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The dynamic shift of new technology is quickly transforming the architecture industry.
Technology in architecture has architects doing more than designing and supervising the construction of buildings. They are pursuing new limits in design, through virtual collaboration, the use of 3D & 4D printers, and virtual reality.
Here are five things you need to know about the future of technology and architecture:
Biomimetic architecture is the blend of technology with the behavior of natural life forms. It mimics the ways in which living organisms operate in order to create sustainable housing that “lives”. These biomimetic structures adjust depending on their surroundings.
An example of biomimetic architecture is the sustainable Habitat 2020 building. This building has an active exterior that connects with the building’s interior. The exterior of the Habitat 2020 building is designed to absorb the outside air, light and water, and transfer it to the inside of the building. Thanks to this connection, the interior of the building receives filtered air-conditioning, purified water, and bio gas energy. These resources also give the Habitat 2020 building the ability be off the grid.
2. COLLABORATIVE VIRTUAL REALITY
Virtual reality (VR) offers architects an exciting, dynamic way to work with each other and present ideas to their clients. The use of virtual reality technology in architecture is a fast-growing venture as firms, virtual reality companies, and BIM software developers- work together to create more seamless virtual workflows. More and more firms are using virtual reality to showcase their creations for their clients by creating a walkthrough project experience and engaging in the building’s design process.
Even though a virtual reality experience is often made for a single user in a digital world, the future of VR and architecture will continue to become much more collaborative. Zaha Hadid Architects created a project that allows for a “multi-presence virtual reality experience” which lets architects and constructors collaborate on a shared virtual space.
3. TRANSFORMING SOFTWARE
Touchscreen technology allows architects to sketch directly into software that can be translated into 3D modeling apps. Building information modeling (BIM) saves time, increases transparency, enhances details, records changes and encourages collaboration.
3D modeling software is so advanced, that architects and designers can generate incredibly realistic images of project prototypes and renders. With visual scripting tools such as Revit and rendering softwares such as Lumion, architects can streamline their processes, give great presentations to clients, explore and deliver fast solutions.
This is a 3D image of our Condado Residential Project design.
4. AUGMENTED RESOURCES
Augmented reality (AR) also plays a key role in building higher quality structures. This type of technology makes it easier to work with both physical and digital architectural design.
AR applications lets architects see 2D resources like construction plans and other building materials on a 3D BIM model. The best part about augmented reality is that it can be used to identify and minimize errors during the construction process.
5. 3D & 4D PRINTING
3D printing has really started to take off in the last couple of years. 3D printing technology has allowed architects to create homes using less waste, more design shapes, at a lower cost and in less time compared to traditional construction methods. ICON recently created the Vulcan II printer that’s capable of 3D printing entire communities with up to 2,000 square foot homes. Expect to see more 3D printed structures in the coming years.
While 3D printed objects maintain a permanent shape, 4D printed structures can change into different shapes after being printed. The transformation process requires the mixture of a smart material with a source of energy such as water, heat, or light, in order for the object to change into the shape that it was pre-programmed to morph into.
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University’s Morphing Matter Lab created a series of 4D printed plastic objects that fold into predetermined shapes when heated. They believe the objects can be scaled up to create flat-pack furniture or even emergency shelters that could be shipped flat and folded into shape under the sun’s warmth. The beginning of the 4D printing revolution is here!
These five technologies are reshaping the future of architecture and leading us in unexpected and exciting directions. Not only is this innovative technology disrupting the architecture industry, but it’s also changing the way people perceived the profession. After over one hundred and fifty years of timid changes, this is the type of disruption professionals in architecture have been waiting for.