Throughout 2020, the pandemic forced architecture teams to endure a wind-down on projects and their schedules. But now, it’s safe to say things are looking up.
As the industry works on its recovery, we can expect a great deal of growth. Firms are looking to make up for lost time by ramping up productivity, and they’re seeking the best tools to make it happen. We’ll help your team discover new ways to increase efficiency with the 5 productivity tips for architects and designers below (spoiler alert, real-time rendering is a must-have!).
1. Prioritize exploration and inspiration
The crisis of the past year may have put a lot of design work on hold, but it has also created new pressures and needs that architects must respond to. From healthier public spaces to homes that are better suited toward home-based lifestyles, there’s an increasing demand for new design types and perspectives.
Architecture teams can stay nimble by always engaging in exploration. Maintaining a constant stream of inspiration requires branching out and looking in new places, but that’s tough to do with COVID restrictions in place. Instead, you can turn to new domains in the digital realm for your adventures. Archdaily, Architect’s Journal and World Architecture are great places to start. You can also see how other designers are innovating by following Enscape accounts (e.g. Instagram, LinkedIn) and tags on social media, as well as viewing our gallery of featured projects.
Exploration is also a matter of practice. Your team can engage in active experimentation easily, thanks to the instant rendering capabilities of our 3D visualization software. Play around with concept designs and see the results as you go.
Image rendered in Enscape by Vo Minh Thoai
2. Streamline your design process with holistic visualization tools
Traditionally, the design process has been very stop and go. A design concept is made and visualized, clients request revisions, then a new visualization is rendered for the updated version. The cycle repeats, with each of the stages usually eating up a significant amount of time.
Optimizing the efficiency of this process could not only shorten project timelines, but also make them more successful. When you use Enscape’s real-time rendering for your 3D models, you can make changes that are visible instantly, right as you’re showcasing the design to your client. This enables your team to more accurately design according to your client’s needs, as they can give feedback in the moment. You’ll save ample time by avoiding the overly-iterative flow that so many projects are slowed down by, and produce far more satisfactory designs.
The immediate feedback enabled by real-time rendering is also useful for in-house operations. Jennifer Dyke at ADHOC Architectes in Montreal, Canada, explains how they use Enscape as part of their design workflow:
Real-Time Rendering has to be part of the process: At ADHOC Architectes, we use renderings as a design tool. We share our rendering progress from the beginning with the team, even though it is not perfect, nor final. The team's feedback helps us focus on the bigger picture instead of getting lost in the smaller pixels. Don't be shy to share! A render in progress can be just as interesting as the final result, while still leaving room for improvement
Jennifer Dyke, Architect, ADHOC Architectes
An Enscape rendering example from ADHOC Architectes: The Tree House
3. Consider note digitization
It’s easy for projects to grind to a halt when notes and requests are nested deep in a myriad of emails and instant chat messages. So keeping important project notes in one place where they’re available digitally can make all the difference in team efficiency.
Here at Enscape, we’ve made this happen by adding the Collaborative Annotation feature. Comments can be attached directly to the relevant place within the 3D model, allowing your team to maintain context and clarity as you communicate about design issues. For maximum ease, we’ve also made Collaborative Annotation compatible with BIM Track. Now all of your issues can be tracked in one place, allowing you to easily focus on any outstanding tasks and keep projects moving forward.
For those times when you're not using Enscape and you need a simple screenshot and annotation tool, you could try using something like Markup Hero that allows you to capture and add notes to an image.
For more virtual collaboration tips (including the use of digital documents and having one single source of truth for your projects), take a look at this article from Enoch Chow, Design Technology Manager at Rivian: 5 Top Tips for Virtual Collaboration.
4. Re-evaluate your meeting schedule
Meetings are a frequent necessity for design work, but it’s no secret that they can take up a lot of time. If you have the right tools at your disposal, it’s actually possible to cut down on the need for meetings, speed up your project timelines, and keep everyone productive.
With innately collaborative software like Enscape, it’s much easier to keep your team in the loop on all changes and developments in the design process. By having all design notes, BIM info, and project visuals available all in one place, plus the ability to easily export and share a single render or an entire model, you won’t need to hold as many meetings to update everyone and stay on track.
5. Make use of pre-curated asset libraries
Working up a design can be tedious when you need to find 3D models for each of the objects you want to insert. That difficulty is compounded when you’re attempting to find models with a matching style, allowing your design visualizations to look as polished as possible.
By working with pre-curated asset libraries, you can have a whole collection of visually-consistent 3D models at your disposal. In Enscape, you have access to over 2,000 high-quality models ready to drop straight into your scenes. Low poly models of all varieties are added regularly, from vegetation and street props to vehicles and furniture, giving you the assets you need to create realistic visualizations.
Ready-to-use models found in the Enscape Asset Library
Using any of the tips shared here will help your team make the most of 2021. If you’d like to learn more about how Enscape can empower your team to make better designs more productively, we invite you to sign up for a free trial.
Bio: Gemma is part of the Content Marketing team at Enscape and takes care of the Enscape blog. She loves to share educational and inspirational stories plus practical tips to help architects and designers improve their workflows. So if you have something you'd like to share with the wider Enscape community, drop her an email! firstname.lastname@example.org