Plus, University of Michigan researchers find that affluent households generate more carbon emissions, AEC firms speak out against Autodesk Revit, and more of this week’s design–tech news.
With everyone limiting travel during the global pandemic, the insurance provider Budget Direct has brought a selection of historic ruins to a screen near you. As part of a larger campaign from the company’s travel insurance wing, they worked with the U.K.–based content studio NeoMam and Serbian designer Jelena Popović to generate GIFs that restore six UNESCO World Heritage sites to their “former glory,” giving viewers a glimpse of the sites had they been preserved. Selecting six sites—including the Old City of Jerusalem and the Walls of Jerusalem, in Israel, and the Hatra in Al-Jazīrah, Iraq—from UNESCO’s List of World Heritage in Danger, Budget Direct collaborated with Popović to research and digitally reconstruct each structure using historical information and design data. [Budget Direct]
Marginalized communities bear a disproportionate burden of the effects of climate change in the U.S., with Black and Hispanic communities exposed to more air pollution and facing more direct environmental hazards than their white counterparts, but a new study from the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability reports that they are responsible for just a fraction of the country’s residential greenhouse gas emissions.
Autodesk has acquired the construction workflow start-up Pype, hoping to “empower general contractors, subcontractors and owners to gain even more value from Autodesk Construction Cloud,” according to the software developer’s press release. But the company might need to also focus on its BIM products after leading AEC firms from around the world signed an open letter voicing concern for the increasing cost of Revit given its lack of development over time. The firms, which include Grimshaw, Zaha Hadid Architects, BVN, Rogers, Stirk, Harbour and Partners, Wilkinson Eyre Architects, state that, as practices representing thousands of Autodesk users and “a revenue stream … of over $22m over the last 5 years,” they’ve been plagued by a number of issues, including a “lack of scalability and product performance,” which ultimately hampers their employees’ creativity and productivity. “The practices involved in this initiative seek from Autodesk a transparent action plan that is customer-centric, non-adversarial, innovative, progressive, and deliverable,” the firms write. “Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, costs were under significant scrutiny and the value added by software vendors is now being questioned as never before.” [AEC Magazine]