Decades After the Rise of CAD, Architecture Is Going “Paperless”—For Real This Time
If you visit an architecture office today, you may sense a slight change. The days of bulky desktops, ergonomic mouse pads and tower-high stacks of drawing sets are slowly giving way to digital pencils, tablets, and tons of architects’ hand-drawings—both physical and digital. Architects across the globe are clearing their desks, literally, and utilizing emerging touchscreen tools and software for designing, sharing and collaborating. It seems possible that, for the first time in years, the architecture profession could revisit Bernard Tschumi’s “paperless” studio which formed a key part of his tenure as dean of Columbia University’s GSAPP in the mid-1990s. However, this time, “paperless” starts with a pencil, instead of a click...
Sean Gallagher, director of sustainable design at Diller Scofidio + Renfro, is one of the architects leading this charge and testing its limits. Tools like Morpholio Trace, the iPad Pro, and Apple Pencil are literally changing the way Sean works on a daily basis, and he’s not alone. According to Sean, the simple fact is that the touchscreen software available today offers better precision and greater range than in the past, making it possible, once and for all, to clear his desk.
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