From the Cloud to Construction

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            and Zoomin Magazine are sponsored by HP


An architect’s creative reach is growing. Technology is delivering new opportunities to expand the scale of an architect’s ambitions and open doors to winning new business in new places.

The four walls that make up the traditional architect’s studio no longer have to be the only place for an architect to be creative and offer up ideas. Opportunities lie in looking beyond the traditional scope of operations and to new areas for growth.

This is about taking existing technologies and putting them into action in the architect’s studio. Everyday people use cloud services without knowing it or calling it cloud. They use webmail with all their emails saved in the cloud or have their photos uploaded automatically into the cloud directly from their smartphones. The cloud is becoming a part of our personal as well as our professional lives without us even knowing it. We focus on the capability rather than the name and the same thing is beginning to happen in an architect’s studio.

Architects face a challenging economic environment and are able to compete on a global scale if they can compete and collaborate using these new tools. If they want to win design contests or win business and stay active and visible beyond their home market, they need to be able to leverage the Web and in turn the cloud to take their creative ideas beyond the four studio walls.


From Capabilities to Possibilities

There’s a temptation to outline how the technology works and talk about mobile communications but that won’t speak to how the cloud is helping architects do more and achieve more creatively. The technology in itself is interesting but it’s really about how the cloud is changing how architects work.

The cloud uses a combination of mobile communications and the World Wide Web to share information quickly and seamlessly around the globe. When it is combined with printer technology it becomes a really powerful tool for architects. Architecture teams in different offices, in different countries, can easily share information, mark up plans and share revisions regardless of location as long as they are connected to the Web and using a Web-connected printer. This means collaboration and creative thinking can go global, quickly.

It also means that an architect can compete for business or collaborate on a project anywhere in the world. If there is a building boom in the Middle East while their home market is seeing a slowdown in construction, cloud printing technologies can be a way to get into the game and deliver plans quickly and easily without having location be a determining factor in a client’s decision-making process.

An architect that wants to drive visibility can use cloud printing to enter contests globally and let the world know that they are active and available for work. They can send plans and submissions using the Web and save on the cost of printing and shipping internationally. Contests are a great way to demonstrate creativity and raise an architect’s profile. Cloud printing streamlines that process.


Instant Access

Whether an architect wins business or a contest, cloud printing becomes an ongoing tool for keeping a record of the evolution of a project through saving information in the cloud that is accessible and secure for all project participants. If an architect is using email as a collaboration tool, the project history is being preserved in a place that isn’t accessible by all team members. The cloud can be a secure and collaborative place to keep plans and a record of the overall activity.

An added advantage is that architects and clients can print remotely from the cloud. If they are on the way to the job site and changes have been made overnight, with cloud printing they can get to the site and print the new plans or even review on their smartphone on their way to the construction site. In the same way, the architect can make a change on a plan and deliver it instantly to the client instead of printing and shipping, which could take at least week with additional costs incurred by the architect.

In this way, cloud printing introduces flexibility and mobility across the whole process. From an architect competing on a global scale to reviewing and printing plans, the cloud makes it possible to do more and extend an architect’s scale and scope of activity.

We use cloud seamlessly in our personal lives and cloud printing is delivering this same kind of easy-to-use access to the architect’s studio. It is a technology that is redrawing the map for opportunities and making an architect’s creative ambitions limitless.

Editor en Jefe de Profesor / conferenciante en varias universidades. y Consultor de tendencias e innovación en la intersección entre la arquitectura/diseño, tecnología y difusión desde EGD (Edgar Gonzalez Design).

Es mexicano, arquitecto e iconoclasta de vez en cuando, aunque no necesariamente en ese orden.

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