Tag Archives: Analysis

BIM Conferences in 2014: A Summary of Published Content

Yesterday morning I woke up in Istanbul. By noon I was back at the office in Oslo having lunch with my friends at Dark. That flight marked my final appearance as a speaker at international BIM conferences in 2014. I’ve been in Melbourne, Chicago, Dublin, Las Vegas and now Istanbul. At all these events I have contributed with multiple presentations and labs, totaling almost 14 hours on stage. Most of the material has been presented multiple times, but the total number of handouts and datasets that had to be produced, revised and quality assured is overwhelming, especially due to Dynamo versions but also new Revit featuers.

In the menu Workshops above you can now download most of the material I have used in these training sessions. It’s all a collection of company training, conference labs or online presentations. Here’s a quick capture of 2014 additions, in reverse chronological order:

Autodesk University 2014

At AU 2014 I did one Dynamo lab and one Rebar presentation. The Dynamo lab was jam packed, and we created a pretty awesome mathematically defined roof structure of Adaptive Components that reported each panel’s deflection. The exercise was similar to that used in the double lab Julien Benoit and I hosted at RTC EUR 2014. A fun fact from this lab was that I had the company of two Lab Assistants; Marius Jablonskis from Norconsult, who had never seen Dynamo before but is in other ways a fine person, and Andreas Dieckmann, the Dynamo Grand Master. (He dislikes me calling him that, which makes me want to do it more.)

Smithsonian collage

The Rebar presentation was a repeat/continuum of the presentations I did on similar topics at AU 2012, 2013, RTC NA 2013 and RTC AUS 2014 previously. The only difference this time was that it was live streamed across the world, with a couple of thousand people watching. It’s still being watched in fact, as the recording continues to reside at au.autodesk.com/au-online/live-stream/revit-concrete-reinforcement.

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Common for both sessions was the great feedback I received both verbally and digitally (as class rating), and that I had a great time with my friends in the audience.

Revit Technology Conference Europe 2014

At RTC EUR 2014 I did one Dynamo presentation and the double lab mentioned above. The double lab differed from the one I did at AU in that it excluded Julien’s second part on using Dynamo for working effectively with analytical information on the basis of a simple Adaptive Component structure. Basically, I did the easy part of creating a structure, and my friend did all the complex analytical hacks with Python. We got great feedback for the session, but next time I think we will try to keep it a bit more simple. The maths in Dynamo that created the roof structure for us was developed in collaboration with the coolest dude in Computational BIM; Zach Kron.

Photo by Srecko Sljivic

Photo by Srecko Sljivic

The Dynamo presentation I did alone also got great reviews, even though I struggled a bit with some normals midway. I love doing live demos, and this time I built a space frame with variable thickness based on a double curved surface. Here I was luck to have all other Dynamo presenters at the conference lined up on the back row, commenting everything I did wrong in their eyes. Actually I wish they had, as that might have saved me from n00bing with normals.

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Beautiful 3-dimensional math, developed with Zach Kron

Check out Julien’s blog; AEC, you and me for news and updates on his presentations.

Revit Technology Conference North America 2014

I wasn’t scheduled to attend RTC NA this year, but Steve Stafford contacted me two weeks before to inquire if I could cover for a cancellation. I can never say no to the man and booked my flights instantly.

I did a double lab on computational logic in structural design; the first part with Masses and Adaptive Components in the conceptual modeling environment; and the second part on Dynamo. The exercises I used was the same space frames I lectured on in Melbourne at RTC AUS a month before. My inexperience with labs at the time was saved by Brian Mackey and Bruce McCallum, who were both present and helped out the participants who ran into trouble. Thanks again guys!

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Revit Technology Conference Australasia 2014

My first BIM conference of 2014 wasn’t until late in May, but the distance I had to travel made up for the lack of activity prior. I did two presentations; one my regular rebar show, and my first ever international lecture on Masses, Adaptive Components, Maths and Dynamo. Being the first time, I naturally ran out of time with Dynamo in the end. The rebar presentation, however, was really good, and it was later ranked sixth best session of the entire conference at the RTC Blog: www.rtcevents.com/blog/?p=1091

Space Frame based on Massing, Adaptive Components and The Pythagorean Theorem

Space Frame based on Massing, Adaptive Components and The Pythagorean Theorem

Next year I will focus more on Computational BIM and Dynamo in architecture, as that’s what I’ve actually been working on the last year.

Now it’s time to relax and bring the stress down for Christmas with the family. All my friends abroad, see you next year and thanks for an epic 2014!

A White Sheet

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A white sheet.

For the first time for as long as I can remember, I start drawing on a white sheet. Not a sheet of paper. A clean, untouched white canvas on a computer screen. I use white paper sheets all the time, but I have never started to draw on a white drawing canvas on a computer before. At least not on a real building project.

This magic happens in a meeting room with two friends working on the same project. I watch the first lines I produce while discussing dimensions with my friends. I sense the thrilling feeling of starting on a new adventure, all the possibilities in an empty room with no noise. I realize that this has never happened before. I have always started every drawing bringing in someone else’s work, smudging every white spot with filthy realities of past projects and real world. Dirty groundwork and zoning plans. But not this time. This time me and my friends have all the space and tranquility of an infinite silent white room. Perfect.

The white sheet is one of four things that I absolutely love with the building project I work on now. The other things are:

  • It’s tall.
  • It has edge cutting technology.
  • It has awesome people working on it.

The height of the building project was the first property that caught my attention. It will be the tallest building In Norway, probably some 46 meters taller than Oslo Plaza, which is the tallest today. How many times do you get to work on the tallest building in the country? That’s right: not many.

I suspect there’s some kind of masculine phallus complex going on. I don’t know. But I really like tall buildings. Apparently the owner does too. Perhaps we have that in common. Tall buildings look epic and inspiring from distance. They are terrifying when standing on the top floor looking down. And they make you feel humble, small and insignificant looking up from close. Every ingredient of a femme fatale. Perhaps that’s why some of us feel so fascinated.

Apart from height and the white canvas, or perhaps because of them, we have had the chance to do some design research while building the digital and physical models. We have used visual scripting to generate loads of facade modules for various skin iterations. These facade modules have been constructed using native building information model elements, with parameters and materials, allowing us to design parametrically and fast, while also maintaining all the benefits of working in a building database. For instance, it has been crucial that we have had control of glass versus solid material ratio in the facade, and area use in the different parts of the tower. (It’s rather expensive to build floors 150 meters above ground – you should make sure you’re within the regulations and also utilize every square centimeter.)

A Dynamo definition that will generate 2106 randomized pixel facade modules in 7.2 seconds

A Dynamo definition that will generate 2106 randomized pixel facade modules in 7.2 seconds

Pixel Facade 14. floor

Pixel Facade 14. floor

14. floor: 8 different randomized Pixel Facade modules

14. floor: 8 different randomized Pixel Facade modules

We have had the chance to use some new daylighting tools that calculate and render visual design feedback that we can evaluate directly in our modeling software. Like the visual scripting, these tools are either beta’s or open source software, and of course free. This means we have had to do a lot of research analyzing software behavior, analysis results, and the odd crash. That’s the prize you pay using edge cutting technology, but to me that’s a no brainer. I’ll rather do that any day of the week, instead of repeating myself with old workflows. Besides, we learn a lot about how digital technology works, building our own scripts, debugging and re-reading mathematical curriculum that we forgot in a bar 10 years ago. (I’m speaking for myself.)

14. floor with pixel facade rendered in cloud

14. floor with pixel facade rendered in cloud

14. floor illuminance analysis render

14. floor illuminance analysis render

Daylight analysis 14. floor collage

Daylight analysis 14. floor collage

As a comic contrast to the above ranting about technology, and directly related to the white sheet, for the first time ever I have given life to a form, and I did it with pen and paper. We had been evaluating multiple shapes for the top of the building, without finding an alternative that had function, aligned with the owner’s wishes, and balanced the dimensions of the structure. One morning, when I had breakfast with my son, we drew a design alternative that I really liked. I went early to the office, modeled it on my computer and showed it to our CEO Christine, whereupon she responded “that’s nice”. Awesome moment.

Together with Christine, I work on this project with some fantastic people. Caroline, always positive and never give up; Ida, with the great imagination and always new ideas; Jeanette, with tons of knowledge on interior design and always smiling; and Kaja, with the fantastic design skills and good sense of humor. Young Henrik runs the workshop operations like a champ. In addition I’ve had the privilege of working with two of our inters: Olaf; with a secret passion for adaptive components, and Elena; her 3ds Max skills and ability to both learn and teach has impressed more than just me.

My sheet is not white any longer. But it doesn’t matter. It has been filled sky high with beautiful edge cutting technology by fantastic people, and I am pleased.

Ida, Kaja and Caroline are working, while I'm taking pictures.

Ida, Kaja and Caroline are working, while I’m taking pictures.

Physical model made by Olaf and Henrik

Physical model made by Olaf and Henrik

Physical model close up

Physical model close up

Various 14. floor b&w interior perspectives

Various 14. floor b&w interior perspectives

Facade Module Scheme

Facade Module Scheme

Detailed daylight analysis with shadows

Detailed daylight analysis with shadows

When you forget to check the Family Type node in Dynamo before Run, you get a beautifully randomized distribution of Plumbing Fixtures across your facade.

When you forget to check the Family Type node in Dynamo before Run, you get a beautifully randomized distribution of Plumbing Fixtures across your facade.