Architecture goes D.I.Y.

Software programs make design democratic, potentially risky

TRD New York /
Jun.June 21, 2012 02:30 PM

New user-friendly design software is taking D.I.Y. to a new level, allowing homeowners to tackle complex improvement projects that typically require an expensive architect. The New York Times reported on the trend Thursday, writing about Designed Exterior Studio by Ply Gem, which allows users to choose a virtual home resembling their own and digitally manipulate its layout in a structurally sound way, while keeping more decorative design features in mind.

“We’re taking architectural skill, color choices and design, and putting it in the hands of someone who would not otherwise be able to afford an architect,” John Stephenson, North Carolina-based Ply Gem senior vice president for marketing, told the Times.

Several other programs, such as, Google SketchUp and Sweet Home 3D, are now available to these so-called “extreme D.I.Y.ers.”

Not surprisingly, some architects and designers are balking at the idea that untrained homeowners should be attempting such significant and potentially dangerous alterations to their properties. “Even though you can draw a pretty picture with the software,” Pamela Rodriguez, a kitchen designer, said, “you have to ask, ‘Can it be built?’ And ‘Should it be built?’  [NYT]

Related Articles

The Observation Deck at Hudson Yards (Credit: Adam Pogoff)

Views from 1,100 feet: A tour of Related’s “the edge,” the tallest outdoor observation deck in the Western Hemisphere

These are the tallest towers underway in NYC

These are the tallest towers underway
in NYC

A new competition asks what would houses on Mars look like (Credit: Getty Images, Pixabay)

Architecture’s final frontier: Here’s what houses on Mars might look like

From left: Adamson Associates' Alan Tearle, Handel Architects' Gary Handel, Aufgang Architects' Ariel Aufgang (Credit: Getty Images, iStock, Adamson, Aufgang)

These architects designed the most new dev in NYC this year

A rendering of Two Trees' Williamsburg project designed by Bjarke Ingels (Credit: BIG)

New York’s most buzzworthy designs of 2019

Stanford White

The great works and untimely death of New York architect Stanford White

Rendering of 5 Fox Run Lane in Greenwich

Top Greenwich architect denies accusations of recycled renderings

Comptroller Scott Stringer (Credit: Getty Images)

City slow to spend $15B in Superstorm Sandy aid: Stringer