Fully Clothed

Learn Dynamo


There are hundreds of ways you can learn Dynamo. My good friend and mentor Julien Benoit at Groupe Legendre teaches his colleagues every day. Dynamo is so integrated in his team’s project that they have to. For many of us this is more a case of playing around until we find relevant problems to solve. I have three main categories of ways to learn Dynamo.

First, use the resources on dynamobim.org and dynamoprimer.com. They include video and written tutorials that cover basic and advanced procedures of computing and automating data. Simple exercises like form creation, parameter manipulation and Excel interoperability are perfect introductions to understand what kind of magic you can pull on your colleagues and clients.

Second, interact with the community. Like many new, free open source programs Dynamo has conjured a fantastic community of people who help each other every day. Guys like Dimitar Venkov and Andreas Dieckmann have done miracles teaching people how to solve their own design problems. Actually Dimitar has two live Code Blocks in critical workflows on my current project at Snøhetta, and I would have gotten nowhere without Andreas’ Clockwork Package. The same goes for Konrad Sobon who created Mantis Shrimp that allows me to move data between Grasshopper and Dynamo, something I do on a daily basis at Snøhetta. Adam Sheather made Dynaworks, a Package that Julien uses to move clashes between Navisworks and Revit in his own workflow. All of these were developed for free under open source licensing. That’s the result of a community of people who like to help others.

Last, arrange courses. When I worked at Dark we asked Nathan Miller to fly from Omaha to Oslo to direct a three day training session. Nate came, and I invited BIM specialists from other companies in Oslo to split the cost. I personally made leaps in understanding computation during those three days. Let me know if you want to set something similar up for you and your colleagues. I can deliver introductory curriculum and pretty advanced architectural design with Dynamo. I can also get you in touch with people like Julien, Andreas and Nate who are on a completely different planet when it comes to advanced topics. As a sidenote to that, Andreas’ topic for his Dynamo class at Revit Technology Conference Europe 2015 in Budapest this fall is Automate Automation. No? He basically has Dynamo run multiple Dynamo definitions in multiple Revit sessions at any time. It blows my mind so hard that I need alcohol and nicotine to not pass out.


“I am too busy. I have no time. All the deadlines. Bu-hu.” We all have time, we just use it differently. I make Dynamo-time when I’m alone at nights (yes it does sound a bit dirty), or sometimes when my wife is working. I also make Dynamo-time at work, and constantly try out stuff that often breaks. When it works, I make awesome. And catch up all time spent. Usually.


Because then you decide what happens.

30 years ago design professionals started drawing lines, text and hatched areas on computers instead of paper. Then 10 years ago we began modeling information in 3D databases. But the operations were not vastly different. Draw, move, rotate, copy. From now on we will start programming information. For coding n00bs like myself visual programming software like Dynamo and Grasshopper are perfect introductions. Building designers need to start making our own software to understand how our components interact, how they perform and to feel greater ownership to our own processes as designers.

To finalize, some images of our latest work at Snøhetta. Facade components beautifully placed according to inner facade mullion and framing placement, and randomized with 4 different sizes, 4 materials, approximately 50 % flipped and “some” of the flipped panels sandblasted. Totally 64 different types. Plus the cut corners, of course. All Dynamo and Adaptive Components.

Fully Clothed

Fully Clothed

Half Naked

Half Naked



Close Up

Close Up




I have a new job. Yay!

Today I spend my first day at one of the world´s most renowned design practices. Snøhetta has designed many of the coolest buildings in the world the past almost 20 years, starting with the Alexandria Library in Egypt. Later work include the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet and the World Trade center memorial site.

My hopes for my first time at the company is that I get to connect my building information modeling and computation knowledge with my new colleague´s parametric work. My colleagues use Grasshopper at a pretty decent level, and I am really exited at the possibility of making those models talk with Revit through Dynamo. I also hope to learn more about working with transpositioning and our fantastic workshop. We have a god damn HUGE programmable manufacturing robot with eyes and a mustache!


Check out our website at snohetta.com. There you will find interesting stuff about our projects, people and processes.

Norwegian National Opera and Ballet

Norwegian National Opera and Ballet

King Abdulaziz Centre for World Culture

King Abdulaziz Centre for World Culture

SFMOMA Expansion

SFMOMA Expansion

Tverrfjellhytta, Norwegian Wild Reindeer Pavilion

Tverrfjellhytta, Norwegian Wild Reindeer Pavilion

Andreas, Julien and me at RTCEUR 2014 in Dublin

Dynamo in Oslo and Copenhagen

“What is the coolest possible thing we can do?”

Lars Robertsen at Autodesk asked me that question two months ago. I responded “Well that would be having Julien Benoit, Andreas Dieckmann, Matt Jezyk and Dieter Vermeulen come to Norway to show of amazing Dynamo material.” I have to admit that Zach Kron was on that list as well, but I´m sure Matt will do just fine without the Barry White of BIM at his side.

My friends are coming to meet you. Seats are limited, so hurry up. If you are using Revit, you need to learn Dynamo. It´s as simple as that. And you will struggle to find a better lineup of people to teach you. This is the A Team. (Sorry for the lack of humbleness. I have decided to stop using that for a while.)

The events are all free, and are the results of a collaborative effort between Dark Architects, Snøhetta, Autodesk, C.F. Møller and Multiconsult. It´s a beautiful thing when people just get together and teach each other stuff.


Copenhagen August 26 Event

Oslo August 27 Event

Thanks to Julien, Andy, Matt and Dieter for coming, Cathrine Mørch for hosting, Jill Nilsson for organizing and Lars for asking an awesome question. See you all there!

Learn Revit


“Can you make a basic Revit video tutorial series for me”, Rodrigo asked.

“Of course.”

I did. It’s out. You can listen to my ranting at thinkparametric.com/courses/revit-architecture-101

Margarida Jeronimo Barbosa at Dark helped me so much making this course that I’m embarrassed to admit it. Great work. Thank you<3

I also owe big thanks to the team at Dark and Zinc who I worked with on this project: Jeanette Norin, Caroline Stokkebokjær Hjelseth, Kaja Kittang Kvande, Christine Grape and Ida Stople. I wrote about the project in the blog post A White Sheet.

The main reason I wanted to help Rodrigo and his friends at Think Parametric is I really like their Rhino and Grasshopper courses. I’ve also come to find many interesting design workflows integrating the four programs Revit, Dynamo, Rhino and Grasshopper. I believe Think Parametric’s computational exercises combined with building information modeling knowledge offers many interesting building design solutions.

At RTCAUS I used several examples of moving data between these four programs and letting each of them use their own strengths. I plan on doing more of the same at RTCEUR. And who knows; maybe one day you’ll find a video tutorial on the same topic at Think Parametric?

rtceur 2014 arnie+h


Arne quit his job.

He’s no longer sitting 6 meters behind me at the office. He’s no longer at Dark. He’s been there his entire professional career as an architects, but no longer. May 1th he went solo.

When I came to Dark two and a half years ago I didn’t know him very well. Nor did I know about his work and abilities. I can safely say that getting to know the creative, skilled and unafraid mind of my former colleague and new friend has been one the greatest pleasures of the past years. Arne has exceptional digital skills: He understands how software works. And he has the imagination and fearlessness to use that knowledge at full strength in building design. He also is completely unafraid to do things he’s never done before. Proven by quitting his first job without a new contract lined up.

I’m sad to see him go, but I’m glad to see him do it. And I’m super exited about my buddy’s future.

Now he runs his own architecture practice at Hel Ved Architecture, He continues to write at his blog Digital story of an architect.

Arne and his team designed one of the coolest buildings in Norway. Barcode, DnB Headquarters, Oslo. Dark Architects.

Arne and his team designed one of the coolest buildings in Norway. Barcode, DnB Headquarters, Oslo. Dark Architects.

Revit Technology Conference

Jay, Martijn and me at RTCEUR 2014 in Dublin

Jay, Martijn and me at RTCEUR 2014 in Dublin

Revit Technology Conference (RTC) is a series of global events that gather building designers and builders who have a common passion of digital technology and sharing knowledge. The conference is awesome because it attracts awesome people and because it creates a small and intimate setting where these people have fun. That’s it. Gather awesome people, and let them have fun. That’s how you solve any problem.

I have attended and/or spoken at every RTC worldwide since Vancouver in 2013. In Canada I was blown away by the companionship and party style of a technical conference. That’s where I met all my Canadian friends, whom I now hook up with as often as I can. Later that year I learnt how to party like an animal in Delft. Okay, I already knew how to do that, but I had never done it with Jose Fandos before. That’s also where I met Julien Benoit for the first time. On the train ride home that Sunday morning, haunted by the party animal, Julien told me to learn Dynamo. Best. Advice. Ever.

In 2014 I did a hat trick speaking in Melbourne, Chicago and Dublin totaling some 11 hours on stage presenting and labbing. That year climaxed with the before-mentioned Monseigneur Benoit and me co-hosting a double Dynamo lab. And finally this year I did the third and single best presentations in Australia’s Gold Coast, both on Dynamo.

I have learnt so much, laughed so hard and met so many extraordinary people during these two years.

Today, on Thursday July 23rd 2015, in Washington DC, the first RTC since Auckland, New Zealand, kicks off without me in it. If you are there, appreciate it. If you are passionate about digital technology in building design this is the best place to meet your tribe.

I miss mine.

Andreas, Julien and me at RTCEUR 2014 in Dublin

Andreas, Julien and me at RTCEUR 2014 in Dublin

File 23-06-15 15 59 32

RTCAUS 2015 Top Ten and Material


One Saturday not long ago I woke up with a punch in the gut. I had snoozed the alarm and overslept. In a few minutes I would stand on a podium on Australia’s Gold Coast, in front of a large audience giving a 75 minute talk on visual programming and building information modeling. With no shower or breakfast, only a short chat with Steve Stafford (that’s nutritious mental breakfast, but still no shower), I went on stage and delivered what was later announced the single best presentation at the entire conference. An hour later I presented the third best session.

Check out the entire list of Top Ten Speakers.

I was also thrilled to read Jonathon Dutton’s feedback earlier today: Post RTCAUS Feedback. Jonathon writes:

“The first Dynamo script I wrote after RTC used our excel project planning file to populate a Revit project with all the proposed drawing sheets – even selecting the appropriate title block and naming conventions. Following this, I wrote a script which placed all my precast panel elevation views on sheets. This saves my company enormous amount of time, which allows our team to focus on more challenging problems rather than work on boring and repetitive tasks.”

If you want to download and study the handout material that helped Jonathon overcome Death By Repetition, please do so from my Workshop page RTC AUS 2015.

Thanks to Margarida Jeronimo Barbosa for help with the content, my company Dark Architects for freedom and inspiration, Stephen Melville for optimized truss sample file, Konrad K. Sobon & Andreas Dieckmann for awesome software, my buddy Arnfinn Aas Eielsen for mental build-up and Adam Sheather (who also had two top ten sessions!) for hanging out with a guy who hadn’t showered.

Adam and me paying attention during the Construction Stream Wrap-Up Forum

Adam and me paying attention during the Construction Stream Wrap-Up Forum. That’s what no-shower hair looks like.

Here’s Stephen’s truss optimization linked to Revit. I showed this at the end of one of my presentations. Rhino, Grasshopper, Kangaroo, Galapagos, Mantis Shrimp, Dynamo and Revit in beautiful symphony: