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From sketches to Sketchfab, architecture has come a long way, and Austin Design is on that ride. In addition to the requisite two-dimensional drawings and blueprints, architects have been long been using models to demonstrate concepts to clients (and themselves) in a visually comprehensible manner. Even the ancient Egyptian pyramid designers used models to show others the details and relationships of their proposals in a manner they could understand. Times and technology change: we’ve gone from sticks and cardboard to foam core and mylar to digital and virtual, all in an effort to make our designs more accessible and understood.
A 3D model in stone of the Hawara pyramid’s substructure, found in the floor of the Valley temple of the Dashur complex.
While some people are able to abstractly picture an imagined object or structure better than others, we all benefit by having something a bit more concrete in front of us. First there were, and still are, physical models, scaled-down versions of their full-sized propositions, but with built-in limitations of size, durability, and transport. Relationships and massing are somewhat clearer, but material representation and sheer detail, not to mention actual spatial experience, are greatly restricted. Then, using computing technology, came three-dimensional rendering programs: a drawing could be made to come to life. You, as the viewer, could “walk through” it on a monitor’s screen and get a much better feel for the surfaces and spaces, both interior and exterior, and how they related to each other. These 3D renderings have become more and more believable and life-like, with the addition of texture libraries, shading and surface attributes, background environments, and other nuances, but until now a major hurdle remained to demonstrating these to an audience. They required dedicated software to be installed on the viewing computer and this typically reposed at the architecture firm’s offices or had to be downloaded and kept updated on a private device. All of this experiential wonderfulness could not be easily shared with those who most wanted, or needed, to see it. Enter Sketchfab.
On Sketchfab: Austin Design’s 3D interactive model of the Rockwell cabin.
Architects can now share files directly with their clients, their partners, and the public, who can view them at their leisure, with no special provisions needed. Austin Design, from the firm’s office in rural Colrain, Massachusetts, can share their 3D renderings with anyone, anywhere – whether residential or commercial. We have dedicated a page on our brand-new website to this exciting new tool and we will be populating it with new projects as we go along. Click over to the Austin Design Inc. site and check out an interactive Sketchfab model of a recent design/build cabin on the coast of Maine: it’s fantastic fun. Please contact us with any questions or leave a comment: we’d love to share our enthusiasm for this great new web tool as we aim to be at the forefront of architecture on the web.
Posted on Monday, December 2nd, 2013 at 12:20 pm. Filed under: company, media Tags: 3d models, architect, architectural firms, architecture, Austin Design Inc., blog, commercial, interactive, Massachusetts, residential, sketchfab, social media, Vermont, website RSS 2.0 feed.