Future Forward: Top 10 Architectural Design Trends 2024

As we step into the year 2024, the architectural landscape is set to undergo a transformative evolution, blending cutting-edge technology with sustainability and human-centric design. In this blog, we will explore the features that are poised to dominate architectural design trends 2024, shaping the way we interact with our built environment.

Architects are increasingly embracing biophilic design, a concept that seeks to connect occupants with the natural environment. Spaces are designed to incorporate natural elements such as plants, water features, and natural light. The goal is to enhance well-being, reduce stress, and increase productivity. Living walls, indoor gardens, and large windows that blur the line between indoors and outdoors are becoming common features in modern buildings.

The rapid pace of technological advancement has given rise to responsive architecture. Now, buildings will be designed to adapt to changing environmental conditions and user needs. Smart materials, responsive facades, and kinetic structures allow for dynamic adjustments in real-time. For example, buildings can optimize energy usage based on weather conditions or change their internal layout to accommodate different functions throughout the day.

Parametric design, driven by computational algorithms, is revolutionizing the way architects conceptualize and create structures. In 2024, architects are using advanced software to generate complex, highly optimized forms that were once difficult or impossible to achieve. This approach allows for greater efficiency in design, structural performance, and resource utilization. From facades to furniture, parametric design is pushing the boundaries of what is architecturally possible.

Virtual and augmented reality technologies are slowly becoming integral tools in architectural design and visualization. Architects can immerse themselves and their clients in virtual spaces, providing a more immersive and interactive design experience. This not only facilitates better communication between stakeholders but also allows for real-time design modifications. VR and AR are also used in the construction phase for enhanced project management and quality control.

Architects in 2024 need to recognize the importance of cultural sensitivity in design. Embracing diversity and inclusion, they can create spaces that reflect and celebrate the cultural identities of their occupants. This trend goes beyond aesthetics to consider how buildings can support diverse lifestyles, traditions, and values. Inclusivity is a key principle, ensuring that architecture serves all members of the community.

In response to changing work and lifestyle patterns, architects are designing spaces that are flexible and multi-functional. Buildings will be equipped with movable walls, modular furniture, and adaptable layouts that can easily transform to meet different needs. This trend reflects the evolving nature of how we live, work, and interact, providing spaces that can seamlessly transition between various functions.

The industry is placing a strong emphasis on zero-waste construction methods. From prefabrication and modular construction to the use of recycled and reclaimed materials, the industry is actively seeking ways to minimize waste generated during the building process. This trend not only aligns with sustainability goals but also contributes to more efficient and cost-effective construction practices.

With the increasing impact of climate change, architects are incorporating resilient design principles into their projects. This involves designing structures that can withstand and adapt to extreme weather events, rising sea levels, and other climate-related challenges. From elevated foundations in flood-prone areas to the integration of passive cooling strategies, resilience is becoming a key consideration in creating buildings that can endure the changing climate.

The use of digital twins i.e. virtual replicas of physical buildings is gaining traction in architectural practice. Firms are leveraging advanced modeling and simulation technologies to create digital twins that provide a comprehensive understanding of a building’s performance. This goes beyond design and visualization, extending to real-time monitoring of energy usage, occupant behavior, and structural health. Digital twins contribute to more informed decision-making throughout a building’s lifecycle.

As awareness of the connection between built environments and human health grows, architects are prioritizing wellness-centric design. In 2024, buildings are being designed to promote physical and mental well-being. This includes features such as circadian lighting systems, air quality monitoring, and spaces that encourage physical activity and relaxation. Wellness-centric design acknowledges the profound impact that architecture can have on the health and happiness of occupants.

These architectural design trends 2024 highlight the dynamic and innovative nature of architectural design. From biophilic design to the integration of digital twins, architects are embracing technology and sustainable practices to shape a built environment that is not only visually striking but also resilient, wellness-focused, and environmentally responsible. As we move forward, it’s clear that the buildings of tomorrow will not only be aesthetically pleasing but also environmentally responsible, culturally sensitive, and responsive to the evolving needs of society. The coming years are crucial in setting the stage for a more sustainable and harmonious relationship between humanity and the built environment.

Embracing Nature in Design: Biophilic Design in Architecture

In the realm of architecture and design, a harmonious relationship between the built environment and the natural world has become a central focus. This endeavor finds its epitome in the philosophy of biophilic design, a concept that transcends mere aesthetics to foster a profound connection between people and nature within the spaces they inhabit.

The term “biophilic” traces its roots to the Greek words “bios,” meaning life, and “philia,” meaning love. The concept was first introduced by American biologist Edward O. Wilson in his 1984 book “Biophilia.” Wilson proposed that humans possess an innate tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life. This idea laid the foundation for what we now recognize as biophilic design.

Over the years, biophilic design has evolved from a theoretical concept to a practical approach employed by architects, interior designers, and urban planners worldwide. The core principle is to integrate natural elements and patterns into the built environment, promoting well-being, productivity, and sustainability.

As societies grapple with the challenges posed by rapid urbanization and the consequences of a technology-centric lifestyle, the relevance of biophilic design has surged. The movement has gained momentum as architects and designers recognize its potential to address pressing issues such as stress, mental health, and environmental sustainability.

One notable trend is the integration of biophilic elements in the design of corporate offices. Forward-thinking companies are acknowledging the impact of workplace environments on employee well-being and productivity. Incorporating natural elements such as indoor plants, natural light, and materials reminiscent of the outdoors has become a strategy to create more pleasant and inspiring workspaces.

In the current architectural landscape, the application of biophilic design is not limited to a specific style or scale. It has found its way into diverse settings, ranging from office spaces and residential buildings to public parks and urban planning projects. This versatility underscores the universality of the human need for a connection with nature, regardless of the context.

1. Incorporating Natural Elements:

Architects can infuse their designs with nature by incorporating elements such as living walls, water features, and ample greenery. The use of organic materials like wood and stone not only adds a tactile dimension to the design but also establishes a connection with the Earth.

2. Maximizing Natural Light:

The strategic use of natural light is a fundamental aspect of biophilic design. Architects can optimize the placement of windows, skylights, and glass walls to maximize the penetration of sunlight into interior spaces. This not only reduces reliance on artificial lighting but also enhances the overall ambience of the space.

3. Embracing Biomorphic Forms:

Incorporating organic shapes and patterns in architectural elements can evoke a sense of nature within a space. Whether through the curvature of a building’s façade or the design of interior furnishings, biomorphic forms serve as a visual reminder of the natural world.

4. Creating Multi-Sensory Experiences:

Biophilic design extends beyond the visual realm to engage other senses. The incorporation of natural sounds, scents, and textures enhances the overall sensory experience of a space. Water features, for instance, not only provide visual appeal but also introduce the soothing sound of flowing water.

5. Sustainable Practices:

An integral component of biophilic design is the commitment to sustainability. Architects can prioritize eco-friendly materials, energy-efficient systems, and designs that minimize environmental impact. This not only aligns with the principles of biophilia but also contributes to the broader goal of creating resilient and sustainable built environments.

Biophilic design stands at the intersection of aesthetics, functionality, and human well-being. Its emergence and growing popularity underscore a collective recognition of the profound impact that the built environment has on our lives. As architects continue to explore innovative ways to integrate nature into their designs, the transformative potential of biophilic principles will undoubtedly shape the future of architecture, creating spaces that not only reflect our connection with the natural world but also contribute to a more sustainable and harmonious existence.

ChatGPT Prompts for Architects: A Comprehensive Guide

In the dynamic world of architecture, where creativity meets functionality, architects are continually seeking innovative tools to elevate their designs and streamline their workflows. With AI, the array of available tools has expanded. The most popular AI software is ChatGPT, developed by OpenAI. There are numerous ways in which ChatGPT can serve as a comprehensive companion for architects, helping in a spectrum of tasks ranging from conceptualizing ideas to overcoming challenges and enhancing communication. In this blog, we show you not only the uses but also the ChatGPT prompts for architects. 

As an architect, you are tasked with transforming abstract concepts into tangible designs that resonate with both aesthetics and function. ChatGPT can become an invaluable brainstorming partner, aiding you in refining your initial thoughts and exploring alternative solutions. Engaging in a conversation with ChatGPT can allow architects to articulate their design objectives, receive suggestions that spark new ideas or provide a different perspective on design challenges. 

Prompts to use: 

  1. “Help me brainstorm creative solutions for an eco-friendly residential building.” 
  1. “Explore innovative design concepts for a public space that promotes community interaction.” 
  1. “Suggest ways to incorporate sustainable materials into a commercial office building.” 

Architectural projects often come with a unique set of challenges, from site constraints to budget limitations. ChatGPT can assist architects in overcoming these hurdles by offering insights, generating design alternatives, and proposing solutions to specific problems. By describing the challenges you are facing, you can receive guidance on how to navigate obstacles effectively. 

Prompts to use: 

  1. “How can I optimize the use of a small urban plot for a residential project?” 
  1. “Propose cost-effective design strategies for a community center with a limited budget.” 
  1. “Help me address accessibility challenges in a renovation project for an old heritage building.” 

Clear and effective communication with clients is paramount for the success of any architectural project. ChatGPT can assist you in articulating ideas, creating compelling project proposals, and generating persuasive presentations. Architects can use ChatGPT to refine their language, ensuring that they convey complex architectural concepts in a way that is easily understandable to clients. 

Prompts to use: 

  1. “Craft a persuasive proposal for a sustainable design approach in a corporate headquarters.” 
  1. “Assist me in explaining the architectural vision for a modern residential complex to potential investors.” 
  1. “Generate a presentation script that highlights the unique features of a proposed cultural center.” 

You invest a significant amount of time creating detailed design documentation. ChatGPT can assist in generating textual content for reports, design narratives, and other documentation, saving architects time and allowing them to focus more on the creative aspects of their work. 

Prompts to use: 

  1. “Generate a design narrative for a mixed-use development project.” 
  1. “Assist in writing a project description for a cultural institution with a historical context.” 
  1. “Create a report on the sustainability features incorporated into a proposed urban park design.” 

Selecting appropriate materials is a critical aspect of architectural design. ChatGPT can provide suggestions for sustainable and aesthetically pleasing materials based on specific project requirements, considering factors such as climate, durability, and visual appeal. 

Prompt to use:

“Suggest sustainable and aesthetically pleasing materials for an exterior façade in a coastal environment.” 

Navigating local building codes and regulations is a complex task. ChatGPT can offer insights into specific regulations and codes, helping architects ensure compliance with legal requirements for their projects. 

Prompt to use:

“Provide guidelines for ensuring compliance with local building codes in a mixed-use development project.” 

The interior of a building is as crucial as its exterior, and ChatGPT can assist yout in generating creative interior design concepts. Whether it’s a residential space or a commercial setting, ChatGPT can offer ideas for layout arrangements, color schemes, and design elements. 

Prompt to use:

“Generate creative interior design concepts for a boutique hotel lobby with a cultural theme.” 

In the era of sustainable architecture, optimizing energy efficiency is a top priority. ChatGPT can provide recommendations for incorporating sustainable practices, such as passive design principles and renewable energy solutions, to enhance the overall energy performance of a building. 

Prompt to use:

“Advise on strategies to enhance energy efficiency in a high-rise residential building.” 

Effectively communicating the visual aspects of architectural designs is essential, especially in client presentations. ChatGPT can generate vivid and descriptive language to articulate 3D visualizations, aiding architects in conveying their vision to clients. 

Prompt to use:

“Help me describe the 3D visualization of a modern office space for a client presentation.” 

Creating a well-organized project timeline is crucial for project management. ChatGPT can assist architects in outlining project milestones, estimating timelines, and providing suggestions for effective project planning and scheduling. 

Prompt to use:

“Assist in creating a project timeline for a large-scale urban redevelopment project.” 

Optimizing site layouts based on various factors is fundamental. ChatGPT can offer insights into site analysis and planning, considering factors such as topography, climate, and neighboring structures. 

Prompt to use:

“Evaluate the site constraints for a suburban residential development and propose a site planning strategy.” 

Good collaboration between architects and engineers is essential for the successful outcome of any project. ChatGPT can assist in articulating architectural specifications and requirements, facilitating effective communication and collaboration with engineering professionals. 

Prompt to use:

“Facilitate communication with structural engineers by generating a concise brief on the architectural requirements for a unique building design.” 

Integrating art into architectural designs adds a unique dimension to spaces. ChatGPT can provide ideas for seamlessly incorporating public art into various projects, enhancing the overall aesthetic appeal. 

Prompt to use:

“Suggest ways to seamlessly integrate public art into an urban park design.” 

Balancing design excellence with budget constraints is a common challenge. ChatGPT can assist in exploring cost-effective design strategies and alternative materials while maintaining the integrity of the design. 

Prompt to use:

“Advise on cost-effective design strategies for a community center renovation without compromising on quality.” 

In the ever-evolving landscape of architecture, the collaboration between architects and artificial intelligence tools like ChatGPT represents a transformative leap forward. These are just some of the initial ChatGPT prompts for architects, and these will evolve in the future. By incorporating ChatGPT into your workflow, you can harness its capabilities to address a wide array of challenges, from conceptualization to documentation, and from communication to compliance. The synergy between architectural creativity and technological innovation is shaping a promising future! 
 
Want to find out more about AI and Architecture? We can help you navigate forward. Contact us

How technology is creating new AEC industry jobs

The AEC industry is one of the oldest and most stable sectors in the world. However, it is not immune to the changes and challenges brought by technology. In fact, technology is transforming and disrupting every aspect of the architecture, engineering, and construction industry, from how properties are designed and built, to how they are marketed and sold, and to how they are operated and maintained.

Technology is not only changing the way AEC professionals and consumers interact with properties, but also creating new opportunities and demands for new skills and roles in the industry. Technology is creating new jobs for people who can leverage these technologies to provide better services and solutions for their clients and stakeholders. In this blog, we will explore some of the emerging technology trends that are impacting the AEC industry jobs and the future of the job trends.

Virtual reality (VR) and Augmented reality (AR) are technologies that create immersive and interactive experiences that simulate or enhance reality. VR uses headsets or goggles to transport users to a virtual environment, while AR uses devices such as smartphones or glasses to overlay digital information onto the real world.

VR and AR have many applications in the AEC industry, such as:

  • Providing virtual tours of properties that are not physically accessible or available
  • Enhancing the visualization and customization of properties for buyers and sellers
  • Creating engaging and realistic marketing and branding campaigns for properties and developers
  • Providing training and education for professionals and consumers

VR and AR are creating new AEC industry jobs for professionals who can leverage these technologies to provide better services and experiences for their clients. Some of these jobs include:

  • VR/AR developer: A VR/AR developer is someone who creates VR/AR applications and content for the AEC industry. They need to have skills in programming, design, animation, 3D modeling, and user interface.
  • VR/AR consultant: A VR/AR consultant is someone who advises AEC professionals and consumers on how to use VR/AR technologies effectively. They need to have skills in communication, marketing, project management, and customer service.
  • VR/AR specialist: A VR/AR specialist is someone who operates and maintains VR/AR equipment and software for the real estate industry. They need to have skills in troubleshooting, technical support, installation, and maintenance.

Blockchain is a technology that enables secure and transparent transactions without intermediaries. It is a distributed ledger that records transactions in blocks that are linked together by cryptography. Smart contracts are self-executing agreements that are encoded on the blockchain. They can automate transactions based on predefined rules and conditions.

Blockchain and smart contracts have many applications in the AEC industry, such as:

  • Reducing transaction costs and risks by eliminating middlemen such as escrow agents, title companies, lawyers, etc.
  • Improving transaction speed and efficiency by streamlining processes such as verification, validation, recording, etc.
  • Enhancing transaction security and trust by providing immutable and verifiable records of ownership, identity, history, etc.
  • Enabling new business models such as fractional ownership, tokenization, crowdfunding, etc.

Blockchain and smart contracts are creating new AEC industry jobs for professionals who can leverage these technologies to provide better services and solutions for their clients. Some of these jobs include:

  • Blockchain developer: A blockchain developer is someone who creates blockchain applications and smart contracts for the real estate industry. They need to have skills in programming, cryptography, distributed systems, and web development.
  • Blockchain consultant: A blockchain consultant is someone who advises professionals and consumers on how to use blockchain technologies effectively. They need to have skills in communication, business analysis, strategy, and innovation.
  • Blockchain specialist: A blockchain specialist is someone who operates and maintains blockchain platforms and smart contracts for the real estate industry. They need to have skills in troubleshooting, technical support, security, and compliance.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a term that refers to the ability of machines to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as learning, reasoning, decision making etc.

Big data and AI have many applications in the AEC industry, such as:

  • Providing data-driven insights and recommendations for buyers and sellers
  • Enhancing the valuation and appraisal of properties using predictive analytics
  • Optimizing the design and construction of properties using generative design and simulation
  • Reducing human errors and time taken for code compliance reviews
  • Improving the operation and maintenance of properties using smart sensors and automation
  • Personalizing the marketing and branding of properties using natural language processing and computer vision

Big data and AI are creating new jobs for AEC professionals who can leverage these technologies to provide better services and solutions for their clients. Some of these jobs include:

  • Data scientist: A data scientist is someone who collects, analyzes, and interprets large amounts of data for the AEC industry. They need to have skills in statistics, mathematics, programming, and machine learning.
  • AI developer: An AI developer is someone who creates AI applications and models for the AEC industry. They need to have skills in programming, algorithms, neural networks, and deep learning.
  • AI consultant: An AI consultant is someone who advises AEC professionals and consumers on how to use AI technologies effectively. They need to have skills in communication, business analysis, coding, strategy, and innovation.

Some examples of how big data and AI are used in the AEC industry are:

  • Autodesk: Autodesk is a software company that provides design and engineering solutions for various industries including AEC. Autodesk working on products that use AI and machine learning to enable generative design, which is a process that uses algorithms to generate multiple design options based on predefined goals and constraints. Autodesk BIM 360 also uses simulation tools to test and optimize the performance of buildings in terms of energy efficiency, structural integrity, etc.
  • IBM: IBM is a technology company that provides various solutions for various industries including AEC. IBM uses big data and AI to enable smart buildings, which are buildings that use sensors, analytics, and automation to monitor and control various aspects such as temperature, lighting, security, etc. IBM also uses natural language processing and computer vision to create personalized marketing campaigns for properties using Watson Ads.

Technology is transforming and disrupting the AEC industry in many ways. It is creating new opportunities and challenges for AEC professionals and consumers alike. It is also creating new jobs for people who can leverage these technologies to provide better services and solutions for their clients and stakeholders.

If you want to learn more about how technology is creating new AEC industry jobs, you can contact us. We are America’s fastest growing managed architectural services firm providing Team and AI solutions for architects, engineers, and developers. We can help you with your technology needs and goals.

If you are interested in pursuing a career in the AEC industry or advancing your existing career, you should consider acquiring the skills and knowledge required to use these technologies effectively. You should also keep yourself updated on the latest developments and innovations in these fields. Technology is creating new jobs in industry, but it is also changing the nature and expectations of these jobs. You need to be prepared to adapt and thrive in this dynamic environment. We can also help you with your career development and opportunities. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Busting BIM Myths: How Building Information Modelling can accelerate your business

Building Information Modelling, popularly known as BIM, has been around as a concept since the 1970s. However, it’s application is relatively new, and the industry is still lacking in its complete knowledge of BIM’s usage. This intelligent model-based process creates 3D design models containing every information needed for the construction of the structure. It facilitates the coordination and collaboration between various teams and stakeholders associated with the project. Architecture, engineering, and construction professionals can design, collaborate, and build infrastructure more efficiently if they use BIM to its maximum potential. And that is only possible if the multiple misconceptions about this game-changer are cleared.

Although almost all architectural firms are aware of different BIM software, only 58% of these had adopted BIM as per the AIA Firm Survey 2020. Even out of the firms using BIM for design visualization, only 26% of them were using it for managing the model during construction or for energy performance analysis. This leaves a big lacuna in the possibilities and actual application of BIM.

Let’s understand BIM better by busting some common myths about it.

Truth: BIM is a process/methodology

BIM is an entire process and not just a single software. Coined by Phil Bernstein of Autodesk, the term ‘Building Information Modelling’ or BIM was adopted by other companies like Bentley Systems, Graphisoft and the rest of the industry as its popularity increased. However, Autodesk did not invent BIM. The first mention of a virtual model was suggested by Charles M. Eastman of Georgia Tech as the “building product model” in his publications in the 1970s. There have been numerous individuals, organizations and software companies that have contributed to make BIM what it is now i.e., a holistic process of creating and managing information for a built asset. Basically, BIM helps create efficient designs and an intelligent digital representation of an asset across its lifecycle.

Truth: BIM is more than just design

Building information modelling is not Computer-aided design. CAD was a replacement for pen and paper to make a graphical representation of the building components. Earlier, architects and engineers spent maximum of their time conceptualizing and drafting. Eventually, blueprints and drawings were replaced by CAD drawings. This was a groundbreaking event and sped up processes drastically. What CAD did for blueprints, now BIM is doing for CAD. It has revolutionized digital renderings from merely lines, arcs, and circles to parametric objects that have rules embedded in them. These rules are driven by data and can be as simple as requiring a window to be wholly within a wall, so when a wall is moved, the window moves with it. But overall, they streamline the process from conception to management post-construction.

Truth: BIM does a lot more than 3D model creation

BIM does consist of mainly 3D modeling to digitally develop an accurate virtual model of the building. However, these complete computer-generated models contain more than just well-defined geometry. Every parameter of the render consists of pertinent data required to facilitate the construction, fabrication, and procurement of materials to build the final building. The BIM 3D models consist of attributes like building geometry, spatial relationships, quantity of components and geographic information, which allow the project team to identify issues and resolve them in the virtual space before the actual construction in the real world.

Truth: Revit is not BIM. Revit supports BIM

Building information modelling is a process and Revit is a software package. There are other BIM technologies like ArchiCAD, which was the first of its kind. However, Autodesk Revit has been the de facto leader in BIM software across the globe since Autodesk acquired it from the creator Leonid Raiz’s company in 2002. So, this confusion is understandable. Revit is used to design BIM 3D models. Its popularity is due to many factors including the fact that it computes data and creates drawings and models with exceptional detail and is helpful in complex projects. It also includes parametric modeling, energy analysis, automation, better collaboration through cloud systems, and scheduling.

Truth: BIM can be used by anyone in AEC including clients

The success of Building information modelling stems from its collaborative nature. The information database of the 3D model can be used by architects, MEP engineers, contractors, estimators, and project managers alike. The BIM technology allows members of the project team, working on different levels of the model can share the information and documentation, while working together on a single model. The different stakeholders can implement changes and corrections in real time on the same model. BIM for construction industry aids in the smooth transition from conception, planning, design to construction, and even post-construction operations and maintenance. What’s more is that BIM is not just limited to new buildings; it can be used for renovation and restoration of older structures with the help of laser surveys.

Truth: BIM saves time and money by reducing the design phase and foreseeing issues

The initial cost of acquiring the software and training all stakeholders in the technology might be high, but it is an investment which reaps multifold benefits in the future. Visualization of the finished product in BIM models produces more efficient designs. With the involvement of the cost estimators and contractors, estimations and material proposals are prepared quickly. This reduces the design and planning phase of the project, increasing the opportunities for multiple projects and thus, higher revenue. With precise timetables, pricing estimates, and prior identification of incompatible elements, errors can be avoided in the construction stage. The final client can also understand the building before it is constructed and can predict the power consumption and other factors too. This increases trust among all the players and the client. And after all, happy customers equal to more referrals.

The most important aspect of Building information modelling is the cloud collaboration it offers. Based on AIA’s Firm Survey, 100% of the large architectural firms are using BIM, and they are outsourcing services to BIM practitioners across the world. Outsourcing can assist AEC firms with cost-effective and practical project design services.

At Aligned Studios, we assist AEC firms with augmenting their staff with exceptional designers, engineers, and other BIM practitioners. We specialize in customizing solutions for architectural, engineering and construction firms to help them streamline workflows, generate more business, and increase speed-to-market. BIM, especially the inter-disciplinary cloud collaboration, is the future of AEC, but are you making the full use of it?

Schedule a call with us to know how you can use BIM to accelerate your firm’s growth.

Business Forecast 2022: Why invest in coworking office spaces

Coworking office spaces transcend industries. While the metaverse is uniting multiple universes virtually, coworking spaces can achieve that in the physical dimension.

2019 was the year coworking office spaces were at their peak. But the graph took a sharp turn in the first year of the pandemic. Everyone was working from home. Now, workers have gradually gotten comfortable in this set up. Does that signal the end of coworking spaces? Were these fancy contemporary offices for the freelancers and start-ups just a passing trend? Reports state otherwise.

At their core, coworking space companies are commercial real estate projects that provide flexible office spaces. Like the entire real estate and AEC industry, coworking spaces have seen their share of ups and downs in the last two decade. But they are gradually on the rise again. The way the business trends are moving, we believe that coworking spaces will succeed in 2022 and beyond.

Let’s look at the factors that are aiding their revival and what designers need to be mindful of while reimagining such spaces.

The term “coworking” was coined by Bernard DeKoven to refer to a collaborative and non-hierarchical way of working. What began as a hackerspace in Berlin in 1995 for computer enthusiasts to collaborate, share their equipment and knowledge in, coworking office spaces have become a global phenomenon.

Much like the coffeeshops of 17th century Europe, which served as the hub for intellectuals to meet, converse and share their brilliant ideas in, coworking office spaces were aimed at entrepreneurs, professionals, and consultants to meet like-minded people in and to spark off creativity. The historical coffeeshops were like clubs which had been the catalysts for social movements like the Enlightenment and French Revolution. It isn’t surprising then the first proper coworking space was started in a San Francisco feminist club in 2005. On the anniversary of this coworking space launched by Brad Neuberg, August 9th is celebrated as Coworking Day.

By 2011, the potential of coworking spaces was discovered and Next Space became the first coworking space company to receive funding from angel investors. Since then, many big and small companies have sprouted all over the world, some offering ‘coworking visas’. Even with its failed public IPO in 2019 (which saw a turnaround in 2021), WeWork remains the most popular coworking space with its presence in 121 cities in the world.

Based on a study by Stanford economist Nicholas Bloom, due to the pandemic, 42% of the U.S. labor force is now working from home full-time; 33% are not working, a testament to the savage impact of the lockdown recession; the remaining 26%, mostly essential service workers, are working on their business premises.

Although many companies are asking their employees to return to the office, workers are reluctant.  A survey by Metova found that 48% employees say they are more productive working from home, 57% would prefer to work from home in the future and 68% have other workers or students also working in their household.

This has been one of the major factors in the great resignation. The workforce which has moved away from bigger cities do not want to return to the hustle and the stressful life. They are looking for companies that will not force them back to office. And to retain their best assets, their talent, companies will have to offer a remote work setup or a hybrid office space post pandemic. Coworking office spaces can capitalize on this tug-of-war.

Companies can opt for an organization-wide membership which can be availed in any city that the partner coworking space is located in. These coworking office spaces will act as a much-needed respite from working at home, especially for people living in small apartments with other family members including children.

Additionally, the value proposition of a coworking space is appealing for organizations trying to work around the uncertainty of a more dispersed workforce spending most of their days at home. A company can save approximately 30% on the operational cost by allowing employees to work from a coworking space.

Coworking spaces were the fastest-growing type of office space in commercial real estate before the pandemic hit. While they currently comprise less than 5% of the market, they’re expected to make up 30% by 2030 as per the real estate company JLL.

According to a report by CBRE, the world’s largest commercial real estate space provider, about 86% companies amongst the top 80 companies surveyed across the globe, plan to use flexible office spaces as a key part of their real estate strategies in the future.

  • Freelancer needs:

Apart from the basic technological and logistical support, the real estate companies who develop and manage these properties can differentiate their services by adding day-care facilities for working parents. Designing packages which make it flexible for freelancers and small teams to utilize the space to their convenience will be the key.

  • Corporate demand and packages:

Companies need better schemes to retain talent, and if coworking office spaces provide the perks that companies used to offer on site at these spaces, employees will continue to work for the organizations from the cities of their choice too.

  • Enhancing assets:

Before spreading their wings to new destinations, existing spaces can be enhanced to provide for the current market situation and needs. From gyms, open spaces, pantries, multiple charging and workstations, the possibilities are endless.

  • Geographic reach:

The next step would then automatically be increasing the locations. Here strategy is key. Tying up with smaller spaces in some locations, while opting for bigger spaces in others, it will be essential to maintain the standards everywhere. The Starbucks model can be used as a case study here.

  • Sustainability:

Ecologically sound and zero-carbon processes need to be adopted by all businesses and coworking companies can lead the way. These are economical and just what the world requires.

  • Technological transformation:

Biometrics, virtual reality, blockchain and AI are all entering mainstream. Coworking spaces will have to provide facilities that allow for advanced technologies to attract the right clientele.

  • Networking opportunities:

More than anything, remote workers will come to coworking spaces to interact with people and feel the buzz of human presence, which the pandemic has harshly snatched from us. Designing flexible office spaces which promote interaction and networking will increase the popularity of these spaces with people. Events can also be organized at these spaces to encourage the sense of community.

  • Health and sanitization facilities:

This is a no-brainer as the pandemic has made it abundantly clear that health comes over anything else. Providing deep cleaning services and access to cleaning products, washing areas, and other sanitization facilities will be a must.

  • Cybersecurity:

Companies will only be willing to invest in coworking partnerships if they are guaranteed security of the data being accessed by their employees. Working on enhancing cybersecurity protocols and safeguards will save the coworking space companies legal hassles in the future.

  • Hospitality:

What remote workers miss at home is the human touch. Even with back office work being outsourced, and advanced technology and automated services being integrated, having the right personnel and community managers at the coworking spaces will set the best spaces apart from the rest.

The above-mentioned factors set the stage for designers to revamp flexible office spaces to accommodate the coming times.

It is an opportunity to innovate and generate varied, flexible design options customized to client needs. Traditional office designs will not do for coworking office spaces post pandemic.

Coworking spaces everywhere have become accustomed to operating with safety protocols in place and are tasked to increase safety at work, such as social distancing, air filtration, enhanced cleaning & hygiene maintenance, etc. To avoid the transmission of germs at workspaces, co-working companies have enabled comprehensive contactless technology and robotic technology that has attracted clients. However, what needs to be enhanced is the design that promotes the feeling of community and safety.

The traditional desk will likely be non-existent in the coming years with wearable technology, artificial intelligence, machine learning taking over co-working spaces. Smart access, meeting rooms and receptions have already forayed enabling cloud-based access systems, facial recognition, and real-time security monitoring.

The pandemic has evolved coworking players to integrate remote working and enterprise solutions. They need to turn into fully integrated workspace solution platforms – from curating unique experiences and engagements to providing state-of-the-art amenities like gyms and creches.

Customized office space solutions will be in demand and agility in matching up to the client demands’ is the need of the hour. The focus will be to foster an occupant focused community, determined to win in these trying times.

This means that if a coworking office space can fulfil multiple needs viz., socializing, learning and development, conferencing, mentoring and collaboration, it can work in everyone’s favour. Coworking spaces are here to stay, and this industry will grow disruptively in 2022 and beyond.

Our designers have worked from home, and at traditional offices, coworking spaces and on-site. This diverse experience puts them in the position to predict the needs of commercial space users and customize design solutions.

Save on operational costs with us. Find out how Aligned Studio’s list of varied services can benefit you by contacting us or scheduling a quick call.

Written with inputs by Nikita Sahu

Pantone Color of the Year 2022: How to use Veri Peri in your designs

If this warm, yet cool color reminds you of Monica Geller’s door from Friends, you aren’t the only one. That was the first thought I had as well when I saw Very Peri, the Pantone Color of the Year 2022.

This dynamic periwinkle blue hue with a vivifying violet-red undertone is a combination of two primary colors. Yet Very Peri (Pantone color code 17-3938) is a brand-new shade that has sent the design community into a creative drive. And why not! This joyful color has been selected to represent just that: renewed energy to overcome one of the most difficult times faced by mankind.

In 2021 we had two Pantone Colors of the Year, Ultimate Grey and Illuminating Yellow, which represented the ambiguity of the times we were in. Something about Very Peri, as a shade, is very hopeful and forward-looking. Rooted in the classic traditional blue, which represents constancy, and energized with the passion and excitement of red, Very Peri is just what we need. And despite its boldness, this color can be used in designs from graphics and animation to interiors and even architecture. Let us look at what our team of expert designers has to say about Very Peri.

Nikita: Whimsical

Aditi: Lavender

Sakshi: Lavender. It also reminds me of a top I had when I was a kid which stretched with me as I grew older 😀

Shweta: Pastel Purple; Wisteria (in Japanese trees)

Snehal: Luxury

Amisha: Purple

Vedshree: A friend who likes this color a lot.

Nikita: This color makes me feel optimistic. It makes me want to push boundaries creatively. It has a sense of duality about it – while it has a sense of boldness and playfulness to it, this color also seems quaint, exuding a sense of calm.

Aditi: Calm; reminiscing of a field full of flowers.

Sakshi: As it reminds me of lavender, it automatically reminds me of the smell of the flower, so I feel relaxed.

Shweta: To me, it depicts elegance; gives a classic vibe. It feels very light and airy.

Snehal: It makes me feel creative. The color has a relaxing and soothing effect on both mind and body. It is the best choice for peaceful, quite décor and clothing.

Amisha: This color gives a feeling of royalty, luxury and a sense of calm and peace.

Vedshree: Vibrant; it gives a smooth, lively feel.

Nikita: In interiors, as a textured accent wall, or as a pop of color in furniture to break the monotony in spaces. It can also be used in styling & decorating- wall decor pieces, table runners, rugs, and other props against the backdrop of white, beige and brown undertones.

Aditi: In architecture, as a monochromatic installation.

Sakshi: I would use it as an exterior finish for multifamily buildings.

Shweta: I would incorporate it in graphics by pairing it with more vibrant colors from the Pantone color palette to give a visual experience of sophistication yet fun.

Snehal: It can be dramatic or quiet, depending on the texture or the room. The regal color can add richness to a large space or drama to a simple room.

Amisha: I would love to incorporate this color in interiors. Use it to paint it on the wall to highlight certain areas, to create dominance.

Vedshree: As a piece of furniture or an accent-painted wall.

Nikita: I would add this color to wall murals as part of my home decor.

Aditi: As a statement piece on the table.

Sakshi: I would use it for linen or plant pots.

Shweta: In the drapes.

Snehal: I would add this color to the ceiling with all walls in white color.

Amisha: I will add this color to my living room wall behind the seating.

Vedshree: A blank wall; I will probably add texture to it.

Nikita: Hues of white, beige, lighter shades of brown for space decor. In the case of digital art, pair it with high contrast colors like yellow etc.

Aditi: A white jute & hemlock wood.

Sakshi: White, black, and shades of brown, yellow and orange would go well with this color.

Shweta: Gold and white.

Snehal: I will pair the color with shades of cream and white from the Pantone color chart.

Amisha: I would like to pair it with pearl white color, teak wood (dark) and bird feathers.

Vedshree: Yellow and green.

With the Metaverse, NFTs, virtual office spaces and online meetings, the lines between our digital and physical worlds have blurred. We are learning to seamlessly transition from the virtual worlds that we inhabit, to the physical world we live in. With its roots in natural colors of spring blossoms, yet its infinite possibilities in the virtual realm, Very Peri is here to inspire a new vision of 2022 as the Pantone Color of the Year.

This is the first time the company has created a new shade for the Pantone Color of the Year program. This is in line with the innovation and digital transformation that is taking place globally. “As society continues to recognize color as a critical form of communication, and a way to express and affect ideas and emotions and engage and connect, the complexity of this new red violet infused blue hue highlights the expansive possibilities that lay before us.” added Laurie Pressman, Vice President of the Pantone Color Institute.

Virtual Production is revolutionizing filmmaking & animation

From the early years of Hollywood, set designers spent hours painting film backdrops by hand. They tried to make the as realistic as possible, hoping nobody would notice that the trees were suspiciously still, or that the clouds never shifted. Until we shifted to green screens. Here actors had to imagine their surroundings. But now, we can build animated background characters as well as entire mountains and move them to where best suits us during the shoot, all thanks to virtual production.

In lay terms, virtual production is an innovation that filmmakers can use to lay out a film in a digital environment before commencing the shoot on a physical set. According to Technicolor, this includes defining lensing, set dimensions, asset placement, and exact camera movements.

Instead of a traditional green screen, a real time virtual scene is rendered on an LED wall. This wall surrounds the tangible props and actors, and it shifts persepctive when the camera moves. The key here are the game engines that use gaming technologies to navigate a virtual landscape. The live camera tracking enables accurate camera movements to be realized in real time into the rendering platforms. The unison of movement between camera and imagery creates the illusion of a physical location, enabling filmmakers to capture both live action and CGI in-camera together. This is called parallax.

This enclosed set made up of LED walls and ceilings is a type of new sound stage known as the volume. Currently, 100 LED sound stages exist around the world. Atleast 200 more are in the works and will expand the possibilities for filmmakers who want to replicate real-world scenarios virtually on the sound stage.

Game engines like Unreal Engine and Unity are being used as the advanced real-time 3D creation software. These are more than online tools; they get final pixels in-camera and on set, in real time.

Numerous industries are using Unreal Engine’s virtual production to create content. From architecture, engineering, construction, games, film, television, to automotive, broadcast, live events, as well as training, simulation, manufacturing and advertising, all these are making use of this brilliant technology.

Initially built for gaming, these new technologies in filmmaking are now influencing how games are being produced. The concept of the avatar was created for game design, but is now being used in feature films. Conversely, game developers are learning camera techniques used by directors of phtography during virtual production film making that is elevating the quality of gaming visuals.

The automation of the volume stage means that production times and set ups are being greatly reduced or even circumvented. You can move around props and assets on your set in real time. Additionally, you can experiment with camera angles and lighting. This prevents multiple recreations and edits. Through a combination of immersive technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality, CGI and game-engine technologies, filmmakers see their scenes unfold as they are composed and captured on set.

The team can complete lengthy and expensive location shoots in one trip by capturing the ideal light. The footage can be brought into the studio to recreate backdrops as many times as needed in a controlled environment. The volume sound stage makes set extensions, crowd duplication, and other green screen features easy.

Intricate, fantasy worlds can be created by the VFX team. Actors can see and react to these live backgrounds in real time. Unlike the green screens, where actors had to use their imagination.

Virtual production allows for real-time collaboration among filmmakers, regardless of where they are in the world. Almost like a virtual team meeting that occurs daily in corporate offices these days due to the pandemic. They can use tools that simultaneously integrate and manipulate live action and computer-generated assets.

Upcoming and budding filmmakers, with lesser budgets, can use virtual production to make short films. High end effects can be achieved using projectors instead of LED screens in a large sound stage.

Student filmmakers who are learning these new technological practices at the beginning of their careers, are at an advantage against their more experienced counterparts.

Since the release of the 2019 re-imagining of The Lion King, the term ‘Virtual Production’ has become synonymous with “live-action” films. Jon Favreau, who we all know as Pete Becker, Monica Geller’s boyfriend in Friends, has been leading the direction of virtual production films. From Jungle Book to The Lion King and The Mandalorian, Favreau has spearheaded some of the initial innovations in virtual production, creating masterpieces.

The Star Wars spin-off series directed by Jon Favreau, The Mandalorian used Epic Game’s Unreal Engine. Thanks to a 20-feet high, 270-degree semicircular LED video wall, they could display the ice world of Maldo Kreis to the sinister hideout of The Client. There were three operators working various stations. One station which controlled the master Unreal Engine set up, would record takes and the slate, saving the data. Along with the second, which was dedicated to editing, and another which was for compositing, these three were called the “barin bar” on set. The machines relayed their video feed to a series of screens that was called the ‘video village’.

To light the scenes within the volume stage, the LED screens were used. These were powered by an iPad controller. It produced color correction, exposure control, time of the day, and lights that could be adjusted to any shape or size. The lighting system eliminated issues of light flares, and the overhead screens created the final reflection effects on hte metal suits. This drastically reduced the need for a slate of post effects.

However, the Lion King was another animal altogether. It required a blend of traditional live-action filmmaking techniques, along with state-of-the-art virtual reality tools and the highest level of computer-generated animation. This was a step beyond the techniques Favreau used to bring 2016’s “The Jungle Book” to life, which had earned them an Oscar for the best visual achievement.

For Lion King the filmmakers were literally inside the monitor. They put on a VR headset and were in Africa, where they could walk around and see and feel the filmmaking process as though they were there. Thevirtual characters were brough to life by Artificial Intelligence. The filmmakers created a 3D model of a lion, and then taught the AI to make the lion act hungry, or cold, or as if it’s looking for food.

This form of filmmaking or storytelling is more about “world-building”, according to Ben Grossman, the virtual production supervisor of Lion King.

Gaming companies are working in tandem with the film industry. As these virtual and photorealistic technologies improve, both the film and game industries can use the same techniques and sets in all stages of production. Virtual locations of games can be repurposed, with pre-existing rigs to be used in conjunction with motion capture to create original content.

Just as digital cameras simplified filmmaking and made it more affordable in the past 20 years, virtual production will further level the playing field for the entire entertainment industry. No expensive location shoots; effect on-camera; 10 hours of golden lighting. What’s not to like!

Virtual production can also be used for installations and projections for events, marketing, and commercial purposes. Fashion shows, art spaces, exhibitions galas, concerts, broadcast networks, architecture, automotive launches etc. are all innovating with this technology. The possibilities are limitless.

Virtual production is the most significant innovation for filmmaking since digital cameras replaced traditional film camera. It is changing the filmmaking production process forever.

It’s looking good for the future of moviemaking and TV!

Looking for CGI and VFX experts? Aligned Studios has an entire animation vertical. Contact us.

6 disruptive advanced technologies that are changing our world

As the pandemic has exposed, embracing advanced technologies is not a choice anymore. The future is now and in order to be current, you need to be tech-savvy.

Business leaders know they must prepare for more disruptions in technology in the years ahead. It can be an overwhelming task to stay up-to-date with new technologies, their intricacies and predicting updates. We make it easy for you to keep track of what matters. Here are some technologies that can change the course of the industry and you need to be prepared for:

  • Artificial Intelligence

Simulating human intelligence in machines used to be confined to science fiction. But in recent decades, AI is helping solve critical problems in transportation, retail, and health care. AI has come a long way. We have voice assistants such as Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant now. Soon it will be incorporated into robot servants. AI can impact chatbots, logistics, self-driving cars, virtual nursing assistants, learning systems, and even creativity in the near future.

  • Blockchain

The encryption technique behind cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, blockchains work as a secure digital ledger. Many startups are bringing it to voting, lotteries, ID cards and identity verification, graphics rendering, welfare payments, job hunting and insurance payments.

Blockchain has decentralized records. Unlike traditional records, which were stored in one location, blockchain exists on nodes spread across the system. It makes it almost impossible to tamper with or lose the data.

The full potential of blockchain hasn’t been explored yet. It could be used for patient records at hospitals, to secure voting in elections and also to track logistics across supply chains. We haven’t even touched upon its benefits in the banking and cybersecurity systems.

  • 5g

5g networks which allow more devices to connect and provide a more relaible signal, are 100 times faster than the once-fast 4g network.

The Internet of things(IoT) will be built on the backbone of the 5g network. The IoT basically expands the power of the internet beyond screens to objects of daily use in our surroundings.

Smart cities driven by an IoT system will become an ecosystem of interconnected devices and will change the way we work with data. In these smart cities, everything will be linked from phones and cars to apartments and buildings. The sensors everywhere will people’s living experiences, reduce waste, prevent traffic, and provide sustainable solutions for all. The data collected in real time will be sped up by the 5g network. 

  • Augmented reality and Virtual Reality

Just a few years ago, no one had any idea that augmented reality would infact, become a reality. But, here we are! 

With the decrease in hardware costs, and simultaneous increase in processing power, the bigtech companies have already invested in AR. Thwy will soon bring it to the mainstream through the metaverse.

The retail experience will be revolutionized by this technology. With more widespread acceptance of augmented reality apps in smartphones, it will become easier to sell more of these advanced technologies.

  • 3D printing

Many refer to 3D printing as the fourth industrial revolution. 3D printing got an early foothold as a method to design prototypes of just about anything. Manufacturers can now build plastic components that are lighter than metal, ans also with unusual shapes that can’t be made by the regular molding methods.

3D printing is changing the way we build homes, design cars, and products in a big way. The potential of its application could go even further. Medical institutions have 3D printed functioning organs that could be used in transplants. We can even 3D print foods and vitamins, especially formulated for different biological needs and health requirements. Additive manufacturing will even play a role in the creation of rockets that will get us to space and the colonies envisioned on Mars. As 3D printing costs continue to plummet, you can expect to see it everywhere.

  • Quantum Computing

Although the computers that we use todaay are quite powerful, there are considerable limitations to them. This is moreso when it comes to challenging machine-learning problems. Quantum computers rely on quantum bits that carry information and can exist in a state which allows quantum computers to process challenging datasets better. Thus, it can help to solve otherwise impossible to solve problems and produce serious machine-learning breakthroughs.

Research in quatum computing is being funded by companies and nations alike. They’re hoping that this investment will open up possibilities in biochemistry, logistics, transport, materials design, finance, artificial intelligence and more. Through speedy simulations, quantum computing can make big data more manageable by cutting costly development time.

Navigating these changes will challenge business leaders for sure. These future technologies that will change the world are in some way interconnected and they show us that it is important that organizational leaders don’t have a one-track mind. To focus on just one emerging technology or one business model of the future is to risk the longetivity of your company. The question is not which advanced technologies will dominate, but what is the potential of each technology and how these may work together to benefit you.

The key is to keep an open mind and capitalize on emerging new technologies with the help of the right team. Afterall, it is the human factor that makes the biggest difference.

Which other technology do you think is going to be a big disruptor in the coming years?

Business transformation is the key to success in the new normal

Whether it is the recent Financial Crisis of 2007-08, the World Wars of the 20th century or the Black Death pandemic of the 14th century, periods of crisis have been followed by periods of cultural and economic boom. However, only those companies who invest in innovation and business transformation are the ones who will ride this wave to come out victorious.

History is testimony to the fact that no matter what the challenges are, those who are willing and prepared to adapt to change are the ones who emerge successfully. As the world is reeling from the unprecedented loss of human life, despair has had a cascading effect on every person’s livelihood. Many industries have suffered massive financial losses and the world economic scenario appears bleak. But some businesses are prospering despite the troubled times. What is it that they are doing differently?

Whether it is a change in the way they work, their operations, their culture, using new technologies, or an overhaul of the product itself, the businesses which are thriving are the ones that are investing in innovation. Although the thought of diverting resources from current processes to innovating might seem like a daunting task, innovation need not always be drastic and radical. The simplest example is how distilleries world-over grabbed the opportunity to produce hand sanitizers during the Covid 19 pandemic

Some of the biggest companies have opted for incremental or sustaining innovation rather than radical. Take for example, Coca-cola, one of the world’s largest non-alcoholic beverage companies, which grew exponentially by adding variations to the existing product and staying relevant through their marketing campaigns.

The most investment-intensive is radical innovation, which involves harnessing new technology and a new business model. According to the Harvard Business Review, “Radical innovation focuses on long-term impact and may involve displacing current products, altering the relationship between customers and suppliers, and creating completely new product categories.” One of the biggest breakthroughs in radical innovation was the Apple iPhone. While revolutionary inventions have been a product of the toughest periods in human history, frankly, you don’t always need to reinvent the wheel to grow.

This is where disruptive innovation comes in. First defined by the late Clayton Christensen, the term ‘disruptive innovation’ describes a process in which new entrants and smaller firms challenge industry leaders despite lesser resources by using new technology and/or business model. Disruptive innovations typically enter the market at a lower performance point but offer value in an alternative way to rapidly scale up and disrupt the whole market. The most stellar example of disruptive technology is Netflix, whose on-demand video streaming service started small, but with the subscription-based business model, destroyed Blockbuster, which was the market leader till the 2000s.

In the present situation, digital transformation in every aspect of business, not just marketing, is the key. Many big names might have a digital presence, but their business operations remain orthodox. With the way the economy and technologies are changing every 5 to 7 years, these traditional firms won’t survive beyond this decade. There has been a paradigm shift during the pandemic which has made remote working and virtual experiences a reality which many companies had only dreamt of.

It remains to see which of the forced changes will last during the recovery period. But only those companies who are planning business model innovations and experimenting at this stage will likely emerge as leaders in the near future. Disruptive innovation might sound like risky business. However, Aligned Studios provides your company with the chance to expand your business while minimizing risks. As a global management consultancy firm, our experienced consultants are equipped to aid your business transformation to adapt to the new normal.

Interested in discussing a project with us? Contact Us!