There is a “chicken and the egg” dynamic present between technology and innovation. Namely, when one is advancing, the other advances as well. However, they also rarely function without each other, so if one is stagnating, the other does so as well. This is valid for all fields, from business to teaching, too, of course, architecture.
It’s an exciting time to be an architect. The digital age brought and is still bringing, numerous advances in technology, and with them, advances in the world of architecture. Drones, VR, AR, 3D printing, and as always, stronger processors, are opening up new worlds and avenues for architecture. In seminars and conferences all around the world very similar conversations are being held, all about the exploration of new horizons in the field of architecture. And one of the places where this conversation has been held was in Copenhagen, in 2018, at the Innochain exhibition. The conversation centered around materials, platforms, new forms, new software…
One thing you can expect to show its face in architecture is the utilization of AR and VR technologies. This comes from one singular place – the human experience. Namely, architecture itself exists because, and for, people. And with AR and VR functionalities, architects can have a much more visceral, more realistic approach towards their designs.
Namely, with AR and VR an architect can actually, in real-time, enter a design concept. Instead of being locked only to drawings and a screen, an architect can now enter a 3D plane, an actual space they will soon create. You will now be able to actually enter the space you are creating before it’s even done.
Using Microsoft HoloLens form the comfort of your own home or office will save you valuable time and effort instead of just going to the job site. Now, of course, nothing beats actually visiting the real-world location, but there is a difference between getting valuable experience and just doing busywork.
Also known as Mixer reality (MR), it’s a mix of AR, VR, and something new. It’s still in development, but we expect very real, practical usage very soon.
Another benefit of technology marching on is that even the basics will become better and more useful. With stronger processing power and more powerful computers, you will, at the very least, have more optimal and more comfortable software usage. And of course, new features are always on the horizon.
Namely, getting the right software is a must for architects nowadays. Professional software, like AutoCAD LT, will help you rise above the competition. Proper plugins, file support, 2D modeling, is needed for any architect. And the fact is that, as we’ve mentioned, stronger computers means more options, better features, and more utility. However, it can also mean steeper learning curves for this kind of software and higher standards.
Information is knowledge, and knowledge is power. We know, we know, very cliché. But, that doesn’t make it any less true. Namely, let’s say your company is managing tens or even hundreds of projects. This is a treasure trove of information that can help you deal with clients better, getting the most form your work, while also providing the best services possible.
This can be used both in how you approach people, but also how you organize your time, manage your teams, and control your projects. So, for example, let’s say you have servers full of Revit models. By using the data you have on hand, you can prioritize things like long synchronization ties, large file sizes, too many users at once, and organize things in a manner that saves everybody some time.
Another interesting aspect of the advances in architecture is represented in the new materials that are to be used. First, we have new, carbon and glass-fiber based materials that are lighter and stronger than steel several times over. It is also spindly and small, giving more flexibility and room for potential later. Furthermore, some other elastic materials offer things that are straight out of a sci-fi novel. This type of materials can “shape-shift” in a way, allowing it to produce and store energy in facades of buildings. It then serves as an environmentally friendly and energy-saving robotic skin almost.
However, new materials are on offer here as well. Traditional materials, such as wood, for example, can be used in a brand new way. Timber is an organic, living matter. This means that it bends, it springs back, it moves. It can be difficult to predict how this material can behave. However, using 3D scanning technologies and tools, you can do just that.
And of course, everything is moving more and more towards sustainability, energy efficiency, environmental friendliness, and tech is moving into this same direction.
Technology is moving on, and all fields of human expertise and knowledge follow suit. They build on each other, they improve each other, and architecture is no exception. This is best reflected in the new approach to materials that have been used for centuries (like wood) and the exciting introduction of new ones. Furthermore, with the introduction of VR and AR, you can get brand new systems that won’t even make the architect leave her home or office. Finally, big data and better software are already changing the landscape, and you can expect this trend to just multiply and speed up as time goes by.