February may be the shortest month, but there’s still plenty of time to sharpen your skills with these quick tutorials.

In the first video, learn how to clean up your renderings by changing display settings for light objects, so you can show them when you need to and hide them when you don’t.

Then, watch step-by-step as we replicate Richard Meier’s Jubilee Church in Rome using Vectorworks 3D modeling tools. Feel free to pause and design along, so you can exercise your modeling muscles, or just watch for inspiration.

Remember, if you have any questions reach out to us at tech@vectorworks.net or tweet us @VectorworksHelp.

The scene is the iconic Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, completely crowded, where in a few moments the show will begin. The experienced set designer of Brazilian scenography company P&G Cenografia, Altamir Júnior, huddled in his small control cell inside Box City with coordinators from other disciplines, finally receives the long-awaited signal via radio: “Everybody get ready!” And the show begins: the Opening Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Getty Images Richard Heathcote1

Praised by critics from the national and international press, the ceremony was broadcasted live on TV and streamed on the Internet by various networks around the globe, drawing the largest audience for an opening ceremony of any Olympic Games.

 

A CHALLENGE FOR EXPERIENCED PROFESSIONALS

Something of such visibility and notoriety could definitely not be run by amateurs. For this reason, the Organizing Committee of the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games held an international competition to select the best companies in the world to be responsible for the executive and artistic production of the Olympic and Paralympic opening and closing ceremonies.

Cerimônias Cariocas 2016 won the competition and in turn hired P&G Cenografia to execute the most important scenic element of the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games: Box City, as nicknamed by its creators.

meeting

Among other activities, P&G was responsible for the construction detailing of Box City, the development and production of prototypes for systems and materials, the testing for and identification of failures or inadequacies, and the presentation of technical and operational solutions for the construction of the scenery. P&G was also responsible for the operation of Box City during rehearsals and the ceremony.

AbelJunior

BOX CITY — A CITY AND ITS CHALLENGES

Conceived by the award-winning British scenographer Es Devlin and production designer and scenographer Daniela Thomas, the idea of the Box City was both simple and challenging. As the name suggests, the scenery consisted of several boxes (or scenic cells) that simulated a city, acting as both a mutant scenario and a multi-level stage, where the dancers climbed to perform choreography.

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The internal structure of the boxes, which allowed for circulation of the dancers, artists, and professionals, was made of box trusses and metalon frames covered by different “skins” made of printed vinyl canvas, enabling the formation of various integrated scenarios throughout the ceremony.

At first glance, the assembly of these boxes didn’t seem so challenging, until the following five points were considered:
1 – The boxes needed a structure sturdy enough to support a group of performers jumping and dancing on top of them.
2 – The boxes needed to incorporate a mechanism for exchanging the “skins,” with a total of seven skins per box.
3 – The whole structure of Box City needed to be mounted on the side grandstand of Maracanã Stadium. In other words, the installation had to be very carefully planned.
4 – The whole complex of Box City needed to be composed of 73 boxes.
5 – The mosaic formed by the images on the boxes needed to be seen with minimum optical deformation by all attendees in the stadium.

And all of this had to be considered alongside the natural tension that comes from planning an event that will be broadcast live to billions of viewers around the globe.

Omar

Even for the experienced scenographers and stage designers, Altamir Júnior and Omar Muro, who coordinated the assembly of Box City, this was not an ordinary mission. Despite their experience designing mega-events and their assemblies, they knew they were facing a great challenge.

“The process of assembling the box truss structure started from the center and then spread sideways one by one as the adjacent box levels were checked. Often, the levels did not match because of the gap in the stadium stand, which required us to review much of the design to detect and solve the problem,” says Muro. “There were several difficult pre-assembly phases, such as researching and testing the most suitable materials and systems for building Box City, as well as setting the upper levels of each box. The assembly process also took longer than expected due to the precision we were trying to achieve between each of the modules. If we had made a mistake during this process, the rest of the structure would have been compromised. That’s why I supervised the assembly process of the box truss.”

The entire construction process was carried out in P&G workshops under the direction and supervision of the experienced construction manager, Julio Gomes.

“It was a huge task,” remarks Gomes. “We received around 300 technical drawings and details in Vectorworks files from the team of architects and designers, which were immediately analyzed and then printed and distributed to each department in the workshop. About 300 workers, among them carpenters, mechanists, painters, electricians, and covering specialists, translated the technical drawings into reality.”

 

VECTORWORKS — 3D INTERFACING BETWEEN ART, DESIGN, AND MANUFACTURING

Considering all the conditions and challenges mentioned, both the manufacturing and assembly of the structures had to be very well planned, necessitating a high-performance 3D design software that would allow for rapid modeling and, at the same time, generate detailed documentation. That’s where Vectorworks software enters the scene.

Model

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Vectorworks software has come a long way since P&G Cenografia began using it, Designer and Creative Director Paulo Neves recalls. “Vectorworks has been used at P&G since it was called MiniCAD in 1996,” said Neves. “When we started using computers in the company we adopted 2D vector drawing software like FreeHand and Corel. They were not advanced software, but they allowed us to both illustrate projects, as well as to make technical drawings, in a more intuitive way. And here was where Vectorworks won us over, by allowing us to generate more precise drawings through the same easy vector drawing techniques.”

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“Additionally, Vectorworks’ state-of-the-art 3D modeling capabilities were also a key determinant of its continuous adoption by P&G,” Neves continues. “Today, we use 3D modeling in all our projects across the board, for initial studies, rendering, and as support for the assembly simulations of events.”

“The versatility and speed in 3D generation using Vectorworks has had a great impact on the actual simulation of the construction and assembly of parts,” adds Muro. “Vectorworks also assisted in the manufacturing and assembly of the box truss, tubular structure, flooring, rails, ladders, ramps, and finishings, as well as the detailing during the pre-assembly and manufacturing stages, simulating in 3D all the details of the metalon boxes with all the mechanical parts of the curtain systems and what could happen to the parts during construction and assembly.”

According to Muro, with the high volume of work and the tight schedule, another important point was the software’s short learning curve, meaning that the trainees and architects who had never used it before could learn the software very quickly. “In less than a week they were already drawing and detailing in Vectorworks,” explains Muro.

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Júnior assisted every minute of the assembly process, from initial studies to the final delivery. “One of the biggest challenges at Box City was combining an artfully conceptualized design with the reality of manufacturing,” explains Júnior. “The convenience and productivity of being able to model in 3D and getting detailed technical drawings without having to change programs was an essential factor. In the specific case of Box City, due to the complexity of the project and the interferences, both with the architecture of the stadium, as well as with the scenic elements, it would have been impossible to work without a perfect 2D/3D integration.”

“Taking into account schedule, budget limit, zero tolerance to errors and inaccuracies, intuitive 3D modeling technology, and even standardization between different file types, Vectorworks was essential at every stage of the process,” concludes Júnior. “Using Vectorworks, we achieved greater agility from the beginning of the design to the generation of the documentation for manufacturing.”

SUCCESS IN THE OPENING, SUCCESS IN THE GAMES

Abel Gomes, an experienced set designer, director and founder of P&G Cenografia, and president of the consortium Cerimônias Cariocas 2016, recalls the success of the opening. “As of midday on Friday, August 5, twelve thousand tickets were sold per day for all events,” says Gomes, who also served as Artistic Director General of the four ceremonies. “After the opening, from Saturday, this number passed to one hundred thousand tickets. With 516 years of history, it was the first time that Brazil communicated with the whole world at the same time.”

From left to right: Leonardo Caetano (Cerimonies Director Rio 2016 Committee), Lee de Castro (Engineer P&G), Fernando Sousa (P&G General Director), Carlos Arthur Nuzman (Rio 2016 committee and COB President), Abel Gomes (P&G Founder and President | CC 2016 - Partner, President and Artistic General Director), Omar Muro (P&G Architect and scenographer), Marcelo Braga (P&G - Assembly Coordinator), Reginaldo Nascimento - (P&G - Assembly Coordinator), Flávio Machado (SRCOM - Associate and Vice-president | CC2016 - Executive Producer of Paralympic Cerimonies Rio 2016), Altamir Jr (P&G - Box City assembly and production coordinator and scenographer).

From left to right: Leonardo Caetano (Rio 2016 Committee – Ceremonies Director), Lee de Castro (P&G – Engineer), Fernando Sousa (P&G – General Director), Carlos Arthur Nuzman (Rio 2016 Committee and COB President), Abel Gomes (P&G – Founder and President | CC 2016 – Partner, President and Artistic General Director), Omar Muro (P&G – Architect and Scenographer), Marcelo Braga (P&G – Assembly Coordinator), Reginaldo Nascimento (P&G – Assembly Coordinator), Flávio Machado (SRCOM – Associate and Vice-President | CC2016 – Executive Producer of Paralympic Ceremonies Rio 2016), Altamir Júnior (P&G – Box City assembly and production coordinator and scenographer).

The opening of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games was an unforgettable event, and as Gomes notes, “The success of the opening ceremony is a determining factor for the success of the Games. In other words, if the opening ceremony is good, the Games are good!”

And indeed they were, and will certainly be remembered in the history of the Olympic Games.

What happens to your project files and data after you complete a project? Are they copied to durable media? Sent to the cloud? And how do you confirm long-term access to your firm’s project and client history?

Hosted by Vectorworks Senior Architect Product Specialist Jeffrey Ouellette, Assoc. AIA, IES, our Project Digital Archiving Best Practices for Security & Posterity webinar will walk you through what it means to, and how to, archive data. In just 45 minutes, you’ll learn the limitations of saving project files to durable media or cloud-based storage, common data security deficiencies, and discover technology, tools, and best practices to help your firm create a digital archiving plan to keep your records safe and accessible for the long haul.

 Afterward, make sure you test out your knowledge to earn one AIA LU. Plus, continue increasing your skill set with more webinars on our Inspiration page.

When we think of Vectorworks software users, we typically picture design professionals or aspiring university students, but in Ladue, Missouri, Sharrie Cognac is working with an unlikely group: middle school students. Since 1998, Cognac has been teaching the seventh and eighth graders of Ladue Middle School how to design and draft using Vectorworks software as a part of her Industrial Technologies courses.

When Cognac, officially trained in AutoCAD, wanted to introduce CAD into the Industrial Tech program in Ladue, a Mac platform district, she had to look for an alternative software to match her school’s operating system. Eighteen years after the switch to using and teaching Vectorworks, Cognac is still shocked by the software’s ease of use. “It’s unbelievable the difference in how quickly you can learn to utilize the tools, as opposed to using AutoCAD,” says Cognac. “It’s really intuitive — just so easy to pick up.”

The software is so intuitive that within two or three days of teaching the tools to her middle school students, they’re using Vectorworks on their own. For the seventh grade curriculum, Cognac starts her students off by asking them to draw anything they want, so long as they make use of ten different tools.

 Plan of proposed house designed by one of Cognac's eighth-grade students.


Plan of proposed house designed by one of Cognac’s eighth-grade students.

“My complaint with middle school drafting has always been that it’s hard to get kids to be passionate about drawing a machine part, or a screw, or a gear; it just bears no relevance for them,” Cognac explains. “So I have them make something that actually interests them using the tools they need to learn. If they know how to use those tools to draw a panda bear, for example, then they know how to use those tools to draw their CO2 cars and clocks.”

Panda

One seventh grader chose to draft a panda as their first assignment with Vectorworks software.

After learning the basics in seventh grade, Cognac teaches the students the full architectural design process in eighth grade. The students work on a simulated project with teachers volunteering to be “clients” in need of a new home. After the design teams interview the teachers to understand their needs and budgets, they get to designing and drafting a home with Vectorworks.

The students then go on to price out the construction by using measurement tools in the software and applying those results to local material costs. “It’s an all-encompassing project that incorporates so many of their core subjects into Industrial Tech,” explains Cognac.

Cognac says that her programs have received praise and support from all around. “The teachers like it, the parents are impressed by it, and the students are learning so much more than they would just pick up out of a textbook,” states Cognac. During the school’s open houses, she often hears from parents about their excitement at their child’s opportunity to learn a professional design software and the potential benefits of the curriculum.

CO2 Car

CO2 car that was drafted in Vectorworks software before building.

“I have kids that are interested in studying architecture after taking my class,” says Cognac. “But I also have students that may have come into the program interested in the field and they start to rethink. It gives them a kind of real-world taste of what is truly involved in design, so they can better judge their interest.”

Eighth Grade Project

Eighth-grade project presentation board including Vectorworks drafts of a proposed house.

Back in her high school days, Cognac fell in love with drafting and interior design. Today, she feels that same passion for teaching her students about CAD and design. “To see the looks on their faces and hear the sounds of, ‘oh, that’s so cool,’ just really fulfills me,” Cognac reflects. “To get kids to be as excited about working in the computer lab as they are in the shop, that’s the reason I enjoy doing this so much.”

If you agree that school is cool, check out our academic newsletter, For the Love of Design. And if you need any help incorporating Vectorworks software into your educational curriculum, email our academic team or visit our training page.

At the crux of our philosophy, we’ve always been committed to developing the best design and BIM software that’s in tune with the needs of designers. To do so, we’ve leveraged input and implemented product feedback from practicing architects, landscape designers, landscape architects, and lighting designers, among other design professionals. Another vital part of these efforts involves the help of our internal industry experts on our product marketing team, so we’re excited to announce that there are three new additions to this ever growing group: Luc Lefebvre, senior architect product specialist, Jim Woodward, senior entertainment product specialist and Brian Nicholson, senior landscape product specialist. After all, there’s no such thing as having too many industry experts.

Led by Jeremy Powell, senior marketing director at Vectorworks, this broad team of industry experts acts as advocates for customers and the industry relating to the marketing and development of products. They provide one-on-one demonstrations of product capabilities, participate in professional association committees, and visit firms in the field as a means to discover current insights for industry-specific tool development, as well as act as fountains of industry knowledge for other internal teams.

Regarding the new additions, Powell said, “We are elated to welcome Luc, Jim, and Brian to the Vectorworks family. With their diverse backgrounds and histories of excellence and service to the advancement of design within the architecture, landscape, and entertainment industries, I’m sure they’ll make an immediate impact as champions of our software. And, as recently practicing designers, they’ll bring additional perspective to our team to ensure our products speak to the needs of designers.”

Let’s delve deeper into these new industry experts’ skills and interesting backgrounds to see what their plans are for the future at Vectorworks. 

The BIM Wizard: Luc Lefebvre, OAQ, LEED AP BD+C

Coming from a family of builders, Lefebvre knew he wanted to study architecture from an early age. He kick-started his journey at Montreal University, where he received his undergraduate degree in architecture. Since then, he’s enjoyed more than 20 successful years in the business.

Most recently, he served as project manager and BIM manager at King + King Architects in Syracuse, NY, where he focused on designing educational facilities and acted as a BIM consultant for both internal employees and other firms. Some of his past projects include Le Moyne College Master Plan and Madden School of Business, SUNY Cortland DeGroat Hall, and SUNY Morrisville Mohawk Hall.

In his office, Lefebvre was responsible for streamlining building information modeling processes and played an integral part in King + King Architects’ company-wide transition to BIM using Vectorworks Architect. This, in part, was his motivation to come work with us, as he enjoyed moving his firm from 2D to a 3D BIM workflow.

Luc Lefebvre’s design for the Madden School of Business’ trading room. Image courtesy of King + King Architects.

Regarding his shift in careers, Lefebvre said, “I felt like I had just scratched the surface of Vectorworks’ capabilities, and I needed to know more about the software. I wanted to help other people experience that same excitement from learning how to do BIM projects with Vectorworks.”

One of Lefebvre’s BIM models for a past project. Image courtesy of King + King Architects.

One of Lefebvre’s BIM models for a past project. Image courtesy of King + King Architects.

In his new position, he wants to narrow in on the BIM process, as he’s an ardent believer in Vectorworks software as the all-in-one design tool because it eliminates the need for further applications in the total design of a project.

To explore Lefebvre’s BIM know-how, register for his upcoming webinar, “The Why and How of BIM Implementation,” on February 23 at 2:00 p.m. ET. 

The Visionary Rockstar: Jim Woodward

Woodward is another long-time Vectorworks supporter. With more than 35 years of experience in the entertainment design industry, he began touring cross country as a lighting technician as a teenager and never looked back. He later opened his own design company in Boston, ExhibitLogic, with his wife, Shirley Woodward, where they tackled 3D visualization, rendering, and modeling for a wide variety of industries, such as concerts, theatrical events, film, television, corporate events, trade shows, museums, architectural firms, and retail stores. From spearheading concert-like booth and exhibit designs for the NAB Show, the Comdex convention, and the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) to touring with artists like Aerosmith, Neil Diamond, and Yes, he’s had an illustrious career that has taken him around the world. Furthermore, he’s guest lectured at places such as Boston University and Symphony Hall in Boston, as well as worked on productions, such as “The Proposal” and “Ted 2.”

Jim Woodward's lighting plot design for Ted 2.

Jim Woodward’s lighting plot design for Ted 2.

While Woodward’s day-to-day was never the same in his career, there was one common thread: a passion for technology. He started out using Vectorworks Spotlight early on in its existence and immediately came to realize it as the go-to design software for entertainment design. As he dove deeper and deeper into the program, he discovered his passion for pushing the technology’s limits and became widely known in the entertainment industry as a Vectorworks expert. Eventually, he began regularly providing training and consulting services with the software. As a result, he has a star-studded cast of past trainees such as Jim Rood from DMDS7UDIOS.

Jim Woodward’s rigging render for Jennifer Lopez.

“After I gave my first Vectorworks demo, I was on cloud nine,” said Woodward. “All these years, I’d been under the stage, behind the stage, pretty much anywhere but on center stage. It was my first time in the spotlight, and from there, the rest was history.”

With his Vectorworks skills so advanced at this point, it made sense that this was his next career move.

In his new role, he intends to be a liaison to help communicate industry trends back to the team at Vectorworks, as well as help intermediate designers take their drawing skills to the next level.

To see Woodward in action, register for the upcoming webinar he’s hosting, “Adapting New Technologies to your Production Design Workflow,” on February 28 at 2:00 p.m. ET.

The Sustainability Champ: Brian Nicholson, ASLA, PLA, GRP, LEED AP

Growing up in the mountains in southern Colorado, Nicholson was ingrained with an appreciation for nature and the outdoors in his childhood. So, it was only natural that he went on to receive an undergraduate degree in landscape horticulture with a concentration in design/construction from Colorado State University. This degree, along with multiple summers of construction experience, prepared him to own and operate his own award-winning residential design/build firm in Denver. He later earned a master of landscape architecture at the University of Colorado Denver and began practicing urban design and landscape architecture internationally.

After laying the groundwork for his career in landscape architecture, Nicholson quickly discovered his inclination for sustainability. His passion for eco-friendly design shines through in projects from his past 18-plus years of experience in horticulture, landscape architecture, and construction administration for firms like studioINSITE, RNL, and Wenk Associates.

Nicholson has applied his sustainable expertise to a variety of projects, including international community master plans, institutional campuses, municipal buildings, streetscapes, and residential homes. For one of his most notable projects, he worked as the lead landscape designer for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL) Research Support Facility, which was designed to be net-zero energy and achieved LEED platinum certification and sustainable SITES gold certification. He also handled the site construction administration for additional projects across 35 acres on NREL’s campus.

Brian Nicholson's NREL Research Support Facility design.

Brian Nicholson’s NREL Research Support Facility landscape design. Image courtesy of Robb Williamson and RNL Design.

Currently, Nicholson maintains multiple landscape architect licenses and is an accredited green roof professional and LEED accredited professional. He also serves as the ASLA Colorado chapter president where he develops value-added programs for members and advocates for the chapter at the national level.

Regarding his career move, Nicholson said, “Technology is my passion, whether it’s design software or products incorporated in my designs. I’m constantly looking at tools on the leading edge of sustainability, like Vectorworks, so I’ve had my eye on the company for a while.”

So, when the job opened up, it was a perfect fit for where he wanted to take his career. Nicholson is very experienced with Revit, AutoCAD, SketchUp, and the Adobe suite from prior roles, and he’s eager to dive into Landmark. His long-term goals are to expand the adoption of Landmark within the landscape architecture, design, and urban planning industry.

We’re always looking for feedback on our software and bright designers to join our team. Designers looking to work with us should check out our job postings, and those with input on our software should submit their feedback to our feature wish list.

A new year deserves new skills. To make 2017 your year for wowing clients with high-quality renderings, this month’s Tech Roundup is covering the next five videos in the Remarkable Renderworks tutorial series hosted by Daniel Jansenson of daniel jansenson architect. If you missed the first five installments in the series, check out this post.

 

Is the key to better renderings hiding in plain sight? This first video will walk you through the settings and effects of the hidden line rendering mode.

Download the project files here.

 

Put your own artistic stamp on your renderings by learning about the different Renderworks styles and how to superimpose them to create something new.

Download the project files here.

 

If you want picture-perfect renderings, this video will guide you through the four-step workflow to creating photo-realistic textures.

Download the project files here.

 

Get started with the basics of textures in Renderworks, including what shaders do and how to wrap 3D objects with textures.

Download the project files here.

 

Lastly, watch this video to discover how to create your own texture from an image.

Download the project files here.

We’ll be covering more of the Remarkable Renderworks series soon, but if you want to get a head start, you can access the full YouTube playlist here. As always, if you have any questions, email us at tech@vectorworks.net or tweet us @VectorworksHelp.

Rain, snow, unrelenting sun — weather is an ever-present variable on design. And with new site analysis objects created with Marionette, the graphical scripting tool integrated into Vectorworks software, you now have access to the weather data you need during your design process. With dynamic, accurate charts based on downloaded weather data, our five site analysis plug-ins make organizing and assessing weather data for your site as simple as inputting a location, allowing you to design with wind, humidity, precipitation, sun path, and temperature data in mind. Explore our five plug-ins below, and see how Marionette site analysis tools empower you to spend more time on design and less on finding data.

Ready to learn more? Discover the endless possibilities of algorithmic design and become a scripting master with the content on our Marionette training page.

Some designers don’t think of interior design as an architecturally intensive field, but Lena Munther begs to differ. As the owner of Munther Design, she’s a practicing interior architect who enjoys challenging the status quo of what her profession means to others.

After receiving her degree from the Chelsea School of Art and Design in London, the Swedish designer lived in Italy, Norway, and France, designing everything from cruise ships, hospitals, offices, and salons to restaurants, retail spaces, residential homes, and more. Her client list includes companies such as Levi Strauss, McCann-Erickson, and the Norwegian Military Services, as well as establishments around her local community in Maryland, USA like Ranazul Tapas & Wine Bistro, Veterinary Orthopedic Sports Medicine Group, and FX Studios Salon & Spa and Life FX, all of whom depend on her vision and understanding of their specific branding.

One example of Munther’s impressive scope of work was her development of a concept for Levi Strauss Headquarters and Levi’s Store, which was then implemented in all major cities in Sweden, Norway, and Finland during the early 1990’s.

Interior Architect/Designer Lena Munther in her office

After moving to the United States in 2000, Munther and her small team currently operate out of her office in Fulton, Maryland, which is just a short trip away from Vectorworks’ headquarters in Columbia, Maryland. And as a fan of Vectorworks software, she recently invited us to explore her creative space. Upon entering her office, it’s easy to let one’s imagination wander amid walls adorned with color swatches, photos, blueprints, laminates, and other design materials.

The office of Munther Design

As we got to know Munther, she shared her four phases of project completion with us, shedding light on the source of her success.

Phase 1: Concept
“It’s important for me to understand what the clients’ needs are and what I can contribute to their main idea,” begins Munther. After assessing her client’s preferences and suggesting a particular direction, she sits down with them to determine how she can help translate their business ideals into the aesthetics of their interior spaces. She believes that the Concept Phase is absolutely critical to the success of a project.

To ensure the clients’ wishes are balanced with her own creative touch, Munther provides frequent visual feedback throughout the design process. As a result, it’s crucial that her tools accurately portray her visions. Munther notes one tool that has helped her immensely. “The reason I bought Vectorworks Architect software was for the 3D tools. When I’m working through projects, I can see everything in 3D during the Concept Phases so that I can get a feel for proportions,” she says. “As long as you put all the information in there, it’s automatic.”

One example where the Concept Phase played a key role for Munther is a recent project for the new Chesapeake Veterinary Referral Center (CVRC) at the Columbia, Maryland location. CVRC serves as an extension of a veternarian’s primary care, offering patients who need advanced referral, emergency, and specialty care a space to heal, all in one convenient location. During the ribbon cutting ceremony this fall, the Vectorworks team was able to see how an earlier vision board of beautiful color swatches and materials they’d seen in Munther’s office was brought to life with gorgeous and functional Solid Surface countertops that were not susceptible to stains, as well as eye-catching and varying blues showcased in the paint, chairs, and more.

Comparable to a real-life Pinterest board, Munther posts color swatches and other materials on a board to convey ideas to clients.

The CVRC headquarters in Columbia, Maryland

During the concept phase of the CVRC project, Munther used 3D drawings to not only develop her designs and detailing, but also to present her ideas to the client. Additionally, by submitting 3D drawings, she was able to effectively communicate with construction managers. “They came back with very few questions on the construction drawings because they were able to see my intent in the 3D drawing and easily understand my plans, so this turned out to be very helpful,” said Munther.

Munther in the new CVRC location.

Phase 2: Team Building
In the Concept Phase, the clients’ desires are of utmost importance, but in this next part, there’s a shift in focus to the project’s needs. After all, there is one constant with Munther’s line of work: each and every site requires a different approach.

“With each new project, I need to think about both what style I want to bring in and brainstorm how to ensure we are meeting the clients’ needs in regard to their company and marketing profile, as well as lighting, ambiance, and even sound,” she said. “For instance, when designing a restaurant or any larger space, I ask myself if the entry to the kitchen is too close or shielded from the dining room, or if the concept materials chosen for a larger office space will make sound bounce off of every surface.”

To tackle these different components, Munther often teams up with outside architects, other consultants, or marketers to create something unique while ensuring that the concept meets the right specifications.

For Integrative Medicine at Crossroads, a primary care and wellness service provider for adults and young adults, Munther’s team was tasked with the refurbishment of the Physical Therapy at Crossroads suite in the medical building. Before they knew it, the single project grew into not only a more comprehensive redesign of several major suites, but essentially a rebrand, as they were enlisted to create a holistic design concept for the five entities within the practice: Integrative Medicine, which is the “umbrella entity,” Physical Therapy, The Apothecary, Wellness Arts, and Medical Skin. Munther and her team first helped revitalize the logo, giving different color codes for each entity. The designated color dictated the interior color choices of the different clinics, along with marketing materials such as brochures and business cards, which also impacted the website design. While a marketing rebrand project isn’t a typical challenge for an interior architect, Munther demonstrated her versatility in projects she and her team can take on.

The five logos of Integrative Medicine at Crossroads and the Physical Therapy suite. Images courtesy of Munther Design and photo by Mike Stog Photography.

Phase 3: Design
The Design Phase builds from the earlier Concept and Team Building Phases to produce the final design before construction begins. This is the time where a client is given answers to their questions and when Munther goes into more detail on the needs of each project, and custom-built designs are implemented whenever feasible. Her team almost never uses the same idea twice; they strive to provide something unique for each project. They search for lightbulb moments everywhere — a magazine or newspaper, a new store opening, or even a random conversation with a stranger. Once an idea is brought to the table, exploration follows.

Phase 4: Construction and Completion
During the final phase, Munther Design always follows up to the end of the building cycle to ensure that the agreed upon concept is executed to the fullest. Communication throughout the construction process is vital to eliminate problems that stem from a lack of understanding, allowing the team to catch problems at an early stage that might go unnoticed.

Learn more about Munther Design’s phases of design and see other inspiring work from the firm on their website.

Since the launch of the 2017 version of Vectorworks software last September, celebrations and learning opportunities continue popping up around the world. Let’s take a quick trip across the globe to see how designers are sharing their excitement about the new tools and features in the latest version of the Vectorworks line of products.

networking 2

Designers gathered for networking before the day’s presentations at Nordic Design Day.

Interest in Vectorworks software has been growing in the Bulgarian market since it was released there in 2015. In September, our international distribution partner Nemetschek Bulgaria gathered over 100 people in Sofia for a day of Vectorworks software exploration at their event, Future of Design. The event offered presentations that demonstrated how major design trends can be accomplished with Vectorworks software, and how the program is used as a design tool across industries.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled that 100 percent of people who filled out our follow-up survey about the event said that Vectorworks software fully met their expectations,” says Sylvia Ivanova, marketing/PR manager for Nemetschek Bulgaria. “Landmark and Spotlight were quite a surprise for our attendees. Currently, people in these industries are using three to five systems to complete their tasks, so they were pleasantly surprised to find one tool that could do it all and more.”

Jumping to Scandinavia, the second annual Nordic Design Day brought designers from Sweden, Norway, Finland, the United States, Estonia, and Denmark together in Stockholm for an enlightening day of networking, thought leadership, and product training. The day featured an informative keynote from Vectorworks CEO Dr. Biplab Sarkar, various break-out sessions, including a demonstration of Vision commands by Frank Brault, product marketing manager – entertainment at Vectorworks, and a happy hour for networking with fellow designers.

Mattias

Mattias Wreland of Franson Wreland delivering his presentation on 3D workflows

Basem Besada, CEO of BMV Studio, the Vectorworks authorized distributor in Sweden, praised the event for the thought leadership it brought to the table. “Mattias Wreland, with only one year of experience using Vectorworks software, gave an impressive presentation that demonstrated how using subdivision surface modeling and Renderworks features produce endless design possibilities,” said Besada. “And the enthusiasm for Vectorworks in Niels Nielsen’s speech about how BIM workflows make him more money was tangible.”

In November, ComputerWorks hosted over 900 designers for Swiss User Day in Zurich, Switzerland. A survey filled out by more than 400 of the attendees confirmed that the second annual event offered learning opportunities that fulfilled the expectations of the visitors. The most successful classes included lectures on efficient planning in 3D and the master class, “Innovations in Vectorworks 2017.”

“The positive response is a pleasure to us,” says ComputerWorks Managing Director Andreas Kling. “It’s rewarding to see that our efforts to solve our customers’ problems are paying off.”

Swiss User Day

Up to 350 designers attending a workshop at Swiss User Day.

In the United Kingdom, Exertis Unlimited hosted two events: BIM Design Day and the Spotlight Users Conference. At BIM Design Day, Vectorworks’ Vice President of Integrated Practice Robert Anderson, along with Vice President of Product Management Darick DeHart and Director of Product Development Hugues Tsafak, presented new features and capabilities of Vectorworks 2017. During breaks, presenters had the opportunity to interact one-on-one with customers to speak about key features.

At the Spotlight Users Conference, Brault spent the morning taking users through the new features in Vectorworks Spotlight 2017 and presenting Vision software, Vectorworks’ previsualization solution for entertainment designers. In the afternoon, Brault held an interactive session with users to teach them some tips and tricks for using Vision on a GrandMA2 console.

Most recently, Vectorworks 2017 launched in Japan, where the local Vectorworks distributor, A&A Co., held a ceremony on January 5 to celebrate the first shipment, which included over 100 licenses.

Japan Launch

A&A Co. celebrating the first shipment of Vectorworks 2017.

Congrats to all of the Vectorworks distributors who have hosted successful launch events! To learn more about the new features celebrated at these events, head to our Vectorworks 2017 page.

We’re all familiar with it — the scene of a performer coming out on stage, greeted by flashing lights, video cameras, and a sold-out arena of fans. However, what if that performer isn’t a musician or an actor, but a video gamer. For Remco Teunissen, bringing such an out of the ordinary event to life is part of his everyday workflow in his job of coordinating all of the drawings and set-up and take-down of these events.

After 20 years in the entertainment design business, Teunissen, owner of RTN Showsupport, says that while he hasn’t seen it all, he has definitely seen a lot. From working on the world’s leading dance event “Sensation,” to museum installations, and even the wedding of the King and Queen of the Netherlands, Teunissen’s projects and challenges have run the gamut. He says he likes his projects “the bigger the better,” and with the 2015 League of Legends World Championship, he got his wish.

 

The seven-week traveling tournament, which made stops across Europe in Paris, London, Brussels, and finally, Berlin, was the result of international collaboration. The League of Legends organizer, US-based Riot Games, worked with a London-based set designer, PRG Germany, partners in Hong Kong and Korea, and Remco, based in the Netherlands, as part of the PA Event team, to create a spectacle worthy of any sport. Few people imagine the countless hours that go into the design and coordination of the set, lighting, audio, and the 74 truckloads of equipment needed to make such an event happen. Bringing together these individual components is no easy feat, which is where Teunissen came in.

To coordinate all of the show’s drawings, Teunissen needed to work with every collaborator to ensure that there were no conflicts between elements, like a speaker hanging in front of a screen projector. This is no simple task given that all involved parties were working in different time-zones and didn’t all use the same software, but Vectorworks Spotlight helped Teunissen and his collaborators overcome this stumbling block.

To combat these problems, collaborators used viewport referencing, to allow individuals to work on their components of the project when they needed to, without interfering with other’s work. Teunissen’s role was to integrate these drawings to check for errors, as well as to assimilate files drawn in other CAD software, which he says was a breeze since Vectorworks software allows easy importation of many file types.

Remco LoL Plot

Plot for 2015 League of Legends World Championship. Image courtesy of Remco Teunissen.

Another advantage to using Vectorworks software, according to Teunissen, is the 3D modeling capabilities. By working through the drawings in 3D, he’s able to easily fly through the space and check for errors from different perspectives. The software also makes it incredibly easy to switch between Metric and Imperial units, which is an invaluable tool for international projects.

Although, Teunissen noted that his job goes a lot deeper than coordinating the lights and flashier elements of a production. “Besides all of the technical requirements of a production, there is also this very big part, which is heavily underestimated, and that’s the production side,” Teunissen said. “We have to plan for dressing rooms and furniture. Do we have enough fire aisles? Where is merchandising going to be?”

This production side is of extreme importance to the clients because it also affects the financial outcome of the event. “I also created a seating layout for this project, because it’s important for clients like Riot Games to know how many seats they can sell. And, then the ticket office needs to have a plan for how to sell the tickets.” By using Vectorworks software, Teunissen can create optimal seating plans for the producers, by checking sight lines and create the necessary documents for clients and venues.

To read more success stories from Vectorworks Spotlight users, head over to our case studies page.