Leading Visualisation Architects and their Practices


This panel of experts are testing, exploring and adopting new visualisation technology to drive business growth. Each have a unique approach to design but are keen to encourage open collaboration and dismiss the secretive culture that stems from competitive university environments. Here’s what they are getting up to in their practices:


Facit Homes - Bruce Bell

“We design and build digitally manufactured homes for private clients. All one off homes, all custom built. Our particular focus is on digital technology and how we can transform the construction process.”


According to Grand Designs, Facit Homes are at the forefront of innovation in producing ‘the world’s first computer-cut house.’ Many herald off-site fabrication as the answer to efficient construction. Facit homes have thought more broadly about construction techniques. They use a revolutionary onsite CNC controlled machine to cut out building components and position them on site. This saves on shipping, rental overheads, logistics and many more of the costs associated with factory construction.

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Millar + Howard Workshop - Tomas Millar

“VR has transformed our relationship with clients. It has been a total game changer. We also use visualisation for early stage modelling through a method called photogrammetry. This gives clients an accurate understanding of their site.”


Described as ‘rural innovators,’ Millar + Howard are based in an old textiles mill in Stroud. This practice has explored everything from tree-houses to virtual reality. Photogrammetry is a method of taking measurements from photographs. The concept dates back to 1480 when Leonardo da Vinci defined perspective and projective geometry. Millar + Howard are exploring a complex version called stereo-photogrammetry which allows you to piece together images to create a 3d model to help the client visualise their site. They use either drone footage from the site or take screenshots from google earth.


Mamou-Mani Architects - Bilal Mian

“We have a semi open source culture, working with semi open source software. I have learnt about drawing using code, not in a conventional way but actually through the script. This gives you a lot of power and efficiency.”


Arthur, the director of Mamou-Mani architects, is known for his mathematical and computational design using grasshopper, arduino and even some of his own custom built software such as silkworm to produce complex architecture. Mamou-Mani are pioneers in the way they use programming language to design. The Polybot, featured at the Soane Museum was not a conventional project. The installation, built in partnership with Arup is a universal building machine run on code. Computational mathematical design has allowed the practice to take on impressive projects such as The Burning Man Temple which featured 4000 steel plates each of them unique, that had to be ready for procurement drawings within a week.

During the practice introductions, it became apparent that they were all using different design tools and mediums to interact with the client. Our next blog will focus on how these forward thinking architects approach the initial dialogue with their clients.

Angus Brown