It’s happening people, a real ‘paperless office’ is getting closer than ever before. I’ve talked about this stuff in some previous posts here and here but day by day those ideas are becoming a reality. I’ve been experimenting with this iOS app called Morpholio Trace since it was released and the advances are progressing at a rapid pace. These steps are not without stumbles but on a whole these apps are great for marking up and sketching details on the fly.
I was recently overseas and as the owner of a small business I can’t really stop working. I took an Apple 12” iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil, I also have access to all my files over dropbox so I can carry on working in the business from anywhere. My builder was onsite and needed some help figuring out a couple of details, I downloaded a few PDFs from my documentation as a base and then traced over these in the Morpholio app with some additional notes and extra details. I then emailed these off to the builder and the client so the works carried on despite me being on the other side of the world.
Take this concept back into the office and this workflow is also great to get that hand to ‘paper’ feel again. Glenn Murcutt has commented on this idea suggesting we do our best thinking with a pen in the hand. Somehow the brain tends to flow in this format as opposed tapping away at a computer keyboard and pushing around a cursor. I do understand this idea, I started practicing as an architect on a drawing board so the pen and paper is much more natural for me. More recent graduates tend not to have worked in this format so the keyboard is more natural for them. I say, what ever works for you but I do look forward to this cross over between the computer and the pen.
The MS Surface Studio has just been released and a few people such as architectural photographer Nic Granlese have been playing around with them (he also appears in their advertising), they look great and they look like they’d be fun to operate but it’s still early days so the software is catching up, this won’t be too far behind. Apple won’t be far behind on the touch screen desktop computer as this is how they traditionally work. The iPod came out after the MP3, the iPhone came out after the Nokia smartphone.
Morpholio have a suite of apps that are tailored toward architects, Trace as discussed above. Board which is a materials and FF&F board layout creator, basically a substitute for Photoshop. Journal that has recently tied in with Moleskins, I’m a little dubious about this one but some people may love it. Then there is the straight Morpholio app which is a mash up of a portfolio creator, viewer and critiquing tool, I don’t have much experience with this one so I can’t really talk to it. Check it out on their website here, the hand that operates the iPad in this video is very creepy and almost comical, try and ignore that.