Tag Archives: RTC

Bad Monkey Stream in Porto

Marcello, Julien, Adam and me are going to give you a Dynamo show the world has never seen before. At 09:00 on Friday October 21 in Porto the four of us host a Dynamo Lab at Revit Technology Conference together, and you should consider being there.

Havard_Vasshaug_RTC16 Marcello_Sgambelluri_RTC16 Adam_Sheather_RTC16 Julien_Benoit_RTC16

 

 

 

 

Marcello Sgambelluri hardly requires any introduction if you have ever been attending a conference with any Revit in it the past decade. The american with the curly hair constantly keeps hammering top rated classes around the world, but to the best of my knowledge this is the first time he ever sets foot on European soil. I am plainly super exited to have him coming here, and that we are doing a class together.

Julien Benoit from Nantes has been my very good friend ever since we met at the first ever RTC held in Europe, in Delft back in 2013. Julien has been teaching Revit and Dynamo to French engineers and architects for a number of years, and the work that he and his colleagues are doing is simply amazing. We did a joint lab together with Andreas Dieckmann at RTC last year, and it was a no brainer to set up a similar session again.

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Put Adam Sheather next to almost any normal building industry professional, and he will seem like a God. Literally. Put him next to me, and I will look like the biggest retard who ever put on two shoes. I call him The Prodigy. The man writes code like he never did anything else, but there is so much more to the bearded Australian. The creator of Dynaworks has great visions and thoughts about the future of building design and construction, has a great sense of humor and currently holds the world record for longest RTC lab – 300 minutes, all alone and hung over in Melbourne in 2014. Like Marcello, I don’t think Adam has shared many skills in Europe before, and it is fantastic that he is making the long trip from Brisbane to Porto to be a Bad Monkey on stage.

The four of us have got something special lined up for the hopefully many lucky souls who sign up for Session 2.1 Bad Monkey Stream: Learn Dynamo. We will each run one half session focusing on teaching participant different ways of creating their own scripts for various design problems. Be there! You will be a much better person after.

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Number One

The presentation Building Design with Revit, Rhino, Dynamo & Grasshopper I did with Thomas Benedict Holth from Dark Architects at Revit Technology Conference Europe 2015 in Budapest in October was today announced the best rated session at the entire conference.

We presented work on combining Genetic Optimization and Environmental Analysis Tools in Grasshopper with Building Information Modeling (BIM) in Revit. The material was developed from the work we did together on an architectural competition at Dark last winter, and it apparently resonated with the people who attended the session. Thanks all who came and liked the session! I think we had a great time together in the Grand Ballroom at the Corinthia Hotel.

One of the things I have come to like about my job is working together with people who master and are passionate about computational and visual programming tools, have lots of ideas about technology, and are enthusiastic about learning BIM. Thomas was one of the first guys who made me realize this, and it was a great pleasure to work with him. We did not win the competition, but the technology we developed together still baffles me and makes me think we won anyway.

Me presenting Thomas

Me presenting Thomas

Together with Thomas and me, I was thrilled to find our previous coworkers and first time RTC speakers Margarida Jeronimo Barbosa (now at Beck) and Arne Folkestad Bjelland (now at Grape) on the Top 10 list. I was nowhere near an list after my first RTC presentation in Vancouver in 2013, and I’m brutally impressed with how they dealt with the preparations, nerves and execution. Awesome work, Margarida & Arne! I am also specially pleased to note that my friends and fellow European Dynamo enthusiasts Andreas Dieckmann and Peter Kompolschek were recognized for their awesome event sessions by also figuring in the final top 10 list. Check out the entire list on Jose Fandos’ blog post: RTC Europe Top 10 Speakers.

Julien, me, Margarida, Arne and Andreas at the Corinthia

Julien, me, Margarida, Arne and Andreas at the Corinthia

I plan to publish some content from the presentation in the future, but for now I conclude with thanking some of the people we worked with on the competition:

Caroline Stokkebokjær Hjelseth who didn’t sleep for 48 hours straight; Jeanette Norin who always laughed and totally owned the Revit model; Kaja Kittang Kvande who kept pushing us with her determination and never-give-up attitude; Rene Damborg Jensen, the trend expert who kept producing when we were all high on no sleep and couldn’t concentrate; Olaf Kon (mr. K) who contributed so much to the entire project with great ideas from day one; Franziska Meizel who flew in from the sideline and nailed the main concept at the end; Marcin Kitala who started working at Dark just before deadline and made huge contributions to the modeling of the final concept – life saver!; Tommi Haferbier Nielsen and his team at Steensen & Varming in Copenhagen – always in a good mood and contributing to the creative process; Ambrogio Agnozi at ARUP who gave us so much insight and knowledge about different structural solutions and ways to communicate a design with hand sketches; Daniel Nielsen in Copenhagen for all the help developing the Grasshopper scripts after Thomas went to Africa – we owe you big time; and finally Christine Grape who was our mentor, leader and anchor until two weeks before deadline. Thanks all!

<3

Learn Dynamo

How?

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.

When?

“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.

Why?

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


Nude

Nude


Close Up

Close Up

 

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

RTCAUS 2015 Top Ten and Material

BAM.

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:

RTCAUS 2015 Prelude

Later this evening I get on a plane that will keep me locked up for more than 26 hours and then release me on the southern hemisphere. In Brisbane, Australia, to be more precise. There I will hook up with my buddy Arnfinn, before venturing to Gold Coast and RTCAUS 2015.

At RTCAUS I will give two Dynamo presentations; Dynamo in Structural Design and Enhance Your Project Workflow with Dynamo. Both should be pretty awesome. If you are going to the conference and haven’t signed up for them, I suggest you do. You will learn lots of basic Dynamo. You’ll also see some pretty advanced stuff, like for instance use of Konrad K. Sobon’s Mantis Shrimp, that creates a live link between Grasshopper and Dynamo.

Mantis Shrimp allows users to live update Dynamo and Revit from a Rhino/Grasshopper session

Mantis Shrimp allows users to live update Dynamo and Revit from a Rhino/Grasshopper session

I also look forward to hooking up with Adam Sheather and Jon Mirtschin again. Keen the beer cold guys!

Dynamo Video Tutorials

How do you learn to play the piano?

You learn the basics, find a YouTube instructor, and practice a melody that you like. That’s how I do it anyway. How do you learn computer software? You learn the basics, and find a problem that you love solving. That’s how my son learnt how to ski. It has to be fun. And now I play Bach. Because I think its awesome.

I recently hosted a whole day Dynamo lab for engineering students at Bergen University College. The curriculum that I used was a developed version of material I presented in 2014 with Julien Benoit at RTCEUR, and solo at Autodesk University (AU) 2014; Computational Logic in Structural Design. The math and script was developed last summer, with much help from Zach Kron.

The structure was inspired by a question I got from a colleague during a Computational Design workshop at Dark: “Dude, have you seen the Smithsonian”? Voilà; I had a problem that I loved to solve. Now, 64 students in Bergen have learnt how to mathematically model the roof of the Smithsonian American Art Museum atrium roof in Washington DC.

After AU I expanded the example with more Structural Framing diagonals, analytical model information and Robot integration. Instead of writing new or revising documents to supplement the live labs, I decided to record short and fast video tutorials and post the on YouTube.

The students are now using these tutorials to learn Dynamo with my Smithsonian roof problem, and so can you:

Here’s the handout I wrote for AU: Computational Logic in Structural Design

In the future I hope to expand the curriculum further by applying more analytical data (Loads, Load Combinations, Boundary Conditions, Calculations, Results Management, Analytical Visualization, and so on) and perhaps genetic algorithm optimization techniques (Galapagos, Optimo). I’d be very interested to hear if you have ideas to ways this problem, and it’s solutions, could be enhanced.

Last, I gave my students an assignment. Go ahead if you want, and see if your skills and imagination can challenge theirs:

Create a Dynamo script that generates a roof of steel beams based on a trigonometric function. The example below is based on a sine curve between 0 and 180 degrees. The structure must be parametric in length, width, height and grid. Present the results in an inventive way.

Assignment