New technologies have always driven innovation in construction and building design, meaning the present day is an exciting time to be an architect. The technological advances of the digital age provide the industry with a plethora of new tools to take building design to the next step. Drones, Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, 3D-printing, Big Data and the Internet of Things; such are the new additions to the architect’s toolbox that will change the way we build. While models are still developed using old-school materials such as clay, filaments, concrete or wood, some of the ideas focus structural platforms in carbon and glass-fibres, wound by robots able to generate complex, resilient and multi-functional geometric forms. Kinetic systems, or rigid body systems, always require that you spend energy to close and energy to open. New building materials have the potential to store the energy in one direction and harvest and reuse it for the way back.

We can also make very complex, very large, very robust buildings out of laminated timber. The problem is that, because it a living, biological material, it has its own behaviours. When you bend it, it can spring back, or sometimes it bends back. So we need ways to keep track of all this. Because if you can’t produce accurately what you want to, it becomes very difficult and very expensive very quickly. By introducing 3D scanning into the processes, we can have a closer connection to what the material is actually doing while we process it. Building smarter with less means material optimisation. Architects can be clever about how we use these materials; it means that we can build lighter. And lighter does not only mean less materials, like a smaller piece of wood but also lighter in forms of less transport, less weight and less impact on the environment. And these are just necessary paradigms for the future. Understanding how to apply new technologies, and how best to integrate them, does take time. But not too much: researchers say some of the solutions mentioned above could be embedded into real construction sites within a few years.

Job opportunities in Architecture & Design include:

  • Urban / Town Planners
  • Architects
  • Interior Designers
  • Landscape Designers
  • BIM Designers / Coordinators
  • Architectural / Fit-Out Project Managers

Learn more about the future of architectural design here:

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