For two decades after the end of World War II, experimentation in architecture and design led to the creation of a stylistic lexicon where structures defied gravity, cars flew, and buildings resembled lunar landers. This iconic, The Jetsons-esque era is the topic of this year’s first Art in Architecture webinar, “Atomic Architecture in America: 1945-1965.”

Atomic Architecture HeaderThe webinar will examine the work of celebrated designers like William Pereira and Albert Frey, and use their work to explore the wider social, economic, political, and technological movements of the time period.

“This webinar series is more than just an art history course. It puts architecture into context by examining the world in which it was built,” says series host Steve Alden, AIA, architect at Nemetschek Vectorworks. “And by learning how the past impacts design, everybody watching can perhaps find some inspiration for their next project.”

The Atomic Architecture webinar will air on March 12 at 2:00 p.m. EDT. Viewers who register to attend will be eligible to take an associated Continuing Education quiz to earn 1 AIA LU.

And stay tuned for our other upcoming Art in Architecture episodes: “Four Japanese Architects You Should Know: Kenzō Tange, Shigeru Ban, Toyo Ito and Tadao Ando” on May 14 and “The Art Nouveau Movement and its Influence on Architecture: Victor Horta and Charles Rennie Mackintosh” on July 9. Email for more info about the Art in Architecture series and to receive updates about future topics.

Do you dream of transforming the world? Then join a community of visionaries at the 2015 Vectorworks Design Summit on April 27-29 at the Sofitel Hotel in Philadelphia, PA. Attendees across all design disciplines will benefit from thought leadership sessions, engaging breakouts, product development insight, and more. Plus, you’ll get a chance to network with Vectorworks software engineers, power users, third-party partners, and other professionals, walking away with proven workflow successes, improved skills, and all you need to dazzle your next client!

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The Vectorworks Design Summit begins Monday, April 27 with optional, pre-conference training in Vectorworks software and a welcome dinner. Tuesday’s schedule opens with a presentation by CEO Sean Flaherty, who will discuss how Nemetschek Vectorworks supports the creative process and helps designers in their journey toward working smarter and more efficiently. His presentation will be followed by an inspirational keynote message from Leo Van Broeck, a founding partner of BOGDAN & VAN BROECK in Belgium, who will share his theory that the design of attractive, dense, and high-quality urban areas is a catalyst for changing how much space people think they need to lead enjoyable and meaningful lives.

On Wednesday, Nemetschek Vectorworks’ CTO Dr. Biplab Sarkar will provide unprecedented development insight into the Vectorworks line of CAD and BIM design solutions, including features that will be in Vectorworks 2016. Later that day, the Summit closes with a presentation by Adrian McGregor, FAILA, RLA, MAIH, MPIA, managing director of McGregor Coxall, an Australian landscape architecture and urban design firm. McGregor’s firm has completed work in six nations, focusing on sustainable design in the public domain and urban settings, going beyond the reduction of environmental damage and using regenerative approaches to actively advance each site’s ecology.

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Amid these engaging keynote presentations is a lineup of breakout sessions with speakers who represent firms and industry partners including ROJO Architects, MORRIS, Holcombe Norton Partners, Inc., Exhibit Logic, LEVENBETTS, The Small Group, Bluebeam Software, Architecture Is Fun, and more. Sessions will examine a wide range of topics from communicating design ideas, moving from 2D to 3D and using smart CAD tools for sustainable site design to utilizing Vectorworks as a BIM tool and rendering for success. Vectorworks engineers and product experts, as well as third party partners like MAXON Computer, Asite, and Synchro Software, will also provide product training and answer attendee questions in the Design Summit’s Expo Hall.

Register by March 31 to Save

The early-bird registration fee is $399 and expires March 31. There is also an academic rate for students and instructors of $99. Plus, attendees can  enjoy a discounted room rate at the Sofitel Hotel, the location of all conference activities except the evening events, situated only minutes from Philadelphia’s historic attractions.

Visit the Design Summit website to view the growing list of speakers, sessions, and events, and to register. We hope to see you in Philly!

You work hard to turn your creative visions into reality, and we want to help you share these inspired designs with the world. That’s why we’re sponsoring the 2016 Archipendium calendar: a daily tear-off calendar that dedicates each day to a project that exemplifies the best of contemporary architecture.


Archipendium ImagesEach project featured in the calendar includes a photo, a drawing or model, and a short description about how the design helped to transform the world. The submission process takes only a few minutes, and anyone can submit a project for consideration. (Overachievers can even submit multiple projects!) Submissions should be of constructed projects, primarily.

Your peers have already started sending in their designs, and the selection process is competitive, so be sure to send in your entry quickly. We’ll even send you a copy of the calendar if your project is selected.

The deadline for submission is April 10, so apply soon for a chance to have your project get its day in the sun.

Public urban spaces are at the heart of a city’s architecture. In an effort to fully understand what makes them valuable and unique, Sophie Wolfrum’s SQUARES: Urban Spaces in Europe explores the architecture of 70 European cities including Barcelona, Berlin, Florence, London, Munich, Paris, Rome, Vienna, and Warsaw. The designs of the squares in these historic cities are frequently discussed among architects and city planners, and SQUARES serves as a one-stop reference for analyzing and comparing these and other metropolitan spaces.

Platzatlas1_614The text, funded in part by a Vectorworks Academic Research Grant, is one of the only reference works of its kind. Each of the 70 locations presented methodically in site plan, ground plan, sections, and axonometric views uses drawings created in Vectorworks software. In each set of drawings, Wolfrum explores shape, position, and the size of structures in the urban spaces. Her research approaches each square from a design standpoint and contextualizes her findings in terms of that space’s political and historical impact, as well as how the materials used contribute to each city’s distinctive character. SQUARES is therefore a comprehensive, comparative work on urban typologies, providing a unique tool for architects, open space planners, and design students.

A professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the Technical University Munich, Wolfrum says her work fills a void in the knowledge of urban planners in the Google Maps era. “Drawings offer a different approach to the architecture of a square than an aerial photo,” Wolfrum explains. “Both as abstractions and as interpretations, the different modes of drawing provide differentiated information; at the same time, they invite one to think for oneself. The act of drawing itself is the best training for a designer—but the reading of the drawings encourages the active reenactment of the architectonic structure.”

SQUARES LARGEVectorworks Academic Research Grants are awarded to projects that encourage, preserve, and communicate the best approaches to facing global design issues. If you’re working on a project that positively impacts a community, please apply. And if you’re looking for an example of what you can do with a grant, Wolfrum’s book is available for purchase from the Amazon marketplace.

February may have the fewest days of any month, but that doesn’t mean we’re giving you any fewer tips to make the most of your Vectorworks software.

This first video teaches you how to decrease your rendering time when designing with fluorescent lighting. Instead of using the traditional line or area lights, you can get the same visual effect by applying a glow texture to surface objects.

Next, learn how to adjust the reflectivity of plant surfaces to give your trees and shrubs a realistic look from both up close and from a distance.

And remember to contact or reach out to @VectorworksHelp on Twitter with all of your technical concerns, and subscribe to our Youtube channel for more videos like these.

Ghent, Belgium is undergoing a transformative, urban regeneration, and the team tasked with making this dream a reality includes Vectorworks users Atelier Kempe ThillCOUSSEE & GORIS architectenRobbrecht & Daem architecten, and Marie-José Van Hee architecten. Designers and architects are collaborating to provide a sustainable urban mobility plan for Ghent that features green spaces and waterfronts, upscale residential housing, retail capacity, and innovative workspaces. Their aim is to transition this centuries-old urban center into a “smart” city, providing modern amenities without losing historical authenticity.

The plan for Ghent’s rejuvenation is so comprehensive that it has earned the participating firms a nomination for a MIPIM Award in the Best Urban Regeneration Project category. Created in 1991, the MIPIM Awards is an international real estate competition that honors the most outstanding and accomplished projects from around the world. Judged by an esteemed panel of real estate professionals, this years’ awards ceremony will be held at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes, France from March 10-13. Good luck to the designers involved with this project, as well as all the other MIPIM Award nominees!

You can learn more about the Market Hall Ghent project, a part of the rejuvenation efforts in the city, on page six of MODUS News 3, a magazine that pays tribute to designers who are transforming the world by creating unforgettable experiences with Vectorworks software.

Integrating audiovisual, IT, and other connected systems into your designs requires careful planning and management of various components, cables, and connectors. So when it comes to projects that involve complex installations, visualizing and adapting to changes in project specifications can be tricky and time consuming. That’s where connectCAD can help. With the new 2015 version of this plug-in, Vectorworks software users can easily and efficiently link schematic drawings with physical layout drawings, keeping all components labeled and listed in an integrated design package that adapts to real-world changes as your project progresses.

Check out this video to learn about some of the new features in connectCAD 2015, including advanced labeling and numbering features, a new device builder, signal flow visualization, and a built-in, accessible support site.


The connectCAD plug-in comes with two years of comprehensive support and upgrades. For more information about the connectCAD plug-in for Vectorworks software, visit our Partner Products page.

By Dr. Takeshi Kimura, Manager of Research and Development, A&A Co. Ltd.

While originally used with Vectorworks software to understand crowd behavior during building evacuations, SimTread is now proving its capabilities as a tool for simulating whole city evacuations during natural disasters like tsunamis and the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011.

Dr. Yoshiyuki Yoshida, who started the research and development of SimTread at Takenaka Corporation in collaboration with Waseda University, was the first person to apply the software for urban scale simulation. After this initial discovery, the SimTread research team has been experimenting with how the software can foster the design of safer cities. One result of these efforts is the Nigechizu Project, a volunteer program that works with communities to create evacuation maps of towns based on the effects of previous tsunamis and the time it takes people to move to safer places.

Also, the Journal of Disaster Research issued a special edition in September 2014 dedicated to the Great East Japan Earthquake, to which Yoshida, other SimTread researchers, and I contributed the results of our studies. This paper includes a detailed description about SimTread, beginning with its original conception to its validation results, as well as a proposed new methodology for understanding how to design a city that can be safely evacuated. This new methodology outlines the framework for how long a given person would take to reach a safe place and allows for adjustments based on things like age and crowd density. Also, the map informs which part of the city needs additional escape routes or emergency shelter capacity.

The map was drawn with Vectorworks software because of its flexibility and presentation capabilities. A simple VectorScript program read the file of the simulation result and created circles at the origin points for each of the 12,034 people with records attached indicating how long it took them to evacuate. The circles are colored with the “Modify By Record” command, which turned the tedious task of organizing the data into a creative work for presentation.

Some of the features that emerged during this research study have already been implemented in the software, and some are still to come. As Vectorworks 2015 software became 64-bit, so too did SimTread, which is now capable of calculating larger areas, further extending its original functionality from performing crowd simulation and traffic flow for interiors to simulating the evacuation of an entire city. We can’t wait to see more architects and city planners enlightening their designs by studying human behavior with SimTread.

Over 31,000 architects from around the world made their voices heard during ArchDaily’s 2015 Building of the Year Awards, a peer-based, crowd-sourced program where designers choose their favorite structures from the thousands featured on the ArchDaily website. We’re happy to announce that the Portuguese firm spaceworkers was selected as a winner in the housing category for their design: Sambade House.

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Chosen for its beauty and intelligence, Sambade House is a 1,177-square-meter home in Penafiel, Portugal designed to create a contemporary space that doesn’t disturb its peaceful, natural surroundings. The firm describes the building as “a pure volume, adjusted to the ground and opening into the green landscape. The volumetric purity sets the mood for the project and perfectly balances with the terraced fields. Thus, the act of inhabiting unfolds through the volume of concrete, pure, raw, adjusted to the ground, just waiting to grow old as the days go by … reflecting the life of the countryside.”

© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

Sambade House exemplifies spaceworkers’ mission to create a horizontal approach to design that combines architecture, economics, and furniture, while instilling their work with touches of innovation and sensory excitement. Using Vectorworks software, the firm appeals to their clients’ sensibilities by utilizing space as an instrument of communication, planning, and interacting, designing buildings that avoid the obvious and allow form to follow emotion.

Congratulations to spaceworkers! And don’t forget to check out the other winners from the Building of the Year Awards.

Whether you’re new to Vectorworks software or you’re an experienced user, getting a firm grasp of the basics is essential to maintaining and improving your skills as a designer. That’s why we’re excited to release the Vectorworks Essentials Tutorial Manual. Written by expert Vectorworks trainer Jonathan Pickup, this seventh edition of the guide explores core concepts and recent advancements in Vectorworks 2015.

“Jonathan’s teaching methods, as typified in his Essentials Tutorial Manual, are superb, and his manner of explaining techniques, tasks, and tools is wonderfully clear, concise, and well illustrated,” says Neil Barman, Intern Architect, AIBC LEED AP. “Following along with the lessons in the manual guided me to build up my Vectorworks skills with ease. This manual is perhaps the single best resource available for developing a solid foundation with the application.”

Pickup’s manual guides readers through three easy steps: read a text section, watch a video, and try a tutorial. Each section builds upon the one before it, meaning readers experience the benefits of starting from the basics and gradually increasing the complexity of their training, Pickup says.

The Vectorworks Essentials Tutorial Manual covers everything from the Vectorworks software interface and basic tool options to creating worksheets and drawing with objects rather than lines and arcs. The tutorial comes in both imperial and metric versions and can operate on either Windows or Mac operating systems.

To buy your copy of the tutorial manual, visit the Vectorworks Training Guides page.