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Modern society is engrossed in a visual culture, and the architecture industry, with its increasing focus on experimenting with modern design and visual techniques, is no exception.

3D computer modelling has opened many doors for architects. It gives us the freedom to be more efficient, creative, verify our designs as we go and assert more control over the end product. Clients are increasingly demanding creative, bold designs for new buildings, and architects are responding to this by using 3D programmes to test the boundaries of design by creating complex shapes while finding forms that work well and, most importantly, achieve accurate and pragmatic designs.

This technique is becoming central to effective teamwork between architects and engineers, thereby encouraging a truly multidisciplinary mindset in new building projects.

And, as an evolutionary tool, 3D modelling has the potential to see a project through from initial concept design to construction, facilitating a streamlined process and helping to eliminate room for error.

Addressing both micro and macro elements of a scheme within the one design means we are not only creating a design on an urban context level, but also applying intricate details. By fabricating bespoke elements, such as building components, the manufacturing industry benefits too.

With this technology comes a much higher rate of efficiency. Designs can be reviewed quickly by colleagues and clients and easily developed.

This means architecture graduates, who leave university proficient in the use of 3D programs as a design tool, have the opportunity to bring their talent to the table much earlier in their careers than they would have done previously. The fast, interactive nature of 3D modelling enables them to be actively involved in a project as early as when the client gives the brief. And of course, this injection of creativity from enthusiastic new architects goes hand in hand with client demands for fresh ideas.

As an architect, there is much satisfaction to be gained from being involved with a project from concept design right through to construction.

With these modern design techniques comes the opportunity for graduates to make a real impact from the first day on the job. It's an exciting time to be taking your place in the profession.

James Ewen, graduate architect, Atkins

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