AEC Tech News (#285)

10 Feb, 2011 By: Cadalyst Staff

Design Excellence in Two Dimensions

A small Seattle architecture and interior design firm uses AutoCAD
to create stunning hotels — inside and out.

By David Cohn

Editor's note: Through a sponsorship by Autodesk, Cadalyst editors bring you this feature, part of a special series of articles that highlight the role of AutoCAD and 2D design in today's demanding CAD work flows. Watch for the next installment later this month.

Architects have been using AutoCAD since the program was released in 1983 and have come to rely on many of the software's features and functions to develop everything from concepts and preliminary designs to complete sets of working drawings and photorealistic renderings. Although the software has become increasingly powerful in the years since its introduction and today rivals other programs in terms of its 3D modeling capabilities, many firms still rely on the program primarily for serious 2D work — and Autodesk is serious about supporting those users by continually upgrading AutoCAD's 2D functionality.

One firm that is firmly planted in the 2D AutoCAD space is Degen & Degen, a full-service architectural and interior design firm founded in 1997 by the husband-and-wife team of principal architect Jeffrey Degen and principal interior designer Anita Degen. The Seattle-based company works on projects throughout North America and Asia, including work for major international hoteliers such as Marriott, Hilton, Starwood, and InterContinental, as well as independent owners and developers. Projects include both new construction and renovation, and no two are ever alike.

The full-service architecture and interior design firm of Degen & Degen work throughout the United States, Canada, and Asia for major international hotel companies.
The full-service architecture and interior design firm of Degen & Degen work throughout North America and Asia for major international hotel companies.

"There's really no distinction between interior and exterior," said Jeffrey Degen. "Both must be developed simultaneously. At Degen & Degen, every project team has both architects and interior designers from Day One. The design concept is truly an evolution of both interior and exterior." Read more »

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David Cohn is the technical publishing manager for 4D Technologies as well as a consultant and technical writer. A former senior editor of Cadalyst, he is the author of more than a dozen books about AutoCAD and is currently working on a book about the land speed record. He is based in Bellingham, Washington.

Mark Your Calendar: AEC Events

Webinar: Professional Hardware: The Key to Success for 3D Design, Part 2
February 17, 2011
Noon ET
"Professional Hardware: The Key to Success for 3D Design" addresses how professional workstations and graphics cards can optimize the use of 3D modeling software. Part 2 of this series presents an open panel of industry experts who address questions from attendees about how to optimize hardware configurations to support specific software implementations. Read more »

Webinar: BIM and Single-Family Residential
February 17, 2011
2 p.m. ET
"BIM and Single-Family Residential: Using Technology to Lower Costs, Speed Construction, and Improve Performance" is a webinar that will focus on the use of building information modeling on smaller projects. Architects will describe the benefits and challenges using of using BIM for residential work. Read more »

Ecobuild 2011
March 1–3, 2011
London, United Kingdom
This event for sustainable design, construction, and the built environment focuses on emerging issues, new thinking, challenging ideas, and the new policy priorities of the coalition government responding to the need for budget cuts. Read more »

GIS Program Management
March 14, 2011
Yakima, Washington
This workshop by the Washington chapter of URISA (Urban and Regional Information Systems Association) is designed to provide guidelines for managing a GIS (geographic information system) program in a government organization. Read more »

Cartography and Map Design
March 15, 2011
Yakima, Washington
This workshop by the Washington chapter of URISA (Urban and Regional Information Systems Association) addresses the creation of an effective map — one that portrays a place, delivers a message, or reveals a pattern with representational accuracy and visual clarity. Read more »

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on Are you hosting an event that you would like to include in our calendar? Submit details at least two weeks in advance to


What’s New at

Your 3D Modeling Efforts Require Hardware Help
If you're modeling in 3D but don't have the right professional hardware, you're undermining your software investment and hindering productivity. The latest generation of professional workstations and graphics cards is delivering performance that not only will knock your socks off, but in many cases can be had for only a few hundred dollars more than consumer-grade counterparts. Want to know more? Have questions and need expert feedback? Join our webcast, Professional Hardware: The Key to Success for 3D Design and Visualization, on February 17 at noon ET.

Circles and Lines Tutorial: AutoCAD for Mac Is Back!
After an 18-year absence, Autodesk reintroduces native AutoCAD for the OS X platform. Read more »

First Look Review: Cintiq 21UX
Wacom's pressure-sensitive, interactive pen display fits the bill for creative professionals who want a leading-edge tool. Read more »

About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

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