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Archive for March, 2011

SmartGeometry Workshop tour

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

At the SmartGeometry Conference in Copenhagen, last night the press were treated to an informal tour of the SmartGeometry Workshop, at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture, CITA/Centre for Information Technology and Architecture.

The projects were impressive and really push the boundaries of what is architecture. Some quick examples:

Cyber Gardens is a robotic arm model with sensors embedded that will read biological behavior of a city. This project envisions a gigantic cybercity of the future in which bacteria such as algae will be self growing in the arm shaped structure, and may provide shade and produce energy and oxygen. The bacteria will need more or less nutrients that can be sprayed on the model. It is not something that is just built and forgotten; the user will remain an active participant in the sustainable ecology of the gardens.

Another project, Reflecting Environments, dealt with energy sources as well, where people will receive their energy sources through heat based tracking cameras that are boxes on the ground.

One project involved fabric embedded with sensors draped over metal skeletons, using fabric in walls that would then sense temperature, environment and other needs of the occupants of a building.

sg2011 conference (SmartGeometry) comes to Copenhagen

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

I am here in Copenhagen for the annual SmartGeometry Conference, sg2011, hosted by Bentley Systems, from March 28-April 2.

The event will come in three parts, a Workshop (28th-31st March), a public Talkshop (1 April), and a public Symposium and Reception (2 April).

Speakers include: Ben van Berkel (UN Studio), Usman Haque (Haque Design + Research), Billie Faircloth (KieranTimberlake), Craig Schwitter (Buro Happold + Adaptive Building Initiative), Lisa Amini (IBM Smarter Cities Lab), and Mette Ramsgaard Thomsen (CITA)

I have also covered GenerativeComponents, the technology that actually spawned the SmartGeometry Conference in a recent issue of AECWeekly:

Look for conference updates in the coming days.

Autodesk moves from products to “suites”

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

In a Webex this week Amar Hanspal, senior vice president, Platform Solutions and Emerging Business for Autodesk talked about the 2012 portfolio which will soon be available.

Because customers are successful using multiple products, Autodesk is not offering single products in this release, but rather suites of products for all kinds of design. He called it an “integrated software approach.” A lot of discussion was spent on artists and production facilitators in the entertainment industry, a big customer of Autodesk products.

The suites cost “a few hundred dollars more than an individual software program” but offer more in terms of interoperability and the entire suite will be offered on a USB thumb drive.

Here is a list of the various suites:
Design Suite*
(inc. AutoCAD, Showcase, Sketchbook Designer, Mudbox, 3ds Max Design and Alias Design)

Building Design Suite*
(inc. AutoCAD, AutoCAD Architecture, AutoCAD MEP, AutoCAD Structural Detailing, Showcase, SketchBook Designer, Revit Architecture, Revit Structure, Revit MEP, 3ds Max Design, Inventor, Navisworks Manage and Quantity Takeoff)

Infrastructure Design Suite*
(inc. AutoCAD, AutoCAD Map 3D, Navisworks Simulate, AutoCAD Civil 3D, 3ds Max Design and Navisworks Manage)

Plant Design Suite*
(inc. AutoCAD, AutoCAD P&ID, AutoCAD Plant 3D, Navisworks Simulate and Navisworks Manage)

Factory Design Suite*
(inc. AutoCAD Architecture, AutoCAD Mechanical, Autodesk Vault, Autodesk Showcase, Autodesk Factory Design Suite Utilities, Inventor, 3ds Max, Navisworks Siimulate and Inventor Professional)

Product Design Suite*
(inc. AutoCAD Mechanical, Autodesk Sketchbook Designer, Autodesk Vault, Autodesk Showcase, Autodesk Mudbox, Inventor, 3ds Max Design, Inventor Professional and Alias Design)

Entertainment Creation Suite*
(inc. Autodesk 3ds Max or Autodesk Maya, Autodesk Softimage, Autodesk MotionBuilder and Autodesk Mudbox)

* – Software included varies according to Suite versions; Standard, Premium or Ultimate.

I will be attending the AEC Media Summit in Waltham, Mass. in two weeks and will have a full report on the suites at that time.





Planning Required service for ordering site plans

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Geospatial company Getmapping has announced a new monthly account for its online ‘Planning Required’ planning map service ( According to the company, architects, home improvement companies and professionals who are regular users of the service will benefit from significant savings when they sign up for accounts. Customers will receive a single bill for multiple transactions.

Launched in 2010 the Planning Required service is used by thousands of architects, developers and members of the public who need to submit a site and block plan as part of a planning application. Planning Required provides an easy and quick way to order site plans in the format required by Local Authorities.

President’s Better Buildings Initiative promises to put commercial real estate industry in recovery mode

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

According to an independent analysis conducted by Architecture 2030, and released in a Fact Sheet, illustrates that the President’s Better Buildings Initiative (BBI) can put the nation’s commercial real estate (CRE) market on the road to recovery, creating at least 300,000 new U.S. jobs and boosting tax revenue to begin putting money back into federal, state, and local coffers.

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