For design professionals, the tools available to streamline processes have increased almost exponentially it seems, with something new to fill just about any need you could possibly imagine. Now add Wecora.com to that bag of tricks. Launched as a beta version at the end of the last year and now fully operational, Wecora.com is a subscription-based online design platform that promises designers the ability to create electronic visualizations of projects—along with lots of other bells and whistles—all in the name of streamlining the design process.
“We spent eight or nine months not even picking up a pencil,” architect Joe Valerio, of Valerio Dewalt Train, says of the initial design process for an addition to the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. Instead, “we did our homework,” he explains. Valerio and his colleagues spent their time reading, researching and listening on visits to schools around the country and in conversation with teachers at the school and with some of the leading educational thinkers around—taking the measure of the educational landscape now and decades from now. The goal was to make the new building “as smart in the future as it was today,” he says.
LED technology, not to mention aesthetics, is changing, pardon the pun, at light speed. Despite the advances, though, some challenges persist. Notably, for some projects, “what you end up getting is a head-lighting effect,” says Brad Zinke, 3M Architectural Markets Global Lighting Business Manager, “with a bright spot and a dark spot.”
Last year, AIA|LA honored Standard, helmed by Silvia Kuhle and Jeffrey Allsbrook with a merit design award for their thoughtful imagining of the new Kayne Griffin Corcoran Gallery in Los Angeles. A car dealership–turned-photography studio, the architects transformed it into a compelling space for art.