Design

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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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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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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Generative Design in Architecture and Construction Will Pave the Way to Productivity

In the new era of generative design in architecture, engineering, and construction, designers and builders will use computers not just to describe buildings, but cocreate them.

Before GPS, if you got lost while driving your car, you had to swallow your pride and stop to ask for directions. With the help of the innate intelligence of Google Maps or Waze, you can let a machine compute the best route so you can concentrate on what’s really important—driving.

In the case of architects, engineers, and contractors, their computers will help navigate the design and construction process, so they can focus on making successful projects and great buildings as a result.

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/generative-design-architecture/.

Photo Credit: In the age of generative design, humans and computers manipulate building data to cocreate structures that could not have been conceived or built by traditional methods, such as the acoustic ceiling in the University of Iowa’s Voxman School of Music ...

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GIS and BIM Integration Will Transform Infrastructure Design and Construction

An unfortunate fact of the AEC (architecture, engineering, and construction) industry is that, between every stage of the process—from planning and design to construction and operations—critical data is lost.

For example, when you move data between phases of the usable lifecycle of a bridge, you end up shuttling that data back and forth between software systems that recognize only their own data sets. The minute you translate that data, you reduce its richness and value. When a project stakeholder needs data from an earlier phase of the process, planners, designers, and engineers often have to manually re-create that information, resulting in unnecessary rework. 

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/gis-and-bim-integration/.

Photo Credit: Merging GIS and BIM data introduces a geospatial element into structure design, which leads to safer and smarter buildings, roads, and transportation.

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Respect: Landscape Architect Dan Kiley Is the Modernist Hero You’ve Never Heard Of

Although 2012 marked the centennial of the birth of an American icon, no one threw a party in his honor. There were no front-page headlines about him, no major books published, no retrospective exhibitions staged. Millions of people have visited his creations, but only a small fraction know his name.

That forgotten icon is Dan Kiley, one of the nation’s most prolific landscape architects and the designer of more than 1,000 public and private landscapes nationwide, including such notable sites as the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (better known as the St. Louis Gateway Arch), the US Air Force Academy near Colorado Springs, the Art Institute of Chicago’s South Garden, and Fountain Place in Dallas.

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/dan-kiley/.

Photo Credit: Dan Kiley, courtesy the Cultural Landscape Foundation, Aaron Kiley. Image composite: Earl Otsuka.

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The Real Life of a Virtual Construction Engineer: Sundt’s Eric Cylwik Gets Visual

When it comes to construction companies, Sundt has a serious foothold in every arena, from mining and industrial to commercial, government, and health care contracts. Working at such a large scale—and with the potential impacts of, say, something like a major bridge project—Sundt has recognized virtual construction as essential to increasing productivity and minimizing risk.

Enter Eric Cylwik, a virtual construction engineer who works within Sundt’s transportation group. Cylwik is a Building Information Modeling (BIM) wizard who graduated from Arizona State University. “My degree is in design studies with an emphasis in digital visualization,” Cylwik says. “The idea behind the degree was that students would study design, then take 3D digital art classes to help visualize design concepts.”

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/virtual-construction-engineer/.

Photo Credit: Images Courtesy Sundt and Eric Cylwik

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