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How Technology is Changing the Design Process for Architects

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Emerging technologies are shaping how architects are designing the buildings of tomorrow. From material optimization to unlocking more resilient structures, technologies such as artificial intelligence, 3D scanning, and information modeling are sparking architectural innovation.

Architecture software has now become necessary for architects in the modern world. Not only does this bespoke software let architects design their vision in full control but, increasingly, include engineering information to ensure your structures are viable in a real-world context. But as technologies influence the construction and other adjacent industries in architectural design, it’s now rapidly undergoing digital transformation.

In this article, we’ll delve into three of the most impactful technologies that are shaping the architectural design process of the future.

Artificial intelligence

AI has been permeating various fields and solving problems across industries. Today, AI is being integrated into digital tools architects use to explore new horizons in architectural design, including floor plan generation and predictive design. In construction and material science, learning algorithms are being used to find structural platforms in glass and fibers that have resilient and multi-functional geometries.

Neural networks are also being used to create a genomic categorization of materials in order to discover newer and more efficient materials, according to a report published on Phys Org. These new discoveries in materials and geometric structure add to the arsenal of architectural design – enabling architects to make better models and more complex layouts.

3D modeling

While 3D modeling is nothing new in architecture design, the level of intricacies found in today’s iterations is staggering. One example of this is Building Information Model (BIM) which, aside from modeling the design in 3D, has metadata attached to the elements within the rendering. Bloomberg reports that BIM technologies are expected to become a $7.6 billion market by 2022.

3D tools have become essential in industries where having a comprehensive view of what you are making will result in informed decision making, better attention to detail, fewer errors, and reduced costs. In manufacturing, Altium explains how 3D measuring gives designers the ability to fully examine and view their creations in extensive detail. BIM technology works similarly, as it provides you with accurate measurements, scaled representations, materials to be used, and other specific parameters.

Immersive architecture

Virtual reality and immersive architecture are also emerging disruptors in architectural design. It enables architects to create immersive 360-degree images of their design through a combination of computer graphics, wireless tracking technology, headsets, HD projectors, polarized glass and more. Say you want to show clients your vision of What is a Hotel, it’s easier to immerse them in it than simply booting up an AutoCAD file. Architects can now use VR for remote client walkthroughs and highlighting pertinent issues when collaborating with other professionals. In fact, you can transform your files to VR in Unity Pro with just a couple of tweaks.

VR can also be paired with motion capture technologies and 3D scanning to examine new geometries and forms when using complicated materials like wood. By using these in VR, architects have access and insight into what the materials are doing while they process it in real-time. This slashes the time previously allocated to the back and forth of modeling and testing. On the other hand, augmented reality – or overlaying virtual objects in real-time vision – is also being developed to assist architectural design. What’s good about AR is it can give you a sense of scale as clients can look up with a camera and see how tall a building you’re designing is.

While many of these technologies are still in the early stages, it’s clear that they have the potential to revolutionize architectural design in the near future.

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