Technology is such an indispensable part of our world and has integrated itself in all aspects of our life. While some are still reluctant, embracing digitalization has helped us come up with more efficient ways of dealing with the challenges posed by the current state of the world. After the digital revolution, technology has aided architects in particular to visualize and create a variety of spaces that one couldn’t have dreamt of achieving before. It has helped architects transform buildings, communities, and even cities to mitigate the problems created by rapid urbanization and move towards a sustainable future.

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Innovation in architecture

Due to digitalization, there is an increase in access to customer data which has improved the customization and helped architects in presenting a variety of choices in designs for the customer to choose from. Due to the excessive amount of digitally enabled people in the community now, there is an increase in competition, and architects have to come up with more and more innovative and efficient solutions. Adopting digital practices has enabled architects to create buildings that would have seemed impossible in the past, and venture into reducing the energy consumption of the building as well.

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BIM is a platform for the creation and management of construction projects from its conception to its execution. It is one of the largest technological innovations of the architectural community of this century. Three-dimensional perspective is a plus provided by 3D BIM which has helped designers, engineers, and contractors for visualizing a building and bringing more clarity to the project. Knowing these benefits, many companies in the world have adopted BIM to improve performance and increase opportunities in all phases of the building industry.

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Productivity 

Architectural education in recent years has included digital tools to their arsenal to arm the newer generation for creating better societies than that of the past. People all over the world have felt its advantage with the increase in the quality of work and productivity. With an increase in creativity, an increase in the amount of work done has also been noticed. Using new technology means that skilled individuals spend less time, are able to process more information, can visualize the end result more efficiently, can set algorithms for similar projects, and recycle information from previous work for a better standard of work to the client.

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After the importance of management of a project was recognized by the architectural community, project management tools started getting popular in many large-scale firms around the world. This innovation helps architects, civil engineers, project managers, and other skilled individuals to plan and execute a project through all its stages and manage resources more effectively. With a large amount of virtual storage space available, managers have turned to computerized systems to keep track of the work assigned to each person rather than keeping a physical record when multiple parties are involved in the finishing of a project.

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Collaboration

Architecture requires a skillful collaboration between the architects, the clients, the construction teams, engineers, and other people involved in the project. Failure to do so would adversely affect the work and result in subpar quality and disputes in the future. Lately, collaborative efforts have been enhanced by the digital transformation in the construction industry. Standardized information can now be shared in a second with multiple people to discuss and any queries can be answered at the development stage due to new technological advancements. Virtual simulations can now be observed and modified by multiple people at a time and employees can now weigh in the discussions regarding a project at all stages, thus increasing productivity. Information stored in clouds can be accessed now by anyone around the world with passwords provided by the creator.

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Presentation 

The imagination and creativity of the architect could be wasted if their ideas do not reach the client. The use of digital technologies has helped architects and designers to improve the quality of the presentation of their work and expressing their ideas more clearly. People have moved from two-dimensional drawings and time-consuming physical models to virtual simulations. Software like Sketch-up, Revit, and 3D-Max are taught to students in architectural courses to showcase their designs and create walkthroughs to envision the project more accurately. Photoshop and Indesign are some of the software included by many architects in their establishments to improve their graphic representation.

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Culture

Incorporating digital practices in architecture isn’t just a positive outlook towards new technology but the belief that changing old practices will benefit the people who want to build a better future. Therefore, a firm dedicated to becoming digitally advanced, using newer technology is regarded as superior to others set in previous ways. Universities have also been taken by this wave of digitalization and have now included a lot of technological practices in their architectural and construction courses. 

Looking forward

Some years ago, the transition from hand-drawn sheets to CAD drawings seemed impossible but now it is used liberally. The change in traditional practice is slow but eminent. Today, data storage is the largest purpose for which technology is used by people. But in the future, digitalization can completely move the architectural design from 2D planning and transition to 3D designs. Not limiting the transformation to just designing, the next wave of digitization can be predicted to hit the construction industry and change it for the better. 

Author

An architect who strongly believes that architecture can influence and bring about a change in society for the better. While actively involved in humanitarian work, a lot of her free time is spent in reading, thinking about life and writing about her revelations.'

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