When scientists first divided the atom at the end of World War II, everyone knew that “the future” had arrived. This technological advancement affected everything from the economy to politics to art, and architects like William Pereira and Albert Frey began designing buildings that defied gravity or resembled lunar landers. Join us as we explore the age of “Atomic Architecture in America: 1945-1965” in the latest episode of the Art in Architecture webinar series.

atomic arch“The Atomic Age is an important part of the history of American architecture,” says Rubina Siddiqui, Assoc. AIA, Nemetschek Vectoworks’ senior industry specialist of BIM solutions, who co-hosted the webinar alongside her colleague, architect Steve Alden, AIA. “Even though the movement isn’t exclusively American, its impact on the current landscape in the United States shows how even the recent past can have an incredible influence on current design trends.”

The webinar is now available to watch on-demand. Viewers who provide their AIA credentials can take an associated quiz to earn 1 AIA LU.

And don’t forget to register for the next Art in Architecture webinar, “Art Nouveau’s Influence on Architecture,” on May 28 at 2 p.m. ET. Stay up-to-date on future topics in the series by emailing usmarketing@vectorworks.net.

Nothing says spring like landscape design! So, to celebrate the release of new instructional guides Residential Garden Design, Seventh Edition by Tamsin Slatter and Vectorworks Landmark Tutorial Manual, Fifth Edition by Jonathan Pickup, we’re hosting two book signings in the Paris Foyer at the Sofitel Philadelphia Hotel during the Vectorworks Design Summit, and all registered attendees are welcome.

Slatter will sign books on Tuesday, April 28, 2015 and Pickup will sign books on Wednesday, April 29, 2015. Both signings will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET. And don’t worry about not having copies yet, because you can pick them up at the Summit.

Combined Book Signing Image

In the latest edition of Residential Garden Design, Slatter, a leading Vectorworks Landmark expert in the United Kingdom, highlights best practices for residential garden designers using features found in the 2015 version of Vectorworks Landmark with Renderworks software.

Similarly, in the Vectorworks Landmark Tutorial Manual, experienced Vectorworks trainer Pickup provides a hands-on walkthrough of the concepts and techniques in Vectorworks Landmark 2015 for users of all levels.

See what readers are saying about these must-have guides:

“I found Residential Garden Design with Vectorworks Landmark easy to follow as it leads you through a complete garden design project from start to finish,” said Faith Ramsay, garden designer at My Country Garden Design Solutions. “The book has an encouraging style that builds your confidence as you progress. As an experienced user, I find myself referring back to it for tips and shortcuts.”

Vectorworks Landmark Tutorial Manual cleverly builds on prior learning, and further deepens the knowledge users have of Vectorworks,” said Jan Latham, a landscape designer and CAD tutor at Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintec) in New Zealand. “Landmark is a valuable tool for landscapers. This manual gives beginners a logical understanding to get started with the software, and shows them how to prepare and present useful information to clients.”

Get your copies of Residential Garden Design and Vectorworks Landmark Tutorial Manual for $75 online at secure.vectorworks.net/estore/training.

Designs have to meet the needs of your clients, but they should also be a reflection of you as a designer. Why else would they have hired you in the first place? Vectorworks software makes adding a personal touch to your projects easy. Watch this month’s new videos from our YouTube channel for quick tips on how to customize your next design.

When you’re creating a site model, accurate elevation and slope information is critical to the placement of your building or landscape design. Luckily, there are many different ways to customize this data. Learn how to control everything from the width of 2D lines to the colors marking the slope angles in this short video.


Speaking of color customization, the video below shows you how to adjust the preferences in your light plot to indicate different mediums with separate color fills. And if you still want some viewports to be black and white, there are even more options for arranging your designs to have black and white and color light plots appear simultaneously, on different sheet layers, or when you publish.


If you have any questions about these videos or your Vectorworks software, reach out to us at tech@vectorworks.net or tweet at us @VectorworksHelp.

By Dan Monaghan, Managing Director at Nemetschek Scia

Architects utilize an iterative design process, making rapid changes to a project based on feedback from all parties involved in a building’s lifecycle. And with the growing trend toward collaborative workflows thanks to the rise of Building Information Modeling (BIM), as architects make adjustments to a design their civil and structural engineer counterparts need to react quickly with their own changes to meet shrinking timelines, pushing them to find new ways to boost efficiency. That’s why Nemetschek Scia is introducing Adaptive Mesh Refinement technology for building and infrastructure design.

Adaptive Mesh 1When engineers receive a architectural model from a designer, they have to convert it to an analysis model and mesh the 2D elements likes walls and shells, as well as lines and nodes. Doing so manually takes up too much time and can drain productivity, especially when you have to conduct a new analysis every time an architect adds, removes, or shifts something in the BIM model. Creating the mesh, testing it, and determining areas of refinement takes up hours of the day and can distract from the completion of the design itself. Scia Engineer software’s Adaptive Meshing simplifies this iterative design process by automatically improving the mesh and adding local refinements. All engineers need to do is input an acceptable error tolerance, a representative load case, and then let the program run.

Adaptive Mesh 2

Scia Engineer’s Adaptive Mesh Technology makes automatic mesh refinements where necessary.

Making the perfect mesh manually takes a lot of time, and you still won’t be able to influence every point, only your chosen refinement zones. And many may not have the knowhow to produce a manual mesh in the short amount of time between when the architect makes a change and when the construction team or the owner needs to see the design. Scia Engineer’s Adaptive Mesh, however, is able to refine every cell individually by comparing Finite Element Analysis (FEA) calculated stress values with theoretically calculated stress/gradient values, allowing engineers to keep pace with designers.

To learn more about Adaptive Mesh Refinement technology and how it can improve your collaborative workflow, check out this in-depth article on engineering.com or visit the Nemetschek Scia website.

Germany-based N2M Architekten is a firm committed to using their passion for design to create architecture that breaks boundaries. And with studios in Xi’an, China and Hannover, Germany, and projects ranging from religious shelters to regional master-planning, N2M is assuredly achieving their goal. One of their recent projects, NaturParkHaus, exemplifies the firm’s approach to design, which blends distinctive architecture with its surrounding context.

890122_Plan 3 Ansichten-Fassadenschnitt-AussenperspektiveThe NaturParkHaus project is a concept for a ranger station inside a nature reserve. Since the environment encompassing the station is integral to its purpose, N2M used the CameraMatch plug-in for Vectorworks software to place their designs directly onto images of the site, creating life-like renderings that show how their concept would interact with its surroundings. “The project site is located directly at the shoreline of a lake,” says Niels Vauth, managing architect at N2M. “We used CameraMatch to imbed our design into the existing, dune-like landscape.”

890122_Plan 2 GrundrissseCameraMatch plays a role in much of N2M’s work, beginning with the creation of draft volume studies all the way to final artwork. “CameraMatch offers us the ability to check and control how our projects would look in reality during each stage in the design process,” says Niels. “The new Cloning tool in the 2015 version is definitely our favorite feature. Being able to scale and rotate clone areas gives us a lot of flexibility.”

Check out N2M’s website to learn more about their work, and visit the Vectorworks Partner Product page to purchase the CameraMatch plug-in.

As part of our worldwide rollout of the Vectorworks 2015 line of design software, the Chinese language joins the family, including localized versions of Vectorworks Designer, Architect, Landmark, Spotlight, Fundamentals, and Renderworks.


“Updates for the 2015 Vectorworks software have been made with designers’ best interests in mind,” said Cecil Fung, managing director of Mad Macs Technology Distributions Limited, the Vectorworks distributor in China. “For instance, the 64-bit feature is beneficial when considering and adopting an improved design solution in China because the geographical scale of projects in the country and the common composition of multi-disciplinary teams often demand the computational and coordination efficiencies that the program provides.”

Mad Macs will host launch events in Guangzhou (April 3), Shenzhen (April 6), Shanghai (April 9), Beijing (April 14), Nanjing (April 16-17), Hangzhou (April 27), and Chongqing (May 6), providing an introduction to new features in Vectorworks 2015 that will benefit architectural, commercial space design, landscaping and planning, and stage and exhibition lighting designers.

To sign up to attend these events, email events.2015@vectorworks.cn or register online.

Inspirational keynote speeches, industry insight, and sneak peeks into the future of Vectorworks software are just the beginning of what you’ll get by attending the Vectorworks Design Summit at the Sofitel Philadelphia hotel on April 27-29. While you’re having fun connecting with your peers from around the world and discussing the future of design, you’ll also be earning AIA LUs and LA CES credits at a variety of sessions that we’ve put together with your educational needs in mind.





Check out the current list of accredited sessions below:

  • BIM – Contractors Fighting the Inevitable, Rob Glisson, AIA, ROJO Architecture (1 AIA LU)
  • Building Urban, David Leven, AIA, and Stella Betts, LEVENBETTS (1 AIA LU)
  • Design Context and Digital Design, Stanley Paul Rostas, AIA, LEED BD&C, IIDA, CNU, Shook Kelley (1 AIA LU)
  • Thinking Through Your Sketches, Peter Exley, FAIA, Architecture Is Fun (1 AIA LU)
  • Using Smart CAD Tools to Complete a Sustainable Site Plan, Stephen W. Schrader Jr., PLA, ASLA, Holcombe Norton Partners, Inc. (1 AIA LU and 1 LA CES)
  • Using a Common Data Environment to Enhance BIM-Based Workflows, Nathan Doughty, Asite (1 AIA LU)
  • Real-time Project Collaboration with Bluebeam Studio, Jeanette Popiel, Bluebeam Software, Inc. (1 AIA LU)
  • Transitioning from General CAD to Information Modeling Workflows, Robert D. Anderson, RLA, ASLA, ROBERT ANDERSON | landscape architect (1 AIA LU and 1 LA CES)
  • Using Vectorworks for External Collaboration, Jeffrey Ouellette, Assoc. AIA, IES, Nemetschek Vectorworks (1 AIA LU)
  • The Small Group Takes on Holistic Design, Michael Klaers, The Small Group (1 AIA LU)
  • Efficient Drawing Techniques for Lighting and Scenic Design, Jim Woodward, Exhibit Logic (1 AIA LU)
  • Site Information Modeling (SIM) & 3D Visualization, Todd McCurdy, FASLA, MORRIS (1 AIA LU and 1 LA CES)
  • BIM for Landscape, Jonathan Pickup, archoncad (1 AIA LU and 1 LA CES)
  • Circasia: Engaging the Creeks, Diego Bermudez, University of Pennsylvania (1 AIA LU and 1 LA CES)
  • Creating and Managing Libraries, Jonathan Pickup, archoncad (1 AIA LU and 1 LA CES)
  • Maintaining a Growing Business While Staying Creative, Steve Alden, AIA, Nemetschek Vectorworks; Dylan Chappell, AIA, Dylan Chappell Architects; and Ron Kwaske, AIA, Office Ron Kwaske, Architect (1 AIA LU)

Our growing agenda also includes sessions hosted by our very own Nemetschek Vectorworks industry specialists designed to expand your knowledge of Vectorworks software. Explore all of the exciting opportunities waiting for you by registering to attend the Vectorworks Design Summit today.

Please note our discounted room block at the Sofitel Philadelphia hotel expires April 4, so make your reservation soon.

Entertainment designers and technical staff gather ’round. We’ve released the latest edition of Entertainment Design: Scenery, Lighting, and Sound with Vectorworks Spotlight, 4th Edition by award-winning scenic and lighting designer Kevin Lee Allen.

This instructional guide provides readers with tutorial-based design techniques applicable to film, television, concerts, exhibits, and more. Allen updated the instructional guide to complement the release of Vectorworks® Spotlight with Renderworks® 2015 software.


Latest edition of Kevin Lee Allen’s guide, “Entertainment Design: Scenery, Lighting, and Sound with Vectorworks Spotlight” is available.


In addition to reflecting the software’s latest features, the guidebook helps readers to use the new Deform tool, create temporary platforms with Stage Deck tools and model supports with Stage Lift tools, directly edit Light Position objects, and work with new rendering styles.

Readers will also be introduced to the Vectorworks Remote App, which allows users to interactively use mobile devices like a remote to view, navigate, and present designs without having to be at their desktops.

“Kevin Lee Allen’s books and accompanying tutorials have been tremendously helpful as I transitioned to Vectorworks as my go-to drafting software,” said Tom Palmer, partner and creative director at Palmer Schwartz Agency. “I can’t think of a better investment in Vectorworks education than purchasing this training guide.”

Purchase your copy of Entertainment Design for $75 at our online store today!

Nathan Kipnis started his career as an architect when energy-conscious design was viewed as nothing more than a passing fad. However, he knew that the future needed people who understood that “green” features didn’t have to come at the expense of beautiful architecture. In this new Success Story video, Kipnis explains how he’s made it his firm’s mission to combine technical efficiency with a modern aesthetic, pioneering a movement toward stylish sustainability.

“The future of green architecture is interesting because even though people once thought of it as a voluntary thing, it’s become quite real,” says Kipnis, who founded Kipnis Architecture + Planning (KAP) in 1993 to inject sustainability into projects ranging from office buildings and residential homes to airport terminals and offshore wind farms.

KAP’s Sturgeon Bay Project
© 2014 Wayne Cable

Want to learn more about Kipnis, his firm’s High Design/Low Carbon™ approach to architecture, and how modeling with Vectorworks software allows KAP’s designers to show clients a simple but understandable 3D space? Then read the full KAP Success Story. Enjoy!

Building upon the release of our Vectorworks 2015 line of design software, we have released new functionalities including the BIM Collaboration Format (BCF) Importer and the Simplified Geometry Model View Definition (MVD). These two features are part of Service Pack 3, which also includes other improvements.

BCF Importer

The new BCF Importer allows users to read BCF files from collaborators to view project model issues directly within the context of the Vectorworks model. Now users can review and resolve issues that may require changes to the architectural model without having to switch between Vectorworks and another application.

Take a closer look at the BCF Importer in action by watching the YouTube video below.


Simplified Geometry MVD

To meet the expanding needs of users, Vectorworks software now offers an additional Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) export option for defining the model view. The Simplified Geometry MVD allows Vectorworks users to export IFC files optimized for other software programs that can only import a limited set of simple geometry types.

Additionally, a new option called “Export Walls/Slabs by components” has been added to the Export IFC Project dialog box. This option optimizes the export of IFC files for use by estimating software such as BIM2COST. These improvements increase interoperability between BIM software applications, as well as enhance communication among design disciplines.

“As the adoption of Open BIM workflows continues to increase among our users, we continue to develop new functionality to enable architects to collaborate in a flexible way and communicate using their Vectorworks building information model,” said Jeremy Powell, director of global product marketing at Nemetschek Vectorworks. “The Simplified Geometry MVD and BCF Importer allow for more flexibility and interoperability between Vectorworks software and other programs.”

To read more on these advancements or to see additional features of SP3, click here.