9 Cutting-Edge Technologies for Architects

9 Cutting-Edge Technologies for Architects, via Brantley Agency
via Brantley Agency

This article was originally published by Brantley Agency as “Must Have Technology for Architects in 2017.”

2017 has been an amazing year in the field of technology for architects. Most excitingly, we’ve seen an exponential growth in our fascination with virtual and augmented reality. Various types of innovative technology for architects are rolled out so regularly, we find our architect clients wondering where to begin.

Which of the many tech developments are merely gimmicks that will disappear as fast as they arrived, and which are here to stay, becoming permanent fixtures within professional practice? We’ve compiled a list of 10 pieces of technology for architects that will differentiate your firm from the competition in the studio and on the construction site.

Creating An Experience

Imagine, your architectural firm has been asked to come present your services to a prospective client. Your nerves are high with excitement, anxiety, and pure belief that this meeting will propel your architectural firm into the future. This client could drive your firm’s growth for years to come.

You show up with a statement of qualifications, CAD drawings, and pictures of the tricked out projects your firm is so dearly proud of completing. You also arrive with the industry’s cutting-edge technology to give your prospective client the experience of a lifetime.

You immerse them into the project and capture all of their senses. You not only hear their excitement as they “ooo” and “aah” but you engage with them as you direct them through the experience. Try these 10 products to create an experience and separate yourself from the pack!

Technology for Architects

1. Musion Holograms

The product’s launch was propelled into the world spotlight when they digitally resurrected the late rapper Tupac Shakur and sparked 15 million YouTube views in 48 hours. They followed by a Mariah Carey hologram that launched in five cities throughout Europe at once.

How can you use MUSION in your architectural firm?

MUSION can immerse your clients through a 3D model and holographic setting. This gives stakeholders an opportunity to visualize a project before it is constructed. This cutting-edge technology for architects creates spectacular multi-media presentations using 3D holographic images. These images are so real they can hardly be distinguished from the presenters and live performers appearing next to them.

2. Fuzor

FUZOR is software that takes your project from conceptual design through construction. FUZOR is perfect for architects because it greatly speeds up the process to get designs into virtual reality. The software allows users to iterate and improve on their designs. Use this in your next client presentation and mesmerize them with your 3D approach to a streamlined construction process.

via Brantley Agency
via Brantley Agency


Bringing virtual reality full circle, literally. CURV technology captures the user’s peripheral vision and offers a full sense of the VR experience. Give this to your potential client and conduct a full-scale walkthrough of your proposed design. CURV technology brings a collaboration amongst the group and further separates your firm from the crowd.

4. Touchable Holograms

Born out of Japan, touchable holograms are working their way through production and refinement. Developers expect them to hit the shelves in Q3 of 2017. Touchable holograms are technology for architects to keep their eyes on, as there is nothing quite like this on the market yet. Imagine being able to not only see the project, but feel it as well. Sifting through spec books, samples, and any other materials will become an experience of the past.

5. Jaunt VR

Jaunt Virtual Reality Technology uses a camera system that simultaneously records 3D stereoscopic video in all directions. The video is coupled with 3D sound-field microphones to record sound. The Jaunt technology gives you the ability to reconstruct a complete visual and auditory experience.

Plot this device in the middle of your job site or even inside a completed project and capture 360-degree footage for your clients to enjoy later. Compatible with most VR lenses, this cutting-edge technology for architects allows users to experience and explore their projects on a whole new level!

via Brantley Agency
via Brantley Agency

6. Shapespark

Shapespark Technology is a technology for architects that creates real-time web-based visualizations with physically accurate lighting. The visualizations can be shared via links.

Shapespark supports the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, providing users with a stereoscopic 3D view. Offering this technology as a collaborative tool between your architectural firm and your clients gives clients the sense of ownership and involvement they yearn for.

via Brantley Agency
via Brantley Agency

7. Google Cardboard

For the budget-conscious architecture firm, Google Cardboard is a great way to impress your clients. Through pairing Google Cardboard with a compatible smartphone, one can experience “3D models” in a similar way to the Oculus Headset. Get it, fold it and look inside to enter the world of Cardboard. It’s a VR experience starting with a simple viewer anyone can build or buy. This technology for architects is an inexpensive way to provide a virtual reality experience to your clients.

via Brantley Agency
via Brantley Agency

8. The Cube

Client meetings don’t always happen in an office or conference room. Be prepared to go digital and display your ideas and works on the go with The Cube. The Cube is a miniature, mobile projector that transforms any screen into a ‘cinematic experience’ at the touch of a button. This item is fantastic to take on job sites or for presentations in a clients office rather than your own.

via Brantley Agency
via Brantley Agency

9. Roto

Winner of the best product at the VR & AR World Expo in London, Roto is an interactive Virtual Realitychair that allows individuals to explore in various directions in a VR environment. Have your design concepts built in before sending your client for the ride of a lifetime through their new environment, or their upcoming project. This technology for architects is sure to wow your customers and separate yourself from the competition.

via Brantley Agency
via Brantley Agency

Amanda Dixon is the Creative Director at Brantley Agency, a digital marketing and website designagency for Architects, Engineers and Commercial Contractors. From helping start-up firms get off the ground to revitalizing some of the world’s largest architecture brands, Brantley is an expert in creating beautiful and functional websites. Amanda’s portfolio of work has been featured on Good Morning America, The Today Show, New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Forbes, among others.

The temporarily named Vessel opened to the public last weekend, inviting visitors with timed free tickets to climb its lattice of 154 staircases and capture moments against the Instagrammable backdrop.

However, contention ensued following closer inspection of Hudson Yards Terms and Conditions of the rights of the images, revealing that they will all belong to ERY Vessel LLC – the company responsible for running the huge public structure.

Writer and critic Tom Dyckhoff and designer Adam Nathaniel Furman were among those who took to social media to criticise Hudson Yards’ stipulations.

Vessel is “not what public space should be”

“Any photos or videos u [sic] take in Heatherwick’s staircase to nowhere r [sic] not yours they’re the property of the developer,” Furman tweeted. “I’m surprised they don’t require you to pass on custody of all your future offspring.”

“This is NOT what public space should be,” he added, triggering other figures in the architecture and design community to weigh in.

Dyckhoff described the situation as “astonishing” in a Tweet posted in response to Furman. “If you take any photos of videos of New York’s new ‘Vessel’, by Thomas Heatherwick, at #HudsonYards you do not own them,” he said.

Vessel by Heatherwick Studio

Related story

Heatherwick’s Vessel at Hudson Yards opens to the public

Architect Mark Owen of London practice POW also replied: “But it isn’t a public space is it?! It’s a shiny attraction to get people into the place to buy overpriced coffee from commercial units?!”

Furman posted his comment on 18 March 2019, along with a screenshot of clause nine, titled Content, from the online terms and conditions page. This outlined “irrevocable, unrestricted, worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free, sub licensable and transferable right and license to use, display, reproduce, perform, transmit, publish and distribute such photographs, audio recordings, or video footage for any purpose whatsoever in any and all media”.

Hudson Yards retracts controversial clause

This clause, however, has since been removed from the website. Dezeen contacted Hudson Yards for a comment on the update but is yet to receive a response.

The details now appear to have been adapted into clauses seven and eight, called Notice of Filming and Recording, and My Social Media Posts. The latter confirms that any images posted to social media belong to Vessel, without any “compensation” for the photographer. Photos published to social sites, like Instagram, are typically considered public property.

Notice of Filming and Recording authorises the company to photograph or video visitors, with permission to “store the Recordings on a database and transfer the Recording to third parties in conjunction with security and marketing procedures undertaken by Company”.

Hudson Yards development meets mixed response

Heatherwick‘s huge structure of interconnected stair flights and 80 landings sits at the heart of Hudson Yards – the largest private development in the US.

Due to be renamed following a public competition, Vessel opened with the rest of the plaza and gardens, and the retail and entertainment provision that make up the mega development’s first phase.

Much anticipation surrounded the project’s completion, however Alan G Brake described it as “a billionaire’s fantasy of the future of city life” in an Opinion column for Dezeen.

Photography is by Michael Moran for Related Companies.