By John Hill, Editor-in-Chief of World-Architects eMagazine

*Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in World-Architects e-magazine on May 2, 2016.

On April 27 2016, Eva Franch i Gilabert, chief curator and executive director of the Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York, gave the keynote address at the Vectorworks Design Summit in Chicago. World-Architects Editor John Hill spoke with Franch after her talk to find out more about some of her initiatives.

Eva Franch giving the keynote address at the Vectorworks Design Summit (Photo: John Hill/World-Architects)

Eva Franch giving the keynote address at the Vectorworks Design Summit (Photo: John Hill/World-Architects)

In her 70-minute, rapid-fire talk, Franch barreled through the bevy of exhibitions, publications, competitions, events, parties, websites, and even TV broadcasts that she has organized at the Storefront for Art and Architecture since taking the institution’s helm in 2010. It was an invigorating talk that woke up the 600-plus throng of Summit attendees in the crowd and asked them to go beyond their comfort zones. In the first half of the talk Franch focused on OfficeUS, a long-term project geared to producing a “new space of architectural practice.” It began as the US pavilion at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale and will soon see the publication of the third of four planned books. Franch then moved on to the numerous other Storefront undertakings, a couple of which I asked her about after the keynote. An edited transcript of our conversation follows.

OfficeUS at 2014 Venice Biennale (Photo: John Hill/World-Architects)

OfficeUS at 2014 Venice Biennale (Photo: John Hill/World-Architects)

John Hill: In the keynote you spoke about the Storefront International Series, which had its first iteration in the Dominic Republic in 2013 and that Vectorworks sponsored. Can you say more about that series, particularly in regard to how Storefront has broken out of the confines of its triangular space on Kenmare Street?

Eva Franch i Gilabert: With Joseph Grima before me and Sarah Herda before him, Storefront has always had a presence in other places, because other people who understood the mission of Storefront wanted to have a piece of it or the spirit of it in their own context. So Joseph started a project called “Postopolis” that brought people in the blogosphere, as that space was emerging, in direct conversation with individuals in different cities. You participated in the ones in New York and Los Angeles, I believe.

Yes, in New York.

I was part of the one in Mexico City, and most interesting were the conversations that took place after the talks. The talks were talks and there was no real interaction, and all the time we were inside a space, the Museo Experimental El Eco. I remember hearing a demonstration outside, so I left the space and followed those people for three hours to try and figure out was going on, what they were protesting, what was happening. And going through the city I realized that if Storefront goes elsewhere it should engage with the city rather than being in a space.

Postopolis after party spilling onto the sidewalk in front of the Storefront for Art and Architecture, June 2007 (Photo: John Hill/World-Architects)

Postopolis after party spilling onto the sidewalk in front of the Storefront for Art and Architecture, June 2007 (Photo: John Hill/World-Architects)

Rubén Hernández Fontana and Sachi Hoshikawa, an architect and developer based in New York City, said they wanted to bring Storefront to the Dominican Republic. I didn’t know exactly how I wanted to do it, but I knew I didn’t want to just go and do an event. We were offered the auditorium in City Hall and I said, “No. No. No.” I asked Sachi, “What can we talk about there that we can’t talk about anywhere else?” It was a very easy exercise. We produced an Excel sheet with four columns: one with interesting sites that were unresolved; the second with contested issues that concern society; the third with the names of experts and individuals who we thought were important in the local context; and finally a list of global experts – critics and writers but also practitioners and people who could resonate with the issues and sites. So we looked at this matrix and started to find alliances and threads, and we produced a series of events [“Storefront IS DR“]: nine events that developed over the course of six days.

We started on one end of the island, in Punta Cana where all of the resorts are. Working with Sachi and Rubén we found this contested site – it’s a car wash but also a hairdresser, a brothel, many things. I said, “We need to go there.” So we talked to the owner and told him what we were doing, and that’s how the first event happened. From there we moved to different locations, really having incredible conversations.

Storefront IS DR / Definition Series: On Progress (Photo: Courtesy of Storefront for Art and Architecture)

Storefront IS DR / Definition Series: On Progress (Photo: Courtesy of Storefront for Art and Architecture)

We had one [conversation] trying to talk about the idea of what it means to innovate, held at the Pinewood Indomina Studios. They are located where the line of the sea and the sky is the closest more days of the year than anywhere else; it’s like that Spanish song about the blue of sky and the blue of the sea, where they seem to be the same – a very romantic song. Because of the light and reflection, they found this opportunity, so movies like Pirates of the Caribbean have been made in this secret location. So the idea is really trying to understand what a territory wants to be. Like Kahn asked, “What does a brick want to be?” one should look into a place and ask, “What does this place want to be?” So for that location, we brought filmmakers and visual artists to discuss what the DR has that no other culture has.

The event that we had on infrastructure, I wanted to do it in one of the favelas in Santo Domingo that does not have electricity. We invited the deputy mayor in charge of infrastructure, and he was insisting that we have the event in city hall, giving us the auditorium. He told me, “We cannot do the event in that area; that is not a safe place.” So I said, “We are going to have the event there. If you want to come, come; if not, you don’t.” So the guy came with his bodyguards! For them it was a real operation to be there. And Sachi said to us, “You do not know how important it is that you come here with your cultural leverage and you push us outside of our comfort zone.” I think this is what Storefront is able to do when we go elsewhere. We are able to use that reputation, if you will, to try to break some of the conventions and bring people together that might not otherwise. That was only possible because Rubén was good friends with the CEO of Vectorworks, so they provided support for the first iteration of one of the most interesting initiatives that the Storefront is producing. We did the second one in Lisbon, and we hope to continue it in other locations.

Storefront IS DR / Definition Series: On Progress (Photo: Courtesy of Storefront for Art and Architecture)

Storefront IS DR / Definition Series: On Progress (Photo: Courtesy of Storefront for Art and Architecture)

I’m probably not alone in knowing very little about what is going on in the Dominican Republic, so I think it would be great if, like OfficeUS, there were a publication on the DR events. Are there plans to do so, to broaden the impact of what you did there?

With the Storefront International Series, we did have everything recorded, and we asked all of the participants to write a report. We could do a book with that material; we just need an editor who would want to take on the work of distilling all of the conversations and making it happen. It’s a question of time and resources that we don’t have. The truth is the series of conversations that happened are very important ones, yet at the Storefront we have limitations. We do hope that somebody will come later on and take the events elsewhere. As I always say, “Ideas are for free” – and we generate a lot of them. We always hope that someone can take them and make them happen.

TWA Terminal by Eero Saarinen (Photo: Ezra Stoller/Esto)

TWA Terminal by Eero Saarinen (Photo: Ezra Stoller/Esto)

On May 8th the Storefront’s Spring Benefit is being held in Eero Saarinen’s TWA Terminal at JFK, under the theme “Beyond Borders.” Can you speak about the theme and the venue? In the case of the latter, it seems that the Storefront selects locations of some historical importance, such as the Four Seasons in 2010, the first one I attended.

That was my second, and that was the year I was appointed. It was a very interesting night for me. Storefront did not have a benefit until about ten years ago. Just this last week I was looking into the history of benefits, and it’s a very interesting thing if you realize how all of the cultural institutions now have their own benefits. It’s a very American thing. The first thing I could trace was all the way back to after the First World War in Vienna, actually, where they did a gala to benefit the soldiers. And that moved into the US with charity. Over the last few years benefits have become the tool by which cultural organizations raise the necessary funds to keep their programs running. It’s an interesting phenomenon; it’s like the “spirit of the time” in some way.

As you saw in the talk, I like to think that every single thing that the Storefront does is done in the Storefront way. So this idea of just doing an event to raise funds, to write a speech and do it anyplace doesn’t make it for me. I like to do everything we do with the same spirit and core. The benefit raises something like 40% of our annual budget, so it is essential for us to keep doing what we do. Benefits over the years became very clearly a space by which the Storefront community can come together in a way that we can celebrate what we do and who we are.

Eva Franch i Gilabert, Bernard Tschumi, Barbara Kruger at 2012 Spring Benefit (Photo: Courtesy of Storefront for Art and Architecture)

Eva Franch i Gilabert, Bernard Tschumi, Barbara Kruger at 2012 Spring Benefit (Photo: Courtesy of Storefront for Art and Architecture)

The first benefit I had my hands on was the one we did at the Woolworth Building [in 2012], honoring Bernard Tschumi and Barbara Kruger. Of course we had the theme of “Red/Rad”… the idea of being very close to the people we’re honoring and understanding where they come from and what kind of contribution they have made. That year we also brought Jimenez Lai to make an installation in the vault, and we painted the building in red lights. So there was a clear understanding to make an event – a party, ultimately – that also brings in some of the ideas at the forefront.

From there we went to the Beekman Palace just across from the Woolworth Building.

A lot of these spaces are being transformed. (Woolworth was converted to condos, the Four Seasons closed recently and its furnishings are being auctioned off, and Beekman Palace was turned into a hotel, the same of which will happen to the TWA Terminal.)

Yea, and that one was incredible. There are always layers that go into those themes. That year was the 30th anniversary of the Storefront, so we reflected on many of the issues that Storefront had been addressing over that time. We commissioned a piece from Vito Acconci (who co-designed the Storefront façade with Steven Holl) to talk about every single project in the history of the institution; it’s a voice recording of about five hours – it’s incredible. Even the menu of the event was going way back in history, so all of the dishes were what was cool over those years, ending obviously in kale, since it’s so fashionable. So every single space is taken as a space of design and disruption.

2013 Spring Benefit at 5 Beekman Place (Photo: John Hill/World-Architects)

2013 Spring Benefit at 5 Beekman Place (Photo: John Hill/World-Architects)

From there we moved to the year of the Venice Biennale [2014] so that was the one year we could not spend much time on it. So we just went to the bank on the Bowery, a building by McKim, Mead & White, one of the offices was dealing with historically with OfficeUS. It made sense: an Italian, Renaissance-inspired building in New York – coming from the place where we were going and the idea of import and export.

Last year we took the idea of  “Trans” in a building that was obviously transgressing the skyline that everybody had been worshipping in New York, a building that I think was extremely problematic for many people for many months. Little by little people started loving it as part of the skyline, but still hating it as a space of luxury and manifestation of some of the problems New York City is facing these days: expulsion of low-income people and different creative classes who cannot afford to live in the city. It was fantastic to be in (Rafael Viñoly’s) 432 Park Avenue.

This year is the idea of “Beyond Borders.” Last year we got a grant from the NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) for a project called “Architectural Conflicts.” The idea is to produce an archive or an atlas or a repository in which we are able to look into architecture by its ability to conflict with social, political, and economical forces. So the idea of how to recast anew how we look into buildings – not just (pointing out the hotel window to the Chicago skyline) “this is a Mies, this is a Bunshaft, …” – and understand the politics of each element through architectural form and expertise. It’s something to me that is very, very important. That project has been running on the wheels for a while, but together with the exhibition we just opened (“Memory Trace” by Fazal Sheikh) about the Israel-Palestine conflict, there’s the idea that conflicts most of the time emerge from lines of division. And I think the idea of the border is an intrinsic architectural issue.

Memory Trace by Fazal Sheikh, now on display at Storefront (Photo: Cameron Baylock, courtesy of the Storefront for Art and Architecture)

Memory Trace by Fazal Sheikh, now on display at Storefront (Photo: Cameron Baylock, courtesy of the Storefront for Art and Architecture)

Four years ago I curated an international competition with the Zagreb Society of Architects, a four-concept competition series on the idea of borders. The first was urban borders with Shohei Shigematsu; the second was geopolitical borders with Teddy Cruz; the third was ecological borders with … the French crazy man … François Roche (laughs); and the fourth was moral borders with Hrvoje Njiric. So I invited them to have conversations about borders in a very particular way, but that conversation did not end there; it is an ongoing conversation that I’m very interested in.

We have a benefit committee within Storefront and we always sit down to discuss issues that we think are important. As we were looking into locations – the issues are never separate from the locations – Margery Perlmutter, a board member who has been a huge asset in finding locations for the benefits, had a conversation with Tyler [Morse] at MCR Development and the people at the Port Authority … so then we had the opportunity to have it at TWA. That’s incredible; a fantastic opportunity. The theme, “Beyond Borders,” was then really right on there. It became even more important since we are in the elections and suddenly Trump came with his border wall, although we had already decided on the theme before that.

What I think is important is that while it’s an extremely serious issue – not only for the US, but for many places around the world – borders are also a part of our everyday life: between public and private; between power structures. So the idea of going beyond borders is one of the core things that our institution has been doing as part of its mission. Of course, being at the TWA is an incredible privilege. And this is why Teddy Cruz is one of our honorees, since he has been doing this as part of his work and research; and Ezra Stoller, Esto with Erica Stoller as the other honoree, because of his ability to capture that space with his photographs. Now thanks to the Municipal Art Society it is a landmark in New York. There are a lot of issues … and I hope you’re coming.

Yes, I’ll be there.

We are thrilled to see the Vectorworks name popping up more and more in the media these days. Between the 2016 Design Summit, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Convention 2016, and the Rock in Rio Festival, we’ve been busy connecting with our users and making headlines.

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For example, the media is still raving about our second annual Vectorworks Design Summit. Learn more about some key takeaways and industry insights that attendees gained this year:

  • Architect magazine posted “Vectorworks Highlights New Tools and User Experience at Design Summit,” featuring this notable quote, “the enthusiasm at the Vectorworks Summit, combined with the company’s commitment to user feedback, makes the software developer seem much like an upstart on the rise.”
  • Exclusive Design Summit media partner World-Architects published two articles: a recap of 5+1AA architectures’ Simonetta Cenci’s presentation in “Architectural Competitions: From Sketch to BIM” and a project highlight on Kyle Fiddelke of The Office of James Burnett (OJB) in “OJB at Lakeshore East.” Fiddelke not only presented about the Park at Lakeshore East during the Summit, but he also led attendees on a tour of the park and its surrounding area.
  • Landscape industry insights from the event were covered on Land8’s website with “Vectorworks Design Summit 2016 Chicago Recap.”
  • Live Design gave Vectorworks’ CEO Dr. Biplab Sarkar and Principal Software Engineer Dedrick Duckett some screen time in a video about Spotlight and ESP Vision.
  • Architosh ran “Vectorworks Design Summit 2016 – What Was Cool This Year” and alluded to future stories on our Design Keynote Eva Franch i Gilabert and 5+1AA architectures.
  • Engineering.com posted “Vectorworks Gets Serious” with an in-depth look at Sarkar as our new CEO.

In related news, John Helm took a deeper look at one of the upcoming features that we revealed at the Summit with “Virtual Reality it’s here for architects.”

The media kept the coverage rolling by covering our AIA convention activities. We met with 14 different media outlets including DesignIntelligence, Architizer, Builtr Labs, Archispeak, AECCafe, Medical Construction & Design, Building & Design + Construction magazine, Metropolis, Architosh, Studio Gray, Metal Architecture Construction News, Perspecta: The Yale Architectural Journal, The Construction Specifier, and Architectural Record.

With a team of our industry experts, software engineers, and our CEO at AIA, the media left with an in-depth look at what’s to come in Vectorworks software. Let’s take a look at their garnered insights:

Last but not least, Vectorworks employees rocked out with the best of the best lighting designers during this year’s Rock in Rio music festival in Lisbon, Portugal that capped off just last week! As you might’ve already heard, we partnered with Production Resource Group (PRG) to power the festival’s previsualization and ensure a seamless experience. Read more about our role there in the Planet Vectorworks blog post, and check out pictures from the event in our Rock in Rio Facebook album. Stay tuned for upcoming videos and stories giving you a behind-the-scenes look at an event of this caliber with these lighting designers!

Since 1965, the Henry Hewes Design Awards have recognized outstanding achievement in design for theatre on Broadway, off-Broadway, and off-off-Broadway, celebrating the fields of scenic design, costume design, lighting design, and notable effects: a unique category that includes achievement in sound, music, video, and puppetry. We would like to congratulate the Vectorworks Spotlight users who are among the 66 nominated artists and four award winners from 49 productions that ran during the 2014-2015 season.

"Hamilton" at the Public Theatre, photo by Joan Marcus

“Hamilton” at the Public Theatre, photo by Joan Marcus

Before “Hamilton” was the most popular show on Broadway, it was selling out its run off-Broadway at the Public Theatre. The musical, which peers into the life of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton through a fusion of musical genres, owes its signature look and sound in part to designers Howell Binkley and Nevin Steinberg, who have since helped adapt the show for the Broadway stage and were honored with Henry Hewes Design Awards for their work.

Binkley, who was honored with the award for lighting design, started his career designing lights for dance performances before making a name for himself on Broadway. He won the Tony Award for Best Lighting Design in 2005 for “Jersey Boys” and has received critical recognition for his work on recent shows like the 2011 revival of “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” and “After Midnight.

In a recent webinar with LiveDesign Online, Binkley discussed his experiences using Spotlight to design the lighting for “Hamilton” for two distinct theatres. Though the spaces presented different challenges, Binkley has soared, receiving accolades for both iterations of the musical. A review from Vogue of the off-Broadway production stated that Binkley’s lighting “evokes with equal artistry the candlelit glow of an eighteenth-century drawing room and the electric flash of a rock concert.”

Nevin Steinberg, winner of the “Notable Effects” category for his sound design for “Hamilton,” is a Broadway veteran, working on audio engineering and sound design for “In the Heights,” “Monty Python’s Spamalot,” and “Avenue Q.” The Harvard graduate is a former principal and founder of the sound design firm Acme Sound Partners, which received five Tony Award nominations over a decade. Steinberg has also worked on off-Broadway, regional, and national touring productions, as well as concerts and events for The New York Philharmonic and The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

"The Invisible Hand," photo by Joan Marcus

“The Invisible Hand,” photo by Joan Marcus

Vectorworks software user Riccardo Hernandez was honored for best scenic design for New York Theatre Workshop’s “The Invisible Hand,” which told the story of an American banker being held for ransom in a Pakistani prison. Hernandez was praised for his creation of the set, a bare metal prison cell, that “feels both transitory and somehow ominous,” according to the New York Times.

Argentinean-born Hernandez has set himself apart in the theatre world for his work in both Broadway and regional theatres, creating realistic looking spaces rather than typical theatrical “scenery” by using real materials for a genuine effect. A graduate of the Yale School of Drama, Hernandez was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Scenic Design in 1999 for the musical “Parade,” and his scenic design was featured in notable shows such as “Bring in ‘da Noise, Bring in ‘da Funk,” “Caroline or Change,” and the 2012 revival of the Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess.” 

In addition to the winners listed above, here are the other Vectorworks software users who were nominated for a 2015 Henry Hewes Design Award:

Scenic Design Nominees

Notable Effects Nominees

Lighting Design Nominees

Vectorworks would like congratulate the nominees and honorees on their achievement, and we wish you continued success in the future!

We’ve survived the Atomic Age, journeyed through the Modernist period, and now it’s time to examine how these historic design movements influence the architects of today with the latest Art in Architecture webinar, PoMo Interdictive Architecture: 1985 to 2005, which is now available on demand. Listen in as series host Architect Steve Alden, AIA, explores how modern architects are using the precision of computers to experiment with shape and structure, rejecting the assumptions of the past to push the limits of what a building can be.

LongerImage-2AAfterward, be sure to take the associated quiz to earn your AIA LU. Then head over to our Inspiration page to find more episodes in our Art in Architecture webinar series.

Point cloud technology is an incredibly useful tool for designers. Whether you need to work with an existing space or just learn the lay of the land, transforming data captured with 3D scanning into point clouds can revolutionize how you design. But do you know how to best incorporate point cloud information into your workflow? With the webinar “From Point Cloud to Documentation,” you can discover how to make point cloud technology work for you and then take an associated quiz to earn one AIA LU credit.

Vectorworks’ own Senior Product Specialist – Architecture Luis Ruiz and Software Engineer Fahad Zafar will teach you the basics of working with point cloud data, starting with how the 3D scanning process works, as well as how to import the captured data to begin creating your Vectorworks BIM model. Ruiz will guide you through this process using a real-life example, demonstrating how he used point cloud data to model the atrium of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Point Cloud 1

After you’ve finished watching the webinar, take this test to receive one AIA LU.

Environmental sustainability begins with individual designers using careful calculations to make informed decisions about their projects. And for the full-service landscape architecture team at Holcombe Norton Partners, achieving sustainability certifications for their sites centers around the use of data-rich models and intelligent worksheets.

Surface Treatments-web“I use worksheets to help meet all kinds of local codes and landscape ordinances,” says Stephen Schrader, associate landscape architect at Holcombe Norton Partners. “Once I balance out those requirements, I’ll put the worksheets right onto the design drawing. This makes it easy for reviewers to see that I’ve completed all the background work. And just like with any other facet of the design process, meeting all the legal requirements for a site plan, in addition to rating systems like LEED and the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES), can become a bit of a balancing act.”

3-IMG_5000-WebTo learn more about how Schrader accomplishes this balancing act with Vectorworks Landmark software and take an in-depth look at intelligent landscape architecture in action, check out the Holcombe Norton Partners case study.

The days were warm, the nights were cool, and the shows were hot at Rock in Rio: Lisbon. Over our week in Portugal, we worked hard and played hard, taking every opportunity to interview the lighting designers working at the festival.

Behind the scenes in the Vision Studio at Rock in Rio.

Behind the scenes in the Vision Studio at Rock in Rio.

Our time behind the scenes at Rock in Rio: Lisbon offered an inside look at the way Vectorworks Spotlight software users pull a festival together, including how each designer took the available stage and lighting and made it their own. With a few custom pieces of lighting and a little work in the Vision Studio, lighting designers like Stereophonics’ Brent Clark can take a lighting concept that was created to suit many diverse acts and tailor it to the sound and feel of a specific band.

Not only did they customize the existing festival rig, but they also did so quickly and under the pressure of expectant crowds waiting for a show. Even show-stopping headliners installed custom lights and previsualized their shows in a matter of hours. When you have multiple shows on the same stage on subsequent nights, you don’t have an option. To quote Queen (who was there, by the way), “The show must go on,” and so you load in, breakdown, and move on to the next act quickly and efficiently.

Customizing a single stage to highlight that sort of diversity is no easy feat, but the talented lighting designers at Rock in Rio: Lisbon are doing it. Want to listen to some of the biggest tracks from the main stage performers, including Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, Avicii, Maroon 5, Ariana Grande, and Fergie? Check out our Rock in Rio Spotify playlist!

Scale up your design skills with two new video tutorials in this month’s Tech Roundup.

This first video will teach you the nuances of scaling in Vectorworks software by changing the geometric properties of drawn or imported objects using the Scale Objects command. Whether you’re working 2D or 3D, you can master the art of the symmetric scaling, symmetric scaling by distance, and asymmetric scaling options.

Next, Spotlight software users can learn how to export their designs to ESP Vision software by reducing file size and complexity, using Vision library symbols, making their own symbols Vision compatible, and organizing lighting types to run the Edit Vision Data command.

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

By Liz Bauman, Content Marketing and Strategy Manager at Vectorworks, Inc.

When I started with the marketing team at Vectorworks a year ago, I didn’t expect that I’d be writing a blog post from a lawn chair at a rock festival in Portugal, but here I am at the 30th Rock in Rio at Parque da Bela Vista in Lisbon.

Pictures from my time so far in Lisbon, Portugal

Pictures from my time so far in Lisbon, Portugal

It’s cool in the shade, but — because I know it’s raining back at Vectorworks headquarters in Columbia, Maryland — I’m soaking up the rays and typing away. Rock in Rio The Musical is rehearsing on the main stage, and their gorgeous voices are coming together to hit every note of every song. Right now, they’re performing a cover of Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love” for their opening set, in case you were wondering.

So, you may be asking yourself: why is anyone from the Vectorworks marketing team writing blog posts from Rock in Rio? The answer: we partnered with PRG to power the previsualization of the whole show and ensure a seamless festival experience. As the leading supplier of entertainment and event technology solutions, PRG brought all of the lighting technology and related rigging. Vectorworks brought the equipment and software for the Vision Studio.

VisionStudio

The Vision Studio at Rock in Rio

While PRG has been working with Rock in Rio for 13 years, this is our first time providing assistance at the festival. Together, PRG and Vectorworks are demonstrating the workflows made possible using Vectorworks’ newly acquired ESP Vision software to previsualize each lighting designer’s concept, empowering them to finesse their designs before the festival crowds arrive on Thursday.

The Vectorworks team joining me here in Lisbon consists of Joseph Simons and Joe Dimaio (our video specialists who are better known as “The Joe Show”), and Stewart Rom (our chief marketing officer), as well as Brandon Eckstorm and Frank Brault (our industry and product experts). Frank and Brandon are joined by Vickie Claiborne (one of PRG’s lighting specialists), who has worked diligently to manage the logistics of the entire Vision Studio.

Lighting designers and operators focusing lights for the big show.

Lighting designers and operators focusing lights for the big show.

As the festival has come together, stages are being built, and lighting designers are cueing. Our video specialists are carefully documenting the hard work that Brandon, Frank, and Vickie are doing behind the scenes to make sure each show is stunning. So, you can look forward to some amazing Rock in Rio videos demonstrating the power of Vision software in action.

Tomorrow, the show kicks off with Bruce Springsteen and continues for 10 days featuring Queen + Adam Lambert, Maroon 5, KoЯn, Ariana Grande, Hollywood Vampires, and Avicii.

The Rock in Rio main stage is ready for 10 days of incredible music.

The Rock in Rio main stage is ready for 10 days of incredible music.

For now, it’s time to go interview Woodroffe Bassett Design’s Terry Cook, the lead lighting designer for the entire festival. Stay tuned — we’ll have lots more to share as the week progresses!

Since announcing that this year’s annual Build Earth Live competition would focus on designing a high-speed Hyperloop station connecting Dubai and Fujairah, the concept has gone from experimental to tangible. In the past, this 48-hour competition called for designers around the world to come together as teams and create innovative structures using BIM workflows and cloud technology, but these designs were never more than models. This year, Build Earth Live organizers Asite, supported by headline sponsor Vectorworks, have partnered with Dubai Future FoundationDubai’s Road and Transport Authority, and Hyperloop One, a company developing the world’s first Hyperloop, to potentially bring the winning design to life.

HYPERLOOP IMAGE“Hyperloop One is excited to sponsor the Build Earth Live Collaborative, which will bring together some of the best and brightest architectural and engineering minds in the world to design a Hyperloop station for the United Arab Emirates,” said Rob Lloyd, CEO of Hyperloop One. “As the leader in developing the next mode of transportation, Hyperloop One is committed to making Hyperloop a commercial reality for freight and passenger transportation in the near future, and the BIM Competition is a great first start.”

The government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) had already planned to build the Hyperloop infrastructure between the two cities in the near future, but when they heard about this year’s competition, they reached out to Asite to join forces in search of a potential designer for the project. Because of this change in scope, the competition dates have been moved later in the year to Monday, September 26, 2016 at noon GST until Wednesday, September 28, 2016 at noon GST.

The UAE will host representatives from the finalist teams in Dubai for judging and the awards ceremony alongside Asite, Hyperloop One, and Vectorworks. The winning team’s design will be assessed by officials from the UAE, and if approved, they will have the opportunity to work with the government to deliver the future project.

“This year will be the most exciting Build Earth Live competition with the possibility for participating teams to win work, and we couldn’t be happier to be the headline sponsor,” said Jeremy Powell, product marketing director at Vectorworks. “We wish all of the competing teams the best and can’t wait to see the creative solutions they design for this challenge involving Hyperloop technology.”

To register your team, visit the Build Earth Live website. You can also read more about the competition here.