Digital technology is transforming the way in which we work. This is as true for architecture as it is for other practices and disciplines within the construction industry. With Digital Construction reshaping how we access, present and share data, it’s not surprising that this movement is impacting architects and designers.
While new digital technology can of course provide ever more realistic visual rendering, what digital transformation means for architects is ultimately a revolution in the decision-making process and provision of more efficient buildings.
We’ve put together a list of three of our top digital innovations that are helping to reshape design methods and processes today. These fantastic technologies are helping to affect change in the built environment and are teaching us a thing or two about the direction architecture is moving in, in 2019.
1. Digital Conceptualisation Tools
The Internet and computer software have given designers a wide range of new tools that allow for the paperless exploration of creative thoughts. Many new digital and online platforms have emerged which allow architects and designers to conceptualise and develop design ideas. From Pinterest and Adobe InDesign to apps like Archisketch, Morpholio Sketch and Graphisoft BIMx, which incorporates BIM capabilities, these tools are facilitating efficiency in the ways architects work.
The uses of virtual reality in the worlds of entertainment and gaming are becoming increasingly well-known. Less familiar, however, are the benefits this device can bring to architecture and design.
The DIY chain, Lowe’s, has introduced their ‘Holoroom’ tool that allows customers to immerse themselves in a virtual reality preview of their newly renovated homes. Many architectural practices are recognising the value that Virtual Reality adds to their practice, as this series of Digital Transformation blogs makes very clear. But Millar+Howard Workshop were one of the first UK practices to fully embrace the technology and to employ it as a standard tool in their everyday kit.
Tomas Millar, in this blog, talks through the many ways in which his practice has adapted new and not-so-new technologies to their needs. He is acutely aware that it is the client’s experience that should be of prime concern, a philosophy that is leading his practice to branch out into the provision of custom build projects.
Over 60% of architects and designers are already using Building Information Modelling in the UK, which is allowing for improved clash detection, liability cover and margins, whilst at the same time reducing time wastage and duplicated workflows. On top of this, this process gives architects the ability to offer cheaper construction without the need for lowering the quality of design and materials. Allowing construction plans and design work to be shared with key stakeholders can also help shape decision-making during the life of the building.
Aaron Perry, BIM Manager at Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, was an early adopter of BIM. He has found that knowledge accrued and processed through BIM can feed into project after project, speeding up designing and costing.
It enables AHMM to auto-generate aspects of design at early stages, such as the ‘supercore’ of large spaces. They can develop a multitude of options for a scheme and analyse each one for its viability in minutes, harnessing valuable experience from previous projects and harvesting information for the future.