Thursday, December 11, 2008

And now there are two: Part 1

In the beginning there was only Robert blogging. Now there are two.

Finally, after a long week at AU and pushing for a deadline as soon as I got back, I get to post my first post on this blog.

As some avid readers of this blog (and people I met at AU) already know Robert is my husband. So because most of you know his story let me first start off by telling you a little about myself.

I grew up in Albany, NY. I met Robert while attending RPI in Troy, NY. Came to work in Philadelphia, seeing as I wanted to actually live with my husband and he graduated first so I had no choice of location. I started working for a small 5 person residential firm in the area. After about a year I decided that I wanted to work on larger projects so I started working for Burt Hill with Robert. My first two weeks there I was thrown onto their first Revit project 2 weeks before CD’s were due. Talk about sink or swim strategy. :-) I fell in love with the program and have been an avid “evangelist” ever since. I now work for NELSON, a 500 person mostly interiors firm implementing Revit. Currently, we have two projects in Revit (well we’re back to one now that my deadline is over). The ongoing project is a 200,000 s.f. ground up project where we are doing the interiors only.

Now that I got that out of the way now on the more interesting topics: AU Unplugged. I really enjoyed my first speaking engagement at AU this year. It was a little nerve racking seeing as I’m not the best public speaker (thus why I’ve been staying out of the limelight thus far). But for some reason when I got that Unplugged email I felt compelled to submit.

It was really interesting to hear the debate about how much people model vs. don’t model. Some people were under the category of modeling everything save you time. Others were under the modeling everything makes the files too big. Both are very valid points. As far as me, I fall somewhere in between. If I’m going to cut a ton of sections through stuff or I’m going to render something, I tend to model it. But for other stuff, such as public bathrooms, nobody cares if they see the toilets in 3d. I mean unless you’ve designed some really hot looking bathroom, you’re not going to need to render it. By the way, I was on a project where we did end up rendering the bathrooms to show the client.



Monday, December 01, 2008

Design Symposium (afternoon)

For those in the UK or designing for temperate climates, check out You can upload data anonymously, or let people know who you are, you can also benchmark against published standards. Either way, it helps you determine how you're doing on carbon use for a building. The trick is account for this type of information as you design (which is where the computation part comes in).

Earlier in the morning saw some interesting real examples of active facade elements designed by Hoberman Associates (Chuck Hoberman).

AU 2008 - Computational Design Symposium

So, Krista and I arrived yesterday. We're now attending the inaugural "Design Computation Symposium" hosted by Robert Aish. So far we have had a a fascinating presentation by Neil Katz of SOM, showing examples of 20 years of "Computational Design" work and application to a variety of scales from skyscrapers to interior "transparent" walls made of metal or corian.

After that we've seen some hints of what is coming in Revit Structure and Robot (Structural Anaylsis) to help Architects work with engineers to better understand how to derive efficient, elegant structures to support our building designs. By using analysis and permutation to understand various possibilities meeting different criteria.

Most recently we just saw a great "demo/review" of Ecotect by Dr. Andrew Marsh and the possibilities of scripting with Ecotect to generate "realtime" parametric anaylsis to understand the impact of passive sustianable design strategies on one's building design.

So far, an eventful and interesting morning, with more to come.