People of Tomorrow

A unique piece of architectural art in DeSchorre, Belgium will unite both people and their differences when it’s completed later this June. The project, called OneWorld by the People of Tomorrow, is a 537-meter-long pedestrian bridge that will feature a 20-meter-high metal and glass sculpture at its center point designed by Vectorworks software user Arne Quinze. It’s expected to be the largest public art installation ever built.

People of Tomorrow

Arne Quinze designs the metal and glass sculpture as a 3D model in Vectorworks software.

Collaborators are seeking the public’s support for the project through the sponsorship of the wooden planks that will form the bridge. The planks will be engraved with customized messages, drawings, and other expressions submitted by sponsors under the theme of unity. Organizers expect to receive more than 200,000 messages.

OneWorld is a collaborative project initiated by the People of Tomorrow, a united group of people who want to give back to society, the province of Antwerpen, and Arne Quinze. Proceeds will be given to the Human Rights Watch.

One World

Arne Quinze creates a model for the bridge with a metal and glass sculpture at its center point.

 Keep up with the project’s progress by visiting and through the Facebook page of Arne Quinze.

Our Japanese distributor, A&A Co., Ltd., recently exhibited at Japan Shop, the 43rd International Exhibition for Shop Systems and Fixturing. At the show, A&A presented the 3D modeling and rendering capabilities of Vectorworks 2014. They also answered questions and gave personalized demonstrations of the program, which is available in a localized Japanese version, as well as 10 other languages around the world.


A&A Co. presented Vectorworks 2014 at Japan Shop earlier this month.


A&A demonstrates Vectorworks 2014′s powerful 3D modeling and rendering capabilities.

Japan Shop is one of the largest tradeshow events in Japan and showcases the latest products and services for commercial space design and display, store systems and devices, and other tools that help storeowners run their businesses more efficiently. The event took place at the Tokyo Big Sight (Tokyo International Exhibition Center) and attracted more than 1,600 attendees.

The Japanese version of the Vectorworks 2014 line of design software was launched in January of this year. Prior to that, the English-language version was released on September 17, 2013, followed by several other localized versions around the globe in October and November of 2013.


Constructed in Brussels, the Brutopia housing cooperative illustrates that sustainable design can also be affordable and award-winning. In fact, this multi-story residence recently received The Blue House Prize, which recognizes durable architecture in Belgium developed with private funds. And, the project is satisfying desires of local citizens who dreamed it up, including its design architects, who also happen to live at Brutopia and maintain offices on its ground floor.

Courtesy of stekke + fraas architecte(s)(n)

“Brutopia is a nice example of sustainable living with shared spaces, water recuperation, a good social and intergenerational mix of people, and multifunctionality,” says Brutopia resident and design architect Serge Fraas of stekke + fraas architecte(s)(n), which formed a temporary partnership with AAAArchitectures to execute stekke + fraas’ design. “The jury of The Blue House Prize liked the fact that the project was a result of a citizen initiative. Eighty people started an association and took on the role of a developer. In cooperation with the architects, they succeeded in creating an affordable and sustainable dwelling project in Brussels.”

Brutopia is two structures with a green common area between them. Inside are 29 apartments, 27 of which are Passive Houses and the other two are very low energy. The layouts are open and take advantage of natural lighting and optimal thermal insulation to keep energy costs to a minimum. In addition, residents share access to a laundry room and vegetable garden, both of which are supplied with water recovered from Brutopia’s roof, as well as the roof from a building next door. Residents also save on transportation costs because Brutopia has parking areas for bicycles and two cars that they all share.

“It’s great to create a building that is sustainable and affordable at the same time,” said Fraas, whose firm used Vectorworks Fundamentals software to design the space. “Vectorworks is a very intuitive program that allowed us to work fast and effectively.”

Fraas enjoys living in a building he helped to create. “The children play together in the garden, and you can meet up with neighbors easily yet still have your privacy,” he says. “Plus, it’s wonderful to know that my apartment doesn’t consume tons of energy, and I live among a community of people who all enjoy a sustainable lifestyle. It’s just great.”

Courtesy of stekke + fraas architecte(s)(n)

Designers looking to boost their Vectorworks skills now have a new resource to help them: the sixth edition of Vectorworks Essentials Tutorial Manual.

This tutorial, written by expert Vectorworks trainer Jonathan Pickup, is a must-have workbook for anyone new to Vectorworks software, and it has been updated for the 2014 version of the program. The book includes an introduction to the Vectorworks interface; a section to familiarize readers with tools and commands; an introduction to 3D modeling; tips on organizing information to create models, drawings, and reports; and a discussion about using worksheets. Notes and practice exercises throughout the tutorial and on an accompanying DVD provide additional guidance.

“Vectorworks Essentials is fabulous in many ways,” said Jan Latham, a landscape designer and CAD tutor at Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintek) in New Zealand. “I have not taught before … and the manual is working out great as it breaks all the processes down into easy to follow steps. It has jogged my memory on how to do things in other ways and is already organized into a logical progression, so I can work through it chapter by chapter, building on the student’s knowledge.”

Visit our Training Guides page to order your copy of Vectorworks Essentials or other Vectorworks tutorials.

We’re excited to announce the development of a new plug-in for Vectorworks Spotlight software from MA Lighting, an international leader in computer-controlled lighting consoles, networking components, and digital dimming systems. The plug-in, which will provide a direct connection between Vectorworks Spotlight and the grandMA2 console, is currently in beta status, and MA Lighting plans to release the first version to the public in May 2014.

“Having a plug-in from Vectorworks Spotlight directly to the grandMA’s 3D visualizer has been one of the most often cited requests from Vectorworks Spotlight users,” said Peter Neufeld of Limelight Lighting Design and Vectorworks distributor OzCAD.

The grandMA2 has its own built-in visualizer – something that allows the programmer to “virtually” program the lighting before anything is physically set up. This is an important part of a lighting designer’s craft. Even small lighting rigs are technically incredibly complex with thousands of channels required to control all aspects of the lighting instruments.

Today’s intelligent lighting fixtures allow the designer to control the color, focus, beam, position, and other parameters. “Pre-programming is essential due to the expense and time it would otherwise take to program from scratch once the rig is set up,” said Neufeld. “This pre-visualization/pre-programming allows more time at the pointy end of a production week when the pressure is really on to have the show already ‘in the can’ and thus be able to finesse and detail the lighting on site during last rehearsals.”

Once this plug-in is available, lighting designers will be able to export lighting instrument data from both Mac and PC versions of Vectorworks Spotlight, and then import that data into grandMA’s built-in visualizer to do their pre-programming work.

Neufeld said the beta version of the plug-in was tested by the Sydney Opera House for the recent Sydney Festival, and the results were fantastic. “All the patch information, channel, DMX, circuit and dimmer, and location fields went directly from Vectorworks Spotlight straight into to the grandMA2 visualizer,” he said. “This seamless throughput from Vectorworks Spotlight to the programming in the grandMA visualizer is a marriage made for the stage!”

“When Darryl was in school,” says New Zealand architect Ron Sang, speaking about his son, “I never insisted that he become an architect because I think architecture is a damned difficult job, but I was delighted when he changed from initially pursuing chemical engineering. Now, we have a lot in common. I’m delighted that we share many projects together.” Today, the elder Sang runs Sang Architects & Company Limited in Epsom Auckland, and Darryl runs Darryl Sang Architects Limited in nearby Ellerslie. But they frequently team up to help clients realize their residential, landscape, graphic, and interior design goals.

Ron (r) and Darryl Sang enjoy the opportunities they’ve uncovered to collaborate on multiple projects in New Zealand. Courtesy of Sang Architects & Company Limited.

We’re excited to share their journey in a new user success story, linked below, which begins when Ron shaped what’s perhaps his most iconic design, The Brake House, built for the late 
New Zealand photojournalist Brian Brake in 1974.

The story continues with a project this father-son team developed together: the Remuera Residence. Ron conceived the design by hand and then passed those initial concepts over to his son to convert into working drawings using Vectorworks Architect software. The four-story residence is sleek and includes one of Ron’s hallmark accents: a red, 5.5-meter front door. Listen as Ron discusses his design philosophy for the house:

Another project that features a massive front door is a 650-square-meter private residence called Farm Cove. The design is a stunning example of open spaces, soaring ceilings, and a vast infusion of light.

The entrance of the Farm Cove residence is connected to the main building by a glass gallery built over a goldfish pond with a glass floor. Courtesy of Sang Architects & Company Limited.

The story delves into each of these projects and also shares Darryl’s appreciation for the meticulous detail he can achieve in his CAD drawings. “We like Vectorworks because there’s a low learning threshold. It’s quite intuitive, and you can become quite proficient in it quickly. … The program helps us continue to evolve our design solutions and remain at the forefront of New Zealand’s architecture landscape.”

Read the complete Sang Architects user success story on our website.


We’re pleased to announce the publication of a new book for Vectorworks users in Japan, Vectorworks Architect, BIM Basic Master for Residential Design. The book, written by Kazushi Fukuda and published by SHUWA SYSTEM CO., LTD, offers an introduction to 3D modeling and BIM using Vectorworks Architect software.

The book provides easy-to-understand, practical explanations of BIM. It takes the reader through a case study of a two-story wooden house, the most popular style of Japanese residence, and demonstrates the efficiency and convenience a BIM workflow can offer. Even beginners can experience the total process, from modeling the building to exporting data and design changes.

Kazushi Fukuda

Author Kazushi Fukuda is the principal of InterCore Architects & Consulants, where he engages in building design, interior design, consulting, and more. In addition, he teaches as a part-time professor at a technical college. He has written other Vectorworks books, including a series of Vectorworks workbooks and Vectorworks 2011 Basic Master.

Ecobuild 2014, the world’s leading event for sustainable design, construction, energy and the built environment, will take place March 4-6 at the ExCeL London Exhibition and Convention Centre.

This year, the UK Vectorworks Team at Computers Unlimited will be joined at Stand N438 by representatives from Nemetschek Scia, MakerBot, Wacom, and Kerio to offer one-on-one demos, discussions, and a wide variety of topical architectural and landscape presentations, from an introduction to BIM, using Vectorworks in BIM projects, and BIM collaboration, to 3D printing, designing projects with the latest Wacom tablets, and more.

View the full presentation schedule, or click here to register for the show. (It’s free!)


It’s time for another Tech Roundup, and this month we have several new videos for you.

You may have seen the news last week that connectCAD 2014, a Vectorworks add-on for designing broadcast, audio-visual, lighting, IT cabling, and other connected systems, is now available. Here is a video that demonstrates the new features, including the Smart Circuit Object with intelligent off-sheet connections, collaborative inter-document links, new layout concept rooms, intuitive workflow improvements, and more.

We also have a new video from our partner Landru Design that demonstrates how to create custom televisions, projectors, and stands in the VideoScreen 4 tool suite:

Next, check out our new tech tip videos on the Vectorworks YouTube channel. This one demonstrates how to use the Mirror Tool:

And this one covers the resolution tab in document preferences:

Finally, members of Vectorworks Service Select will be happy to know that the 2.6 version of Vectorworks Cloud Services and the Vectorworks Nomad mobile app was released earlier this month.

Design Software Solutions is proud to sponsor the miNiATURE 3D Garden Show, devised and curated by renowned designers Andrew Fisher Tomlin, Tom Harfleet, and Kajsa Björne. The show, which takes place March 5-9, 2014 at The Strand Gallery in London, seeks to bring innovation to garden and landscape design shows by harnessing 3D printing.

At the event, 10 award-winning, international garden and landscape designers will showcase their designs, taken directly from their 3D design software to a 3D printer. The 3D printed garden models are produced by Hobs 3D, providers of 3D printing services to the architectural and landscape design profession.

Garden designers need no longer be held back by the budget constraints of creating large, formal show gardens—they can make the most of their investment in Vectorworks Landmark software and showcase their designs with ease. Visitors to the show will gain an understanding of the techniques involved in 3D printing and, of course, get to see the designs.

A preview of one of the garden designs done in Vectorworks Landmark software.

The designers selected for the show are:

“We’re delighted to sponsor this innovative event, which gives garden and landscape designers an opportunity to explore cutting-edge design concepts through 3D modeling and printing,” says Tamsin Slatter, director of Design Software Solutions. “Vectorworks Landmark is ideally suited to this process, as designers can work in 2D and 3D simultaneously, with intuitive landscape design tools, together with the ability to export to a number of 3D printing-compatible formats. We’ve been thrilled to offer modeling support to some of the designers, including Jamie Dunstan Garden Design, and are proud of their continuing achievements as Vectorworks Landmark users.”

Learn more about the miNiATURE 3D Garden Show through its website or Facebook page.

Leisha and Jamie Dunstan with their printed garden at the miNiATURE 3D Garden Show.