some 'creative' aspects, we were wrong.

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

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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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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.

Download 14 BIM ‘View Templates’ for Expressive Floor Plans

BIM is bringing 3D information technology to the work of floor-planning. Many 3D models rendered on traditional floor-plan platforms don't show the same level of detail and complexity as ones that incorporate BIM technology. For this, it is necessary to develop configurations that allow for the creation of an expressive and detailed floor plan that gives the best possible view of a project.

In this article, you will find an architectural file from Revit that features a series of configured View Templates. Made especially for architects who are newcomers to Revit and BIM methodologies, this file will allow you to incorporate View Templates into your Revit projects, allowing you to better showcase the ideas and concepts behind your designs.

Do Yourself a Favor and Save Time

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We all get 24 hours in a day. Sometimes we feel like the clock is overtaking us with each new day adding more and more to the list that we can never seem to quite get to the end of. If only there was a way that each task could be made efficient, manageable, then the process of checking things off would be so much easier.