Technology has transformed our ways of sharing, creating and building in the last five decades. Architecture is a congruence of both a technical and creative skillset that is executed using numerous tools. Today, an architect is required to keep up with the fast-growing technology. Evolving from the times of hand-drafting large sheets, architects in the present times use gadgets to make their work not only simple but also to enhance its quality. While only paper and pencil would do for most architects, now they have to be tech-savvy in practice. 

This article will discuss the must-have gadgets for every architect to achieve optimisation in their work.

1. Laser Tape Measure

A laser tape measure is an alternative to a traditional tape measure that makes the process of measurement more convenient. Students as well as professionals in this discipline are required to document buildings through measured drawings. The former tool aids them to compute lengths, widths and heights. Especially in modern times with high rise buildings, this device measures dimensions up to almost 200 meters that cannot be sufficed by the traditional tools. The device functions by sending a pulse of laser light to the target surface and calculates the time taken for the reflection to return. It is accurate and easy to use. 

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Laser Tape Measure by Bosch ©The Home Depot

2. Graphic Tablet

Architects have always expressed their thoughts through graphics. They draw, doodle and scribble; hence a graphic tablet that comes with a pen is a must-have gadget for them. It is a compact and portable device, which enables them to sketch no matter where they are. The problem of finding space to work on large sheets is catered to with them manoeuvring across the drawing area of the tablet. It can be connected to a PC or laptop through USB/Bluetooth. The high-end gadget allows them to work digitally on their drawings while giving the feel of working with a pen and paper. 

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Graphic Tablet ©tutplusdesign/Envato Tuts+

3. Stylus Pen

A stylus pen is a stylish gadget that is compatible with the touch screen devices including iPad, iPhone, Android tablets and phones. It is useful for architects as they can quickly sketch on a digital medium. The tip of the stylus has an innovative design that facilitates in coming up with aesthetic and accurate drawings. It is entirely hassle-free to use this device as it is only required to switch it on and provides around 8-10 hours of working time. It has indeed made it convenient for architects as it reduces the irksome requirement of pencils of different thicknesses and colour.

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Stylus Pen ©ESR

4. Add on the Phone Camera Lens

Architects are fond of travelling and pay close attention to detail. Architecture photography focuses on capturing buildings in its true essence. Therefore, to keep a record of some gripping frames, they require something portable and easy to use for better photography than a phone camera. Also, for documenting a building, they use supporting photographs. Since it isn’t always convenient to carry a DSLR camera, a camera lens add-on is a must-have gadget. This device enhances the phone camera with value addition of a wide-angle lens.

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Add on the phone camera lens ©ESR

5. 3D Pen

3D pens are relatively new technology. The architects of today are still adapting to it. Initially, seeming like a toy, the gadget comes with incredible potential as it is used to make a 3D model without the enormity of 3D printing machines. It doesn’t require any technical knowledge to operate. A sleek, portable product that is small in size and looks like a pen. Furthermore, it assists the architects to think in the third dimension. Besides cutting on the time elapsed to make a model, it also reduces the labour costs, thus purchasing this gadget is an investment to make.

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3D Pen ©WebSearchDatabaseEngine

6. Pocket Projector

Architects are designers working on various software to meet the requirements of their large-scale projects. Therefore, they require a more convenient way of presenting their work to their clients at any stage and any given place. Hence, a pocket projector is a must-have gadget for them. They can easily carry their paraphernalia wherever they travel to enable them to plug and present their work using this compact product. Besides, it can be plugged-in using HDMI/USB and comes with built-in speakers in most cases. 

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Pocket Projector © ViewSonic

7. Headphones

Architecture and music have had a strong parallel drawn between them. For a designer, the design process becomes monotonous without good music being played in the background. Thus, a set of headphones is another must-have gadget for every architect. Wireless is preferred to avoid getting entangled with the wires during work. Also, a noise-cancellation feature can reduce distractions that could slow down the design work. Some good music with quality headphones can get an architect’s mind to think efficiently.

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Wireless Headphones © Entrepreneur

8. VR Goggles

Virtual reality is a boon for architects and designers. VR Goggles are used as a medium to envision a design in multiple stages. Also, it has the potential to convince a client that the integration of a concept into a finished blueprint is feasible. Therefore, it can assist in selling an idea along with showcasing it. With these head-mounted devices (HMD), a designer is enabled to experience the virtual 3D images and animations in real-time. Google Cardboard is an innovation that comes at an affordable price in this category of technology.

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VR Goggles © TheVerge

9. Portable Colour Digitizer

Architects use different colours in their presentations and plan for finishes of surfaces in numerous colours. They have to try a few colour combinations and go through the various colour guides available online before settling on a colour scheme. It is a gadget that allows one to pick a colour from nature or built surfaces and later use it in their drawings. Cube is the most popular portable colour digitizer in the market. Its readings are incredibly accurate.

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Portable Colour Digitizer © ahalife.com

10. Wireless Flash Drive

In the age of rapid digitization of almost everything that we do, it is essential to take a back up of our work on the go. Therefore, a wireless flash drive is a must-have gadget for every architect. Its wireless feature enables them to transfer data from tablets as well as laptops. After the tedious process of putting in hours to make a drawing and compiling a presentation, a convenient tool is necessary to transfer the file to a storage device. Furthermore, it can be connected to the projector directly to eliminate the need for another device during the presentation.

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Wireless Flash Drive © PCMag India

With technology thriving to make an impact in every field and being available as an indispensable tool; the horizons of architecture have broadened by the innovation of digital media and virtual reality. The aforementioned must-have gadgets for every architect have the potential to serve as tools so that they can bring out the best in them with convenience. 

Author

An architecture student who understands the power of words and feels that architectural journalism goes beyond design by playing a pivotal role in initiating meaningful dialogue. He believes that architects can change the world and make it a better place to live, work and play in.

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