Since the coronavirus outbreak spread across the globe, architecture firms are forced for digital methods. Teleconferencing, cloud-based serves, and digital modelling have become essential solutions for the firms to continue operations. As some of the offices are resuming, it has become difficult to adjust to the new workflow. In other words, the dependence on technology for the last few months permanently changed how architects will do their jobs.
For many workplaces, ‘home office’, has become a new normal to keep up with things running, leading to question the transportation possibilities. The impact of COVID-19 has left its mark on all forms of academic and business fields. The Architecture world has been designing digitally, however, and the tools like AutoCAD – Revit to 3D printing have become a help to keep the workflow active.
Word of Thought:
Firms like BIG sees this as a more radical future for architectural design. One of his project SpaceForm uses digital tools like augmented reality to allow design in 3D on a citywide scale. With it, architects can design in 3D on citywide scale, and then send the model to a large-scale 3D printer to implement it on site. “The big challenge for any architect is to shorten the gap between what you are capable of imagining and what you are capable of delivering”- says Ingels.
The scalable capacity of 3D printer supports digital design and construction future. As a computer-aided design, parametric design, and building information modelling advance, methods of implementation are also equally important, says Ingels.
However, some architects are not so sure that the current digital-only approach will lead to significant long-term changes in their workflow. Some way or the other, the design process itself hasn’t changed dramatically but has its challenges.
Architectural education and practices have become dependent on the technical logic of electronic computation. A larger number of companies today have work from the home workforce. In just a short period of time, it is incredible how the work culture has moved towards digitization even in fields of architecture and technology.
Jon McNeal, Snohetta, agrees that his firm’s designs for office spaces will evolve, but thinks that architects work will too. “This shift away from tethering designers to computers and desks towards mobile workstations has already changed how teams collaborate: Design models can develop more rapidly and contain more detail than ever before; reports and presentations can be edited from any place with a data signal” – says McNeal.
Looking forward to Better Times:
A paradigm change has ultimately brought forward by the adoption of digitization and tech, that allows one to review, modify and experience design, shorten project timelines and undertake product selection without relying on physical mock-ups, in-person site visits and frequent travelling. Communications across different geographical locations are more easy, and just a click away, leading to saving time and money, making better decisions, reducing inefficiencies in the near future.
In a recent webinar, architects shared that 70% of the work requires for a project’s construction can be managed off-site and be enabled through virtual collaboration, while remaining 30% is on-site physical execution, which is enabled after mapping the different stages of a project.
While this is not a permanent switch, there will definitely be a shift. The new ways of work culture will reshape itself around digital and technology-friendly aspects. In all, COVID-19 has brought us a change of wave for Architecture & Construction, and it’s our take to accept it and appreciate it.