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Technology & Software: The Latest Architecture and News

Mayor of London Launches Housing Design App to Transform Construction

In order to assist the city of London and encourage constructions after Covid-19, the Mayor of London, with tech-led design practice Bryden Wood and leading residential consultancy Cast, have launched a new version of the housing design app PRiSM. Using the latest digital technology and data to help design and build manufactured homes, the freely available application will allow users to share expertise and use technology to transform the design process and get the city building the homes Londoners need.

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Adaptive Environments: Shaping Space Through Light & Color

With the aim of creating immersive environmental experiences in interior spaces, the design studio Aqua Creations has developed Manta Ray Light, a lighting installation built with responsive RGB LED technology that mixes the colors red, green, and blue to generate more than 16 million light tones. By presetting its color spectrum, offering a range of brightness settings on a scale of 0.1 to 100%, and even loading images and videos into its internal memory, the system allows its user to add color and movement to expressive spaces, or deliver a feeling of warmth and concentration to intimate and private rooms.

Manta Ray Light from Aqua Creations. Image © Ross Belfer (Xhibition)Manta Ray Light from Aqua Creations. Image © Ross Belfer (Xhibition)Manta Ray Light from Aqua Creations. Image © Ross Belfer (Xhibition)Manta Ray Light from Aqua Creations. Image © Ross Belfer (Xhibition)+ 6

Educating Designers on Computational Design and Robotics Can Make Architecture and Construction More Sustainable

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The Advanced Master “Design by Data” program in Computation Design & Robotics for Architecture and Construction was launched in 2016 and is one of the latest programs in innovative professional education at Ecole des Ponts ParisTech. The program was designed to meet the increasing need for the professional sectors of architecture and engineering to combine architectural skills with creative engineering. Design by Data trains professionals to master advanced design tools (coding, algorithmic approach, artificial intelligence) as well as digital manufacturing and design processes (robotics, 3D printing, electronics and mechatronics) and apply them to architectural and construction projects.

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.

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.

How Will Home Automation Affect our Future?

Once restricted to luxury or super-tech buildings, home automation is proving to be an increasingly fundamental and affordable addition to architectural projects, whether to new buildings or renovations. While understanding how they operate can be extremely complex, the primary purpose of technology is to make life simpler, safer, and easier. By definition, home automation seeks to be globally intelligent, functioning as a system that facilitates processes without unnecessarily complicating the user's life. The idea is to connect devices, which in turn connect and talk through a centralized control unit, accessible by computers, tablets, and mobile phones. These include lights, appliances, electrical outlets, and heating and cooling systems, but also alarms, doors, windows, smoke detectors, surveillance cameras, and many other sensors and devices.

What are Kinetic Facades in Architecture?

For most of the history of architecture, interesting facades were achieved through materiality or ornamentation. From the elaborately painted friezes of the Parthenon to the glass exteriors of modern skyscrapers, architecture was primarily static, only ‘changing’ as the environment would change and affect the material of the façade in differing ways, be it rain, light, rust, etc.

Al Bahar Towers facade panels. Image © AedasGalleria Centercity facade. Image © UNStudio. Photographed by Christian RichtersShading panels of the Kiefer Technic Showroom. Image Courtesy of Ernst Giselbrecht + PartnerKinetic facade of Brisbane Domestic Terminal Carpark . Image Courtesy of Urban Art Projects+ 18

Organic, Light and Resistant: Thermoset Technology In Architecture

Initially created for aerospace purposes, materials based on advanced fiber-reinforced thermoset technology are increasingly being considered not only to manufacture specific building elements but also to change the way buildings are conceived, designed and built. Despite being incredibly resistant –almost six times stronger than steel– fiber-reinforced materials are light and easy to handle, allowing the creation of complexly shaped but efficient architectural projects.

We spoke with experts from ShapeShift, the creators of the ShapeShell product, in order to deepen our understanding of this technology and learn more about how we can take advantage of its possibilities in our future projects.  

Courtesy of ShapeshellVictorian Comprehensive Cancer Care Hospital (VCCC) / STHDI+MCR. Image Courtesy of ShapeshellRMIT / ARM (Ashton Raggatt McDougall). Image Courtesy of ShapeshellParklands Disk, Commonwealth Games Village 2018 / ARM (Ashton Raggatt McDougall). Image Courtesy of Shapeshell+ 22

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.

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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.

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.

Total Chaos 2019: A Space to Learn and Connect Architecture with the 3D Visualization World

Last week, Chaos Group returned to Bulgaria presenting the latest and most innovative within the world of technology and visualization through the Total Chaos 2019 conference. With more than 50 specialists in the field, the event was divided into a series of talks and masterclasses where ArchDaily had the opportunity to participate to cover what was a remarkably enriching instance for all those involved in the world of architecture and the creative industry.

In this second version, Total Chaos provided a shared space for 3D artists and developers to connect and grow, as they explore how topics like AI, real-time ray tracing, light fields and collaborative VR will continue to change professional workflows. 

How To Create 3D Environments From Images Taken With Drone

This video tutorial will teach you how to create detailed, 3-D environments from images taken by drones, using Photogrammetry to better contextualize our architectural projects.

The video covers the entire process, from flying the drone to using the RealityCapture software, including identifying plants and trees through an application for mobile phones and lastly viewing the architecture in 3D using Lumion.

Top Tips for BIM Beginners

When you start to consider implementing the BIM (Building Information Modeling) methodology, whether as an independent professional or as a construction firm, it's necessary to take into account three key aspects: the technology, the process, and the people who bring it all together. In this article, we will address the key points in every one of these three aspects in order to give you insight into how to best start using BIM.

9 Augmented Reality Technologies for Architecture and Construction

A technological innovation is revolutionizing one of the oldest professions in the world. Augmented reality has just broken onto the scene and has already been transforming civil construction. The changes are seen not only in designing and modeling, but also in building. Augmented reality benefits the entire construction team: engineers, designers, architects, project managers and service providers.

Unlike virtual reality, which creates a totally new and independent environment of the real world, augmented reality includes virtual elements that interact with what already exists. It is thus possible to combine virtual architectural designs with the reality of the construction site, increasing efficiency and accuracy, reducing the occurrence of errors and saving time, money and resources.

Illuminating the Future: How Bluetooth Mesh will Fundamentally Change Lighting Systems

Imagine light fixtures that act as Bluetooth beacons, allowing smartphones to help visitors find their way around a building. Imagine a lighting system which can pinpoint the location of people and physical assets within the building. Imagine an automation system which can use occupancy data and personal preferences to orchestrate an optimized and personalized building environment.

6 Thoughts On Materials and Construction: Decisions That Improve People's Quality Of Life

Materials, products, and construction systems are constantly evolving and following new technologies, discoveries, and market trends. The question is: are we, as architects, evolving with them? We have heard about robots working on construction sites, responsive and intelligent materials and the continued rise of 3D printing, but is it all white noise at the moment of starting a new design? More importantly, could these new systems continue to progress without sensitively and effectively taking people's quality of life into account?

How should we use materials—both in their traditional forms and in their future conceptions—so that our projects are making relevant contributions to the way we are inhabiting our planet?

In order to evolve, we have to know how, so it’ s worth beginning a discussion around these issues.

Sidewalks That Generate Energy Through The Steps

When we think of energy from renewable sources, the first that probably come to mind are solar and wind. And decentralizing power generation is something that has inspired engineers and inventors from all over the world.

So what about turning the mechanical energy generated when people walk into electrical energy? It can be done thanks to technology developed by Laurence Kemball-Cook,founder of Pavegen. Using platforms inserted within sidewalks Pavegen converts steps into electric power (while also generating data and even rewards). But before you go out there feeling like Michael Jackson in Billie Jean, you should understand how this system works.

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