16 April 2009
Smart Geometry 2009
Smart Geometry 2009 Interviews | Smart Thinking
2009 Smart Geometry Workshops , Alumni Day and Conference March 27th to April 1st 2009
Amidst the gilded grandeur of the Palace Hotel in downtown San Francisco over 200 parametric design practitioners from all over the world convened to share their experiences of the use of parametric design software within architectural practice.
The event is an annual itinerant flocking of an otherwise widely dispersed collection of individual practicing architects, academics and students who fuel their enquiries into using computational design with a heady mix of skill, theory enthusiasm and hard work.
Born of a "Lets make it happen!" email in 2002 from Lars Hesselgren (KPF) to former colleagues Jay Parrish ( Arup Sport) and Hugh Whitehead (Foster and Partners) Smart Geometry continues to flourish under their leadership, built around the premise that the open sharing of knowledge is the best way of unlocking the full potential of parametric design software that they exploit in their own work as demonstrated by their involvement in projects such as "The Pinnacle" (KPF) Beijing Olympic Stadium (Arup Sport) and Beijing Airport (Foster and Partners).
Four workshop days explored the use of Bentleys Generative Components software (originally devised by Robert Aish another former colleague). In the workshops students and practitioners work on individual projects in a collaborative tutored environment. The software is focused on providing a 3D scriptable modelling and analysis environment that is flexible enough to offer opportunities to use it in ways that were never envisaged by its creators. Bentley not only sponsor the Smart Geometry conference but by involving their own software development team in the event both support the participants but also respond to the demands of the participants of this uber software user group to develop the product.
The alumni day allows past and current participants in the workshops to present the evolution of their thoughts on computational design. Highlights included presentations by Brady Peters, Stig Anton Nielson and Martin Tamke of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, which combined pragmatic problem solving in the fields of acoustic analysis and the planning of underground stations through to research into materials and construction techniques that explore the use of CAD/CAM to foster digital craftsmanship rather than industrialisation.
Martha Tsigkari from Foster and Partners demonstrated with boundless enthusiasm how the use of Generative Components has been integrated into the work of the design and production information. The Valery Gergiev Cultural Centre project illustrated the use of a single generative components model to generate four related but individual buildings.
Jenny Sabin of LabStudio (University of Pensylvania) presented work showing how biological structures at both the level of individual cells and larger organisms can be used as form makers for use in computer aided design .
The final conference day saw Smart Geometry cast its net wider to invite guest speakers who are leading the field in computational design in architecture structural design or other industries.
Brett Steele set a theme for the day with a presentation on the theme of the impact of digital technologies on collaborative working, using the Architectural Association school as an example in the particular and expanding it to what the architecture profession might learn from it in general.
In case any of the audience were in any doubt, both Jay Parrish and Hugh Whitehead gave presentations on how parametric design software had been instrumental on major projects that they had been involved in. The fundamental point being that parametric design software had both assisted in delivering significant international projects to tight deadlines and had allowed the designers to manipulate and control complex geometries without an endless series of manual iterations.
Judit Kimpian and Josh Mason of Aedas together with Jeronen Coenders of Arup presented the results of a collaborative project that they have been undertaking with other consultants to produce an interactive design tool for tall buildings which combines the parameters of form, floor areas, cost and enviromental performance to generate 3D computer sketch models in response to design choices.
Architecture has always lagged behind other design professions in their use of parametric software. David Kasik of Boeing described how fundamental 3D computer modelling is to the development of both the design and the assembly sequencing of new aircraft. He described how 3D model viewing software has been improved to allow people in a 2000 strong design team the ability to view and manipulate on a standard laptop complex 3D models containing over 1.5 billion polygons.
To emphasise that parametric design software isn't just for high tech projects Mark Burry of RMIT University illustrated how he has been deploying the software to assist in resolving the parabolic geometries of the stonework of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona and Chris Williams of Bath University demonstrated software he had written for manipulating arched forms made from whole tree trunks.
Overall the conference was striking in that it eschewed agrandisment and self promotion in favour of a truly collaborative spirit . Rather than any sense of individual or corporate endeavour the atmosphere was more reminiscent of a celebration of shared success on a notional “open source” project. For more information on this years conference and to get involved in next years see http://www.smartgeometry.org/
Smart Geometry 2009 Interviews
- Spotlight Archive
- Rendering can help build a better picture
- Ojeu tenders website gets a makeover
- Could Newforma Project Centre clean up your desktop?
- Is wireless networking the best choice for your architecture firm?
- The software generation game
- Shine a searchlight on your site
- New year forecast looks cloudy
- What can ebooks do for your firm?
- How to kit out your home office
- A new bite of the Apple
- Making the best of software upgrades
- Conference points to design's virtual future
- How to navigate the cad file pile-up
- Getting it together
- Get the best from the 3D explosion
- Free yourself from computer slavery
- Making a virtual out of necessity
- Taking the first bite of Apple Autocad
- Bim adds an extra dimension
- Apple Autocad software looks fruitful
- Where did all the time go?
- Make sure you're not storing up trouble
- iPad has the right touch for Architects
- Know your building's carbon footprint
- Working Prototypes: 2010 Smart Geometry conference in Barcelona
- Time to explore the world of browsers
- Taxman will pay you to innovate
- Is Google Apps the solution startups are searching for ?
- Beware the pitfalls of new broadband
- What are the odds of defeating spam?
- Make the most of your resources
- Who says backing up is hard to do?
- Breaking away from the slideshow presentation
- Are architects ready to tweet?
- The paper chase is over - what now?
- Vector programs give 2D drawings the edge
- Smart Geometry 2009
- How to budget IT as recession bytes
- Let’s get physical, physical... rapid prototyping helps bring your projects to life
- Searching for the best tender search
- PDFs ready to enter the third dimension
- There's life in the old fax yet
- Don't let your computer catch a malware malady
- Don't forget your backups
- Where has my broadband speed gone?
- 2D or not 2D? Architectural modelling packages that offer you more
- How smart devices can make the office more efficient
- How green is my PC?
- Lomas Davies Twitter