Opening the Doors to the High-Tech Future of Architecture

At Doors Open Toronto, Autodesk showed how architecture is evolving through technologies like VR, generative design and the internet of things.

We used VR in designing our new space at the MaRS Discovery District to help visualize the space and help people understand what it would look like. At Doors Open, we showed how anyone could access VR on their mobile devices and let people take a sneak peak into our new gallery and event space on the ground floor.

A number of people asked how hard it was to create such an experience. We talked about how people could do this with tools like 3ds max, Maya and Stingray, Autodesk’s game engine. Now even easier, designers can take their digital building model from Revit and easily send it to Revit Live for an immersive and interactive experience.

Some people asked how you could do this if you didn’t have a digital model. Using your camera, you can take photos of a space and convert it to a digital model with Autodesk ReCap. We used a similar process when we created a model of our previous Toronto office, connected with the internet of things, to start the Dasher360 project. Dasher360 allows building operations personnel to use the digital model to explore how the building is using resources like electricity and how people are moving through the space.

Also on display were examples of generative design for architecture. We showed how our floor plan for our office at MaRS was created and the following video tells some of the story.

We also showed how the University of Southern California used generative design to prototype solutions for a multi-building site in Los Angeles.

Of course, a lot of visitors were interested in things beyond architecture. We had people who were also interested in creating digital tools and similar experiences for other industries like gaming, manufacturing and construction. A couple quick points of note for those folks:

  • Forge provides a number of 3D design capabilities for web developers
  • There is a lot of development happening in the Toronto office and people should check out the Autodesk Careers page




Create an Immersive Molecular Virtual Reality Experience in 60 seconds

Autodesk is hosting a hands-on workshop to introduce participants to smartphone-enabled virtual reality (VR) using the Autodesk Molecule Viewer (, a free, web-based molecular visualization tool for customizing, capturing, and sharing 3D structural content.
Participants will
  1. immersively experience a short VR demonstration on the visual system proteins, and
  2. receive a tutorial on how to create their own molecular VR walkthroughs.

The goal of the workshop is to unlock the potential for VR to revolutionize education, outreach, and research in molecular biology and related fields.

Participants will receive a FREE VR Viewer for their smartphone that they can take away to to share the immersion of their creations.
This workshop is organized as part of Biophysics Week. Space is limited. Light refreshments provided.
A sneakpeak of workflow here: