Through my programming adventures I began to notice some inefficiency of traditional CAD design. It is common for architectural designers to start their designs nearly from scratch in order to address the uniqueness of a brief, client or site. However this logically may increase design time which is important factor for the industry. The following chapter by Robert Nystrom describes a design pattern in relation to game programming, but many parallels could be drawn between game and architecture design particularly content generation and processing times. The given examples for creating a forest by generating thousands of unique trees may easily been a village with houses, what is important here is the way unique and shared properties could be separated once identified. The fog lifts, revealing a majestic old growth forest. Ancient hemlocks, countless in number, tower over you forming a […]

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From Optimisation to Generation: Evolutionary processes in architectural design

Strong ties between biology and architecture and study of evolutionary algorithms raise suspicions that evolutionary processes can: 1. allow computers to automate and speed up typical design tasks, 2. be utilised to optimise design artefacts and 3. be used for generation of novel solutions. The research presents the past achievements on the topic thought analysis of texts and case studies without being overly technical. At it's core, the paper was written to demonstrate designers a way to step away from traditional use of computers as digital drawing boards, scratches the surface of design automation and in a very metaphorical sense portraits symbiosis between man and machine.

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Generative Structure Design Tools

Engineers love Excel. I don’t think anyone will ever be able to count all of the ‘countless’ spreadsheets that engineers at our and other offices have created over the past decades to help speed up repetitive tasks, and to make our lives easier. Many of these spreadsheets work in conjunction with geometry engines such as AutoCAD, or even with other analysis tools. Here is an example: for every typical structural project, we have to take down column loads to help us determine the size of the structural columns. The typical workflow would be to geometrically assign each portion of a floor of a building to their nearest column, and then to multiply the area of the floor portion with a number of factors for dead loads, live loads and superimposed dead loads. Finally, all of these numbers have to be […]

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The Architecture Software Revolution: From One Size Fits All to DIY

We’ve always been a profession of hackers. Every building is a one-off made up of countless elegant hacks, each bringing disparate materials and systems together into a cohesive whole. But when it comes to the software that designers have come to rely on, most of us have been content with enthusiastic consumerism, eagerly awaiting the next releases from software developers like Autodesk, McNeel (Rhino) and Bentley (MicroStation). It’s been 5 years since we officially launched our research program at the Yazdani Studio of Cannon Design, and during that period we’ve come to understand the evolution of our process reflects the larger, changing relationship architects have with their means of production. Specifically, we’ve noticed that in late 2007 something changed. McNeel introduced a visual programming plugin called Grasshopper, and more and more architects began to hack their tools as well as […]

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