Architecture has come a long way since the time of drawing boards, T-squares, and dividers. How do contemporary firms deploy software and hardware solutions in an increasingly competitive market when superior workflow is measured in seconds, bytes, and pixels? Architizer recently conducted a survey of architects [PDF] to glean how they use technology, and the results reveal that the use of technology in architectural offices is as multifaceted as the creative work itself.
We discovered that the majority of practicing architects still prefer using workstations, but a large percentage keeps laptops as secondary computers. When it comes to primary computer brands, preferences vary, but the majority of respondents favored two famous brands — can you guess which ones? — and, on the software side, architects also strongly favor certain programs over others. Meanwhile, remote access has broken down barriers, so to speak, when it comes to work habits: the creative process can now take place outside of the physical confines of the office, which is used less as a workspace and more to facilitate interconnectivity.
Even so, when asked about their ultimate work computer, some respondents lamented software compatibility issues; all else equal, a significant number coveted Apple products. Many architects also came up with more creative responses referring to science-fiction films like Minority Report, Iron Man, and even 2001: A Space Odyssey for their haptic and/or AI-based interfaces. Responses that cited Deep Blue and touchscreen drafting tables reflected this desire in more realistic terms, while a few (presumably older) architects romanticized the pre-digital days of hand-drafting.
The survey has yielded valuable insights and data points when it comes to how architects use technology, but their blue-sky feedback comes as no surprise: when it comes to technology, there’s always room to improve. Download it here [PDF].