Autodesk Labs Senior Marketing Manager, Amanda Collins, filed this report.
At our recent Earth Day celebration, Autodesk Labs presented its work with "Architecture for Humanity" (AFH), an international non-profit organization. AFH unites volunteer architects throughout the world to design sustainable housing for communities devastated by disaster.
The Labs team discussed AFH projects in Africa, India, Colombia, and Mississippi; answered questions from interested attendees; and explained how Autodesk is working with AFH and others to provide technology for sharing design information globally.
AFH volunteers currently collaborate over the Web via an open-source community called the Open Architecture Network. They post images and share files with other community members. According to its website, the network grew out of a "collective frustration in sharing ideas and trying to work together to address shelter needs after disaster, in informal settlements and in our own communities." The vision was "a truly collaborative online community and gathering place for those dedicated to improving the built environment."
What volunteers need now is the ability to display CAD data directly over the Open Architecture Network. That's where we hope to help.
sustainable child center in Africa
As part of "Project Halo," Autodesk Labs is mashing up Project Draw, Project Freewheel, and Autodesk Design Review so that AFH volunteers can view designs and share actual CAD files. Our goal is to enable volunteers a level of virtual collaboration that is platform independent. Without having to download any software, designers across the world will be able to use the Internet to contribute ideas, offer comments, make annotations, and mark up actual drawings -- so that building, and rebuilding, can get off the ground faster.
Note to readers: The recent cyclone in Myanmar means that, once again, communities will face the difficult task of reconstruction. Architecture for Humanity offers support and technical expertise to rebuild clinics, schools, community centers, and other critical infrastructure, as well as housing. They are currently raising funds for work in Myanmar.
We very much hope that the outpouring of initial contributions will have a halo effect. If you are interested in getting involved, contact: