Film: Nordic Office of Architecture – how new technology opens up new opportunities for design, collaboration and business 

Jeanne Tan Jeanne Tan May 8, 2023

3 min read

How can new technology help architects navigate the increasing complexity in their work? What new opportunities will data open up? And how will the architects’ involvement in a longer building lifecycle benefit the project?

In this film, the Autodesk Forma team travels to Oslo, Norway to meet Knut Ramstad and Bridget White from Nordic Office of Architecture. Here, they share insights into how data and new technology can transform architecture processes, enable new opportunities for design, collaboration and business and empower architects to design more informed, sustainable, and future-proof architecture from day one.

Shaping thriving societies

Nordic Office of Architecture is renowned for its approach combining Nordic philosophy with local insights and global perspectives. That said, their primary goal has always been to shape thriving societies by gaining a in-depth understanding of the needs of people and nature. With a team of 500 skilled architects based in Norway, Denmark, and Iceland, this leading architectural firm works with clients and projects across the globe. Leveraging their experience across projects of all scales, Nordic Office of Architecture aims to help clients achieve their project goals to the highest standard. As part of this pursuit, the firm is always on the lookout for tools that improve the design process and create better architecture.

Prioritize creating a digital strategy  

Nordic Office of Architecture closely follows all the exciting developments in the industry including advancements in AI technology. The firm believes that integrating these new technologies and digital tools will allow them to automate a lot of their existing processes, freeing up more time for creative exploration and radically improve collaboration. Bridget White, architect and Digital Technology Lead at Nordic Office of Architecture explains: “If we invest time and energy into creating a digital strategy at the start of a project, we can influence the way the design processes work and define the tools that match those processes.” 

Complexity affects the way we work 

At Nordic, it is imperative to gain a deep understanding of the client’s needs and have access to rich data sets right at the outset of the project. This empowers the firm to tackle the growing complexities and make informed decisions that are pertinent throughout the entire design project. Moreover, since many of these crucial decisions are shaped by data, there is a need for data to flow smoothly across the different stakeholders, present at different stages of the project.  

Nordic’s sensitive approach to nature, further brings in additional complexities that come with creating sustainably. “I think that this complexity is much about creating sustainable, future-proof buildings. It’s about having full control over all the elements that go into a building in a lifecycle perspective,” says Knut Ramstad, architect and CTO at Nordic Office of Architecture. 

Transforming architectural processes with technology

New technology opens up new ways of handling these complexities. Tools such as Autodesk Forma create new possibilities for enhanced design and collaboration. “Forma has enabled us to pull architects into a digital platform in the early phase, forming projects with informed data, allowing them to compare design alternatives, and not only that, reach an optimized result,” explains White. With Forma enabling the firm’s ability to move data and geometry directly forward into the next phase, the level of rework required between these two phases has been reduced significantly.  

Improved data transition also leads to less data loss. Moreover, this ensures that all the information that is established in the design phase will follow through to the operational phase. This creates new opportunities for architects that extend beyond the construction phase. “We can follow the building in a longer perspective, meaning a better, holistic approach and better quality in the entire life cycle,” says Ramstad. White concludes: We are excited about the way we can design more sustainable, more informed architecture, using digital technology to assist us in those processes.” 

Thank you: Nordic Office of Architecture, Reykjavík, and Oslo

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