Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We use cookies to personalise your experience; learn more in our Privacy and Cookie Policy. You can opt out of some cookies by adjusting your browser settings; see the cookie policy for details. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies.

AJ100 2020

AJ100 2020: The latest digital technologies are in practice alongside traditional crafts

  • Comment

Craft skills and cutting-edge computer technology co-exist happily in contemporary practice

This year’s AJ100 survey included a more in-depth look at techniques, asking practices about their use of a wider range of technologies and skills.

The responses reveal widespread practice of an interesting blend of the latest digital technologies and traditional craft skills. BIM has become (almost) ubiquitous, with 96 per cent of practices saying they make extensive use of it – up from 93 per cent last year and 85 per cent the year before that.

To what extent does your practice use the following technologies for design?

3D computer modelling is also used very extensively (by 83 per cent), as is rendering software (64 per cent) and 2D CAD software (64 per cent). Seven out of eight practices also use 3D printing, a quarter extensively, while nearly one in five make extensive use of virtual reality (19 per cent). The latter appears to be moving into mainstream use in architectural practice, with only 14 per cent reporting that they make no use of it.

About one in 10 practices uses both augmented reality and filmmaking, although about a third make no use of these at all.

On the other hand, just over half (52 per cent) of the practices said that they made extensive use of hand sketching, and all practices made some use of this. Just over 30 per cent made extensive use of model-making by hand – a slight reduction on the previous year’s figure of 33 per cent – and nine out of 10 practices make some use of this (as in the past two years). One quarter engage in carpentry and furniture making, at least to some extent.

Bruce Tether is professor of management at the Alliance Manchester Business School at the University of Manchester and Research Director of the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.