Architecture

What’s Good Failure? 5 Things Research Scientists Reveal About Business Resilience

In research, goals are often amorphous. Work doesn’t follow the traditional business sequence of setting time-based objectives. Instead, innovative products require open-ended exploration and experimentation. How do you reconcile the two?

I’ve found that rather than trying to tame researchers and school them on the lessons of business, you should flip the script. Provide the research department with a direct connection to the customers for whom they’re dreaming up solutions. Then, help product teams appreciate the value of failure and iteration. Finally, make sure the two are well connected throughout the journey. This mindset and organization shift will lead to better product innovation.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/business-resilience/.

Photo Credit: Illustration by Micke Tong

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5 Ways Digitalization Fosters a Collaborative Culture in Architecture

In 2017, CannonDesign broke ground by hiring Hilda Espinal as its first chief technology officer—a surprisingly uncommon position for large architecture and engineering firms.

With her background in architecture, information technology, and project management, Espinal helps the firm use technology to develop better design and stronger partnerships. This approach, she believes, leads to higher productivity, competitiveness, and profits for everyone involved in a project, from the designers to the builders to the building occupants. Firms might once have kept information close in the name of differentiation, but Espinal is seeing more of a collaborative spirit in the industry: an open-sharing environment that helps everyone start the race from farther down the track.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/collaborative-architecture/.

Photo Credit: The CannonDesign team collaborates using VR and other visualization tools. Courtesy of CannonDesign.

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Generative Design Takes Digital Urban Planning to New Heights Near Abu Dhabi

Jebel Hafeet, United Arab Emirates’ second-highest peak, towers at 4,000 feet, its ridges stretching across the garden city of Al Ain near Abu Dhabi. In 2017, the historic site—home to the Beehive Tombs, hundreds of dome-like burial sites dating back 5,000 years—was recognized as part of a national park, and in 2018, it was incorporated into the Sheikh Zayed Protected Areas Network.

Now, a development project at the foothills of Jebel Hafeet will use digital urban planning to meld old with new, with the goals of preserving and celebrating the region’s natural and cultural heritage and emphasizing connectivity and community.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/digital-urban-planning/.

Photo Credit: A rendering of The Plantations, an urban development at the base of UAE’s historic Jebel Hafeet mountain. Courtesy of GHD.

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Curves and CO2 Reduction Coexist in Chicago’s Colossal Concrete Installation

Musing on the spiritual and formal predilections of the building materials he used so masterfully, architect Louis Kahn once famously said: “You say to brick, ‘What do you want, brick?’ And brick says to you, ‘I like an arch.’ And you say to brick, ‘Look, I want one, too, but arches are expensive, and I can use a concrete lintel.’”

The Stereoform Slab pavilion, designed and fabricated for the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial, is a meditation on the ideal forms of a different material: concrete. The spirit of the installation directly addresses Kahn’s concession to material efficacy, combining arches with sculpted concrete while also demonstrating a more sustainable approach to using the material.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/concrete-co2/.

Photo Credit: The Stereoform Slab illustrates the potential for sustainable concrete-sculpting methods. Courtesy of Dave Burk/SOM.

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BIM and Automation Help Franken-Schotter Chisel Away at the Competition

The stone-production business has evolved over the years—a process that was once largely done by hand has morphed into the use of automation and new technologies such as BIM (Building Information Modeling) to stay competitive.

Franken-Schotter is a natural-stone manufacturer based in Germany that produces and delivers approximately 2 million metric tons of stone each year, extracting from its own four quarries. The company attributes its staying power—nearly 50 years in the business—to embracing new technologies and becoming a modern facility.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/frankenschotter/.

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Japan’s Daiwa House Industry Is Using Generative Design to Retool Urban Housing

Japan is one of the most urbanized nations in the world, with more than 91 percent of its citizens living in its densely packed cities. High demand for long-term housing in urban areas combined with a scarcity of available land presents unique challenges for Japan’s residential-construction industry—challenges that are difficult to overcome using traditional design methods. To this end, Daiwa House Industry, one of Japan’s largest construction firms and a specialist in industrialized housing, is developing custom systems that use generative design to optimize building on small parcels, in line with the country’s urbanization patterns.

In Japan’s housing-complex business, plans are drawn up manually to demonstrate how the building can make best use of the landowner’s property; with such limited space on the island nation, maximizing efficiency is crucial. “For housing complexes such as apartment blocks, it is very important that we lay out the building on the available land,” says Takashi Yamasaki, manager of Daiwa’s Information Systems department. The proposal must also satisfy the landowner’s commitment to contribute to the community; profits are not the sole focus.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/daiwa-house-industry/.

Photo Credit: A three-story apartment complex designed by Daiwa House. Courtesy of Daiwa House Industry.

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99% Invisible Podcast: Why Sand Scarcity Threatens the Building Industry

If you’re a fan of the popular 99% Invisible podcast and the kinds of stories published on Redshift, then you’re in the right place. Autodesk and Redshift partnered with 99% Invisible host Roman Mars and his crew for six podcasts tied to the show’s mission of uncovering the fascinating—yet inconspicuous—ways that architecture and design shape the planet.

In this second episode in the partnership series, Mars explores sand scarcity in construction. The notion that the planet is running out of sand might come as a shock. After all, it’s the most abundant resource next to water and air. But it’s also a major ingredient in concrete, asphalt, and glass, and since reinforced concrete became a building material of choice in the 20th century, the demand for sand has increased exponentially.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/sand-scarcity/.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of National Park Service (NPS.gov)

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4 Tips for Building a Small-but-Mighty Team of BIM Experts

The architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry is the perfect embodiment of what it means to be big: towering skyscrapers, massive bridges, expansive tunnels, and innovative and inventive designs. Yet small can also be powerful, especially when it’s rooted in passion and purpose. These are the foundations on which Axoscape was built.

Based in Houston, Texas, Axoscape helps architects, contractors, and subcontractors understand BIM (Building Information Modeling) technology to stay relevant in the industry. Despite having only a nine-person team, the expert BIM-services firm is making a significant impact by taking on projects with a purpose, whether it’s laser-scan-like photogrammetry of damage from Hurricane Harvey or partnering with Habitat for Humanity, Houston Food Bank, and other organizations supporting their communities.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/bim-expert/.

Photo Credit: When tackling complex issues, it’s essential to bring diverse perspectives and skillsets to the table. Image composite: Micke Tong.

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Project Frog Envisions a Construction Industry Defined by Big Data

In this Q&A series, Redshift speaks with leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs, and disrupters who embody the future of making in construction, manufacturing, architecture, and infrastructure. This “Voices on the Future of Making” features Mike Eggers, vice president of Product and Innovation at Project Frog. The San Francisco–based industrialized-construction company designs and develops prefabricated building systems kits containing parts to be used in conjunction with a technology platform, delivering building solutions at scale.

Frog’s kits, the brainchildren of architects, product designers, and engineers, address three overarching concepts: flexibility, automation, and “accessibility,” meaning ease of use for architects, engineers, manufacturers, and builders. Similar to modular construction, these kits are assembled into schools, community centers, medical office buildings, and other structures. But while modular construction is fully assembled in a factory, the kits are designed for two-dimensional, flat-packed shipment to construction sites—like IKEA furniture but on a much larger scale.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/project-frog/.

Photo Credit: Project Frog designs prefabricated building systems as “kits” that are shipped to jobsites in flat packs. Courtesy Project Frog.

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Do Legacy Construction Companies Have the Inside Track on Modular Building?

Fresh-faced, tech-oriented startups get most of the attention in the modular-building world, but despite their “it” factor, they’re still start-ups. Is there a market share in modular just waiting for companies with the approach and know-how that come with legacy experience?

Chicago-based legacy construction company Skender has been researching modular construction for years and is now getting in the game. In late November 2018, it invited a gaggle of reporters and industry representatives to its 106,000-square-foot factory space on Chicago’s southwest side for a look at its prototype modular apartment. When the new venture is up and running, the company pledges to employ 100 people to produce 2,500 modules per year, at a rate 30% to 40% faster and at a cost 10% to 20% less than traditional construction.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/modular-construction-companies/.

Photo Credit: Skender’s prototype of a modular apartment building it is constructing in Chicago. Courtesy of Skender.

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