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Architosh Staff (info@architosh.com)
3 May 2002
 

Special Report: PowerCADD, Macs, FormZ and VectorWorks, dominate tools used for Record House Award winners

In the recent 2002 Architectural Record magazine Record House Awards, winning architects primarily used software stalwarts from the Macintosh platform to sweep up prestigious house awards. For 45 years the Record House awards have been a major industry event, annually showcasing the latest progressive architectural thinking in single-family residential design by some of the best and most promising architects worldwide.

Quite often, many younger architects, sweep up Record House awards early in their career, signaling a future pattern of award-winning work later on. As such, the Spring time awards are not only an index of the current thinking in residential design, but a gallery of emerging talent.

Killer Tools for Cutting Edge Architecture

This year's awards were divided between Built and Unbuilt categories of winners. In the Built category (the traditional award category) seven different firms were awarded Record House awards. More than half of those firms (4/7) use the Macintosh computer platform with the predominate tool of choice being PowerCADD (a very strong graphics-oriented CAD program available only for the Macintosh).

Two other firms used VectorWorks and ArchiCAD, while the final two firms did not list their software. We are currently trying to determine if the ArchiCAD firm of Adria + Broid + Rojkind are Macintosh based as well which would bring the Mac firms to 5 out of 7.

 

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While the Mac also featured prominently in the Unbuilt category, so did FormZ, the popular 3D modeling and rendering package used worldwide in architecture schools and firms. Just about every firm mentioned FormZ as their rendering program, though Mac stalwart Art-lantis of France was also utilized. Lastly, Nemetschek's increasingly popular VectorWorks and RenderWorks packages were used the most often after PowerCADD, sweeping up a total of five awards. (We are currently trying to determine the Mac users there as well).

The Relationship Between Software and Talent: Thinking Outside the Box

What is clear from this year's winning firms is that they eschew the common wisdom that the industry should rally around one dominant CAD program...that being Autodesk's Autocad and its affiliated 3D Studio Max. But the key question is why? While many architects reading this site might pipe in excellent explanations, one common reason is that many feel Autocad is not a "designer's CAD system". Even Autodesk acknowledged with their recent purchase of Revit that Autocad proper is likely going to continue being a 2D-oriented CAD program focused on drafting.

Moreover, what this winning group's software collection also says is that they prefer to do their creative design work on the Mac—a continuous association remains between the Mac platform and professionals that see themselves as really creative. However, as many Mac architects will remind you, they don't just choose the Mac because of its creative associations but also because of its ease-of-use and low maintenance cost. The Mac remains a more friendly platform to setup and configure...and work with day in and day out.

Yet there is one more compelling fact about the Macintosh in this year's Record House awards winners: Mac software has dominated, even if it was used on a PC. The fact is, everything from FormZ, PowerCADD to Photoshop, were all at one time exclusively developed on the Mac (PowerCADD still is) and continue to embody their creative Mac roots in their user interfaces and in their sheer abilities. At this given time, it is safe to say, that the programmers behind these applications consistently draw upon the more creative side of computing that continues to come from Apple's legendary, innovative OS's.

Closing

Many congratulations to all the award winners from Architosh, whether Mac or PC!

Architectural Record 2002 Record House Awards

 


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