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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Autodesk DesignScript released into the wild (Autodesk Labs) October 5


A few days back Robert Aish’s team at Autodesk finally released into the Autodesk Labs environment the scripting software now known as DesignScript. Check it out at Autodesk Labs. Some initial thoughts. 

I recall the buzz at the Autodesk University in 2008 when Robert arranged a Computational Design Symposium which I was fortunate to attend. At the conclusion of the symposium, he showed a proof-of-concept of something he tongue in cheek referred to as D-sharp (D# - Design-# , a tipping of the hat to C# - the programming language). An insight into how this demo was compiled in the short time since he had moved from the Bentley Generative Components (GC) team can be found here 

And a video interview with Robert from AU 2008  is available here

Most interesting to me was the presence for quite long periods during the day of the Computational Design symposium of Karl Bass the Autodesk CEO... It seemed to signal a degree of significance for the project from the senior management. It is almost four years later, and a working version is out.

I recall being surprised in 2008 at the choice of AutoCAD as the D# / Design Script platform. The origins of Aish's efforts with GC had been architectural. In an inspirational talk in 2000 or 2001 when he visited Wellington Robert Aish differentiated his research from Parametric Modelling of widgets such as was very familiar from 3D modelling within industrial design. He argued cogently for a language of design that permitted Architectural principles to be worked with explicitly. He showed how a major tour de force piece of architecture - the Waterloo Station terminus of the Eurostar high speed trains - might have been designed simply and efficiently had it been 'architecturally parametric'. The award winning Nicholas Grimshaw and Partners building snakes through London (though it has been empty since 2007):





With the major promotion at AU 2008 of Revit as a BIM product (some over-zealous types even then seemed to be of the view that Revit=BIM), the Design Script platform being Autocad was a definite surprise.

The intriguing aspect of this new product, apart from the curiosity factor, is the proposed integration with other Design Analysis / Simulation tools:
• Robot (Structural Analysis)
• SMART Form (form finding) integration with DesignScript implemented by Buro Happold
• Optimisation Strategies
• Ecotect environmental analysis
• Green Building Studio (Building performance analysis and simulation)

Oddly, the Autodesk Labs web site links the 2009 AU interview with Robert Aish:


It also includes a brief 'White Paper' and a short tutorial. Not a lot to go on as yet. Disappointingly most of the tutorial is about running a program that produces no graphical output. I cannot see the folks who find Grasshopper intriguing because it hides this code from them being at all excited by this tutorial. The Design Script brochure follows the same approach. It spends much of its first page on a picture of a script and the following:
"Imperative programming is characterized by explicit ‘flow control’ using for loops (for iteration) and if statements (for conditionals) as found in familiar scripting and programming languages such as Python.
On the other hand, Associative programming uses the concept of graph dependencies to establish ‘flow control.’ Changes to ‘upstream’ variables are automatically propagated to ‘downstream’ variables." REF
Only a few rare designers are going to be interested in this...? 

Finally, I'm left with wondering where Vasari,  fits in this? Vasari has 'graduated' from Autodesk Labs to Beta release. It appears to be an integration of some aspects of GBS and Ecotect into Revit...? More exploration on our part?

The questions for R & D over the next 5 years will be: how might these all be integrated with other leading edge analytical developments (3DS Max Design, Radiance and Daysim climate based daylight analysis? IESVE Thermal, Lighting and Ventilation analysis? OpenStudio/EnergyPlus or just EnergyPlus? CATT Acoustic / EASE / Odeon ?)

And who will do the validation? 
  • Vasari has a great 'virtual wind tunnel' feature, but it does not model the effect of the turbulent boundary layer that leads to downwash causing danger / discomfort at the base of poorly designed tall buildings. Wind tunnels were validated against measured data. I live in a really windy city with lots of opportunities for comparison of reality and virtual environments, but it took a long time for the wind tunnel testing back in the 1980s to collect enough data to demonstrate credible 'virtual wind' environments.
  • Ecotect is essentially an extremely powerful simulation analysis results viewer coupled to hand calculations developed decades ago. How might these DesignScript or Vasari options be linked to and then validated with modern simulation software that addresses the physics more directly? And how might these analytical tools be applied at a time in the design cycle of a building when they might make a difference?
    • 100 years or so in the case of Sabine's Reverberation Time in the Acoustics module
    • 30-40 years ago in the case of the Admittance method for thermal performance analysis which assumes essentially that climate trends (temperature and sun) can be described as sine wave 'excitations' responded to by a building in such a way that the interior (temperature) environment  also follows a sine curve, somewhat delayed in time of the peak and reduced in terms of size of the peak by the amount of mass inside. 
    • 50+ years ago in the case of Daylighting the BRE Split Flux Method was developed as a simple way of calculating how much light arrived directly from the sky and how much was reflected off the external environment: reflected light in the room is less well handled so complex lighting environments such as atria are not well covered...









Thursday, January 19, 2012

Four Eyes Dream House Sports A... (news.arcilook.com)

Just what we all need. A 3800 sq foot, or around 360 sq m house. Three times our house in size. And! It's a 'weekend home'...

Oh the sustainability! 

M

Four Eyes Dream House Sports Amazing Features
http://news.arcilook.com/photos/four-eyes-dream-house-sports-amazing-features/

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10 Stubborn Body Myths That Ju... (lifehacker.com)

Fascinating... Not least because it seems the medical profession agrees being cold does not cause 'colds', but they do not have an explanation of why more colds in cold (winter) weather...



10 Stubborn Body Myths That Just Won't Die, Debunked by Science
http://lifehacker.com/5873922/10-stubborn-body-myths-that-just-wont-die-debunked-by-science

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Hello Hong Kong. My Name is Fr... (wanderlister.com)



Hello Hong Kong. My Name is Frank Gehry.
http://www.wanderlister.com/post/9793498150/frank-gehry-outside-the-box

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Elsevier-funded NY Congresswom... (michaeleisen.org)

Reading Zite over lunch and this gem popped up. Have always been intrigued by the public access to publicly funded research that the US govt. insists upon. Seems to me it's only feasible for the very large organization... But to be applauded nonetheless.

But what's intriguing here if correct is the notion that there is no discussion about the congresswoman being asked to front a congressional disciplinary committee for such an apparently commercially motivated behaviour. 



Elsevier-funded NY Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney Wants to Deny Americans Access to Taxpayer Funded Research
http://www.michaeleisen.org/blog/?p=807

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10 Environmentally friendly ho... (ecofriend.com)

Hype city..

What we really need is evidence of these claims of friendliness to the environment...

10 Environmentally friendly housing complexes planned for green cities
http://www.ecofriend.com/entry/10-environmentally-friendly-housing-complexes-planned-green-cities/

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Whatever happened to heisenberg?

Fascinating First-Ever Images of an Electron In Orbit [Science] - http://pulse.me/s/1ougM

Can a Sustainable City Rise in... (scientificamerican.com)

Scientific American writing an opinion piece... Annoying. Easy to understand how if this is popular science, science gets a bad name. It's just an opinion piece 'backed' by some collected opinions....

M

Can a Sustainable City Rise in the Middle Eastern Desert?
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=masdar-sustainable-city-in-desert

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Editorial, Editorial, world ar... (worldarchitecturenews.com)

An editorial worthy if the title: raises the age-old question about quality in architecture: does it have merely to do with appearance in carefully staged (sans people) photographs? Or is there more? Quality work environments.

Moves from this position to question the role of the architect in re-thinking quality work environments...

So reminiscent of the good old days when we ran Post Occupancy Evaluation exercises in design studio as part of the briefing process for improving the design output. Famously I recall involving not only the School Board, the admin Teaching and cleaning staff, but also the primary students in a school prior to designing a new addition

Editorial, Editorial, world architecture news, architecture jobs
http://www.worldarchitecturenews.com/index.php?upload_id=17285&fuseaction=wanappln.projectview

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Genius 13-Year-Old Has a Solar... (gizmodo.com)

Don't know which to find more interesting at this point. The apparent improvement in solar energy collection. A vertical wall seems like an easy thing to do better than.  And the Notion that  nature understands Fibonacci...

M

Genius 13-Year-Old Has a Solar Power Breakthrough
http://gizmodo.com/5832557/

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Museum of Liverpool by 3XN (dezeen.com)

Wonder if we'll ever go back to modelling museums...

Museum of Liverpool by 3XN
http://www.dezeen.com/2011/08/15/museum-of-liverpool-by-3xn/

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New Zealand Snow: Biggest Snow... (huffingtonpost.com)

Gotta love the idea that snow is so special!

New Zealand Snow: Biggest Snowfall In Last 30 Years Delights People In The Street
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/16/new-zealand-snow_n_928293.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000003

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Learning from Germany: Spatial... (architizer.com)

Love the mind twisting imagery ...

Learning from Germany: Spatial Advertisements
http://www.architizer.com/en_us/blog/dyn/27636/learning-from-germany-spatial-advertisements/

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A comic about the real scienti... (boingboing.net)

Now this is fun. 



A comic about the real scientific process
http://boingboing.net/2011/08/03/a-comic-about-the-real-scientific-process.html?dlvrit=36761

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MAKE | Ready-to-Wear Android Wearable Platform

http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2011/08/ready-to-wear-android-wearable-platform.html
Around 3cm square. 32Gb data. WiFi. GPS.
A gadget looking for an application..
Something that with its tiny display has not enough I/O to make it useful... So the question they ask in suggesting on this site it is available is really unimaginative.

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Debunking the Myths About BIM in the “Cloud”: AECbytes Viewpoint #61

Debunking the Myths About BIM in the "Cloud": AECbytes Viewpoint #61
Another interesting paper from Graphisoft...
Seems to miss a fifth dimension in the cloud computing world: in addition to the 4 cloud approaches listed in the paper I believe there is a fifth. It is the web as service option. Running background analyses of air flow (CFD) or light (Radiance / 3DS Max Design) or energy (ESP-r or EnergyPlus) for example...


M
from Taptu's "" stream

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Michael Donn
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Friday, August 05, 2011

Coop Himmelblau School 9 LA: a POE?

This Is Fascinating. Metropolis Magazine has conducted a POE on this 'out there' Coop Himmelblau school design.

They surveyed 200 students. Then the journalist / architecture critic produced this piece. It's truly interesting to compare the journalist's views with the snippets of the students' views provided by the example surveys ...

The side bar quotes are standard journalistic 'illustration'. The article itself is an interpretation of the 200 surveys. The standard Research evidence for the illustrative piece is nowhere to be seen. Personally I want to believe the journalist's conclusion: that the students like the quirkiness of the building and as arts students somehow see it as expressive of them. It's such a neat match. But then I read the survey examples. I am hard pressed to see in these how the conclusions could be drawn from the answers to these. Certainly the journalism keeps well away from any statement that might smack of statistically representing the views of the 200.

What's most disturbing about this article Is that this is a good read. It sounds convincing. It makes a convincing case - unless you think about all those students' opinions in the survey forms. For example: who is not intrigued to see the full range of opinions expressed in answer to the question complete this sentence: If I was the architect I would...

This is not a beat up about the trivialisation of information by the media. The question quoted above illustrates the problem I am sure faced the Journalist or the analyst-advisor. How on earth can anyone reasonably summarize open ended questions like that? And if there are several? It does not seem to be a well-designed survey form... It reads more like an inexperienced research student's first draft of a survey - full of interesting questions to ask, but with little clear concept of how to analyze.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Egypt’s Solar SLIDES House Has... (inhabitat.com)



Egypt's Solar SLIDES House Has a Transforming Perforated Facade
http://inhabitat.com/slides-perforated-skin-slides-in-and-out-to-control-solar-gain/

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Monday, August 01, 2011

Critics Take Jabs at Zaha's Olympic Stingray (archrecord.construction.com)


Hmm

Sure looks ugly at present.
But according to the Guardian ... link here
"Then, once spectators have negotiated the crowd management arrangements, which the building accommodates somewhat clumsily, they will enter a space that can only be described as stonking, "
Qq

Critics Take Jabs at Zaha's Olympic Stingray
http://archrecord.construction.com/news/2011/07/1107298-Zaha-Hadid-Olympic-Aquatics-Centre.asp?WT.mc_id=rss_archrecord

Render:


Render:


actuality:
Dezeen has best photos...




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Tips For Improve Your Renders (aleso3d.com)

Now they are saying use real settings. Not that long ago pretty render advice was all about faking it (   http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?t=170065

And keeping well away from setting for real light:
http://www.amazon.com/3DS-Max-Lighting-Nicholas-Boughen/dp/155622401X

Tips For Improve Your Renders
http://www.aleso3d.com/blog/?p=353
    
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A Belgian Idea of a Sustainable kit house

I was on the http://www.designbuildsource.com.au website and thought this made interesting reading...

A cube. Lots of insulation. Smallish windows. Pallet manufacture. But cheap? Like to see proof.



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Teaching Kids About the Enviro... (carbonpig.com)

Hate the "granny" tone. Ranting on about 'in our day'. Still the real question for the New Right is, since it was 'clearly' more 'efficient' for the economy to stop doing all this recycling, to whom did these efficiency measures transfer the cost of the production, re-use, and manufacture of the packaging?

M



Teaching Kids About the Environment and Sustainability
http://carbonpig.com/article/teaching-kids-about-environment-and-sustainability

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Green energy: California poll ... (latimesblogs.latimes.com)

So, what would we find in New Zealand? 

Political gain trumps science? (check out this New Zealand political view of the science: http://www.act.org.nz/climate-change-policy - it will interest people not from New Zealand to discover the party that published this document sits at the cabinet table ...!)

Or perhaps 'New Zealanders are just gullible followers of the left wing press'? http://mediamatters.org/studios/video/201107200010

In checking out references to see if I could find two viewpoints on this issue I came across the main reason I thought Fox news was a brilliant satire when I first encountered it:

Headline from Fox website:

Pirates Swashbuckle Global Warming Alarmists

Original from the ABC website said this...:

Pirates disrupting climate change research


Green energy: California poll finds overwhelming support
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/greenspace/2011/07/global-warming-green-energy-california-poll.html?dlvrit=142898

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Another Website Ranking

Another Website Ranking
from Taptu's "Mixed Stream" stream

Shared from Taptu | DJ Your News

Archidose publishes some interesting stuff. Most interesting of recent times has been their considered examination of what constitutes an interesting / useful blog / web page related to architecture, This is one.

The other is the top sites as calculated by Alexa in terms of actual links to the sites.

66 Most Popular Architecture Websites

66 Most Popular Architecture Websites
from Taptu's "Mixed Stream" stream

Shared from Taptu | DJ Your News

As it says, the Alexa report of the architetcure web sites linked to most often - as reported by 'Archidose'.

Takasugi-an | OpenBuildings

Takasugi-an | OpenBuildings


Anyone fancy a truly sick treehouse...?



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