Architizer + Microsoft
Architizer + Microsoft
In the fall of 2016, we created a five part series for Microsoft and Architizer.com profiling top architecture firms across the country and seeing first-hand their experience using the powerful laptop/tablet, the all-new Microsoft Surface. This series took us from New York to Miami to Los Angeles and San Francisco.
The Architects' Laptop: Johnston Marklee
The Architects' Laptop: A+I
“A+I stands for architecture and information,” explains Brad Zizmor, Co-founder and Principal of the New York-based firm currently redefining the conventions of workplace design in the city. A+I’s data-driven approach to design requires that the team use powerful technology that can handle the daily rigors of building information modeling (BIM) — which makes it the perfect practice to put Microsoft’s Surface Book to the test.
The Architects' Laptop: Oppenheim Architecture
The urban myth that architects and engineers are perpetually warring with each other has been debunked time and again by incredible collaborations between the professions, but this harmony has been taken to another level for Oppenheim Architecture’s GLF Headquarters, recently completed on the bank of the Miami River. In this case, engineers are not just collaborators — they are also the clients. The firm began producing conceptual sketches with the help of Microsoft’s Surface Book, its intuitive touchscreen interface allowing for fast, fluid strokes on top of photographs and site plans. It soon became apparent that the industrial connotations of the building’s location and its client were the perfect drivers for developing an architectural form. “The building ultimately ended up being a series of containers stacked one on top of the other,” says Calvo. “[It] was very exciting to be able to find that harmony between client and context.”
The Architects' Laptop: Natoma Architects
For Stanley Saitowitz, it is critical that beauty and practicality go hand in hand, both in the architecture studio and on the construction site. “We’re really visual people, so to have objects that are beautiful is a big plus for us,” says the principal of Natoma Architects, reflecting on the aesthetic qualities of the Surface Book laptop his team has been using to design the innovative Garden Village for students in Berkeley, California. This is about much more than simple good looks, though: For both the buildings and the technology with which they were created, elegant aesthetics are coupled with a highly rigorous approach to functionality, as the architects demonstrate in this behind-the-scenes video.
The Architects' Laptop: WORKac
Contrary to popular belief, there is more to life than architecture. While that statement might sound outrageous to some, architect Dan Wood — Co-Founder of New York-based firm WORKac — understands the challenges of juggling a happy family life with work at the studio, and appreciates any technology that can help him to give both commitments the time and attention they deserve. For this reason, the versatility of Microsoft’s Surface Book has been something of a revelation. “Our day to day is quite crazy because our children are very small,” explains Wood, who has been testing out the hybrid laptop at home and work in recent weeks. “It’s really [about] trying to find pockets of time for the kids and then pockets of time where we can work.” For Wood, the efficiency of touchscreen sketching allows for a better balance between these two branches of everyday life.