The Story Behind Vectorworks: Design Without Limits 3rd April 2023 | IN DESIGN ADVICE | BY SBID

Vectorworks is an award-winning design and BIM software provider serving several industries in 85 countries. Built with designers in mind, Vectorworks software offers the freedom to follow your imagination wherever it leads you and presents a platform built to deliver absolute creative expression and maximum efficiency. Globally, more than 685,000 users are creating, connecting, and influencing the next generation of design with Vectorworks on Mac and Windows.

What are the origins of the brand?

Since its founding in 1985, Vectorworks’ software has always been a 3D modelling program devoted to helping designers express their visions more clearly to their clients and collaborators and to design without limits.

From the beginning, Vectorworks has played a critical role in the CAD field, having created one of the very first CAD programs, one of the first 3D modelling programs, the most successful CAD software for the Mac OS, and the first cross-platform CAD application to market. Vectorworks was also one of the first in the design industry to introduce BIM capabilities to our software offerings and was the first major BIM authoring platform to run natively on Apple’s M1 Family of Chips.

Today Vectorworks has evolved into a sophisticated suite of products that address a wide range of needs, from fundamental drafting and modelling to advanced design, documentation, and analysis.

How do your products and services enhance interior design projects?

Our product, Vectorworks Architect, allows interior designers to collaborate with other project stakeholders in one central platform, minimising errors that can occur when transferring between various platforms and software programs.

Vectorworks Architect also provides interior designers with built-in templates and reports to assist with not only commencing projects but also with the ease of extracting relevant and needed information.

The simplicity of the interface allows for the incorporation of plug-in tools from a wide range of partners to make the design process a complete one. From space planning layouts, design intent drawings, and construction drawings to spreadsheets and rendering capabilities, Vectorworks Architect includes a wide range of resources, ensuring you have the best possible opportunity to convey your design idea to your customer.

vectorworks, The Story Behind Vectorworks: Design Without Limits

What value does your specialist sector add to the industry?

Vectorworks’ software offers designers new tools and resources built on cutting-edge technology. These advances allow users to showcase their designs to clients in new and exciting ways. For instance, our recently updated Nomad mobile app features Apple’s room scanning framework, RoomPlan, allowing users to quickly scan an existing room layout using their iOS mobile device to create a robust reality capture that is accessible and easy to use. Plus, presentations for tours and boards created in Vectorworks Cloud Services can be shared with collaborators and clients with a QR code, link, or email.

Vectorworks offers improved accuracy throughout the full design process compared to older, traditional processes. Data management, visualisation, and revisions are all simplified by offering and centralising everything in one comprehensive program.

In addition, Vectorworks is known for its flexible approach to designing, with a wide range of modelling capabilities such as history modelling, Nurbs, subdivision, and parametric tools capabilities. Designers can spend more time designing without letting their software or tools hinder their creativity.

How do you work with interior designers?

As a company, we work with interior designers in many ways, and as an industry specialist, I have the chance to speak to designers on a regular basis. We have online and in-person training opportunities from one on one to group sessions.  Vectorworks University also allows designers to learn on their own schedule and obtain necessary certifications.

For companies that are transitioning to Vectorworks, we also over a tailored approach with support to get the workforce up and running in a very efficient way through consultancy.

By joining organisations such as SBID and attending tradeshows, we frequently network with designers from various sectors, such as residential, retail, hospitality, commercial, and more. It gives us a chance to hear feedback and ensures our software is always evolving to include new features.

To conclude, as one of our company’s core values, inclusion is something we continue to strive to promote and foster. As part of this, our DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) Committee is dedicated to supporting the interiors sector by sponsoring or donating to charities and initiatives looking to improve access to this industry for all individuals. For example, so far, we have worked with the United in Design Charity, and we continue to remain open to additional opportunities to get involved and give back.

vectorworks, The Story Behind Vectorworks: Design Without Limits

What has been your most significant company highlight or success from the past year?

It’s very hard to select just one highlight as we’ve had many exciting developments over the past year. We launched the latest version of our software, Vectorworks 2023, which focused on reengineering some of the core architectural tools, expanding our interoperability with additional file format imports, and offering additional modelling capabilities for quicker design creation.

The launch of this release also included a customer Design Day event at Euston Square, London. This event offered designers the opportunity to speak directly to Vectorworks CEO Dr. Biplab Sarkar and other executives about their experience with the software.

In addition, we launched our Vectorworks Embodied Carbon Calculator (VECC) to assist designers in their steps to design and execute more sustainable projects.

We also successfully changed our purchasing options to subscriptions, giving customers the freedom to manage their licences as their workload pauses or expands.

The list continues, however, the final highlight I would like to mention is our sixth Vectorworks Design Scholarship. There were over 1,000 submissions and scholarships were awarded to 30 students for 22 projects in the architecture, interior design, landscape, and entertainment industries.

The winning project of this year’s grand prize was interiors focused, with Michelle Wanitzek taking home the coveted Richard Diehl Award for her project ‘Nomad Coworking.’

vectorworks, The Story Behind Vectorworks: Design Without Limits

What are the latest trends you’ve noticed in your client’s requests?

In the past year, there were a lot of requests for Crittall openings; doors and windows, and an increase in setting up company standards to improve efficiency.

However, one of the latest trends I have noticed this year is a demand for extracting data from a CAD/BIM model.

Once the designer has conceptualised their project within Vectorworks, with custom data attached and object parameters set, exporting the necessary information to create types or reports, schedules, and legends is fairly straightforward.

We currently have many tutorials and webinars focused on the topic of data within Vectorworks University for those who want to elevate to the next step.

How do you see the interior design industry evolving in the year ahead?

There has been a lot of discussion regarding reducing our carbon footprint in all the various industries we support, and the interiors section is no different; whether it’s at a tradeshow or through a customer project – I can see that there is an emphasis on doing better for the planet and making a difference, with a circular design; reusing, recycling and innovating new products from waste. There is a sense of urgency regarding sustainability, and I believe this will continue.

In addition, we are still recovering from the pandemic and developing new ways of living and working. There is also a need to create spaces that sustain an excellent quality of well-being and wellness. So, whether the focus is on air, light quality or just making sure that there is a varied layout option to suit the different business and social needs, adaptability and flexibility are key.

Is there anything new you are excited to be working on?

We recently transitioned our purchasing options to subscription licences, which can be purchased directly from our website. This is extremely exciting because we have the opportunity to release new tools and features more frequently.  Not only that, but this has been a popular request from freelancers and sole practitioners over the past several years. Now, these designers can factor the lower subscription fees directly into their business structure as they work on various projects.

Moreover, at the moment, there seems to be a real buzz around the hospitality and retail industries and using those industries to drive consumers back out. This is especially exciting for me as I will be creating a new example file for designers in these sectors with specific tips and tricks so that they can continue to design as effectively as possible.

For other sectors, there are also example files on Vectorworks University, so I encourage everyone to explore those resources.

What does being an SBID Accredited Industry Partner mean to you?

As an individual and an interior architect, the SBID offers a wide range of network opportunities that allow me to be among like-minded people and discuss topics that affect our industry.

As a company, it means a lot to support and maintain the quality of the industry by offering high-caliber CPDs and training amongst the members.

vectorworks, The Story Behind Vectorworks: Design Without Limits
Kesoon Chance

Questions answered by;

Kesoon Chance

Senior Industry Specialist – Interiors, Vectorworks

About Vectorworks

Exceptional design demands exceptional tools – a platform built to deliver absolute creative expression and maximum efficiency. Vectorworks believe your design software should offer the freedom to follow your imagination wherever it may lead you, to seamlessly share your vision at any phase, and to easily interpret the information needed to make the smartest decisions every time.

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