Monday, October 6, 2014

Catch Me If You Can

Fall is usually a hot mess for conferences, workshops, and speaking engagements....

....2014 is no different.


It has been awhile since I have attended an ACADIA conference... the last one I visited was 2012 where I ran a Python for Revit workshop.  The computational design for BIM landscape has certainly changed significantly since then.  I will be joining the Autodesk crew to co-lead a porition of a 3-day Dynamo workshop at ACADIA in Los Angeles.  I will be discussing opportunities for using Dynamo for analytics, interoperability, and provide a preview of the future of the Rhynamo plug-in.


ACADIA isn't the only reason I will be in Los Angeles this month.  The AIA California Council is putting on a symposium titled NOW NEXT FUTURE which brings together a group of innovative architects and designers who are rethinking the future of the built environment.  I am going to be delivering a talk about CASE and our core philosophy BLDGS = DATA.


AU2014 is just around the corner and CASE will be out in full force.  I will be delivering 2 classes on Dynamo so be sure to sign up if you haven't already.  Also be sure to keep an eye out for the CASE party.  It is shaping up to be another epic event (sorry...I hear we won't have a mechanical bull this year)

Check out my classes...

Friday, August 22, 2014

Introducing RHYNAMO: Apply for BETA Testing!

Demoing Rhynamo for the Central States BIM workshop
I just finished up a string of presentations at the Central States BIM Workshops hosted here in Omaha.  I announced a private beta for a new Dynamo node library:  RHYNAMO.

Rhynamo is a plug-in that lets you read and write the Rhino 3DM file format within Dynamo.  This opens up a lot of interoperability potential between Rhino, Grasshopper, Dynamo, Revit, and more. I am excited to get more folks to try this out!


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

CASE Learning: Dynamo Essentials

CASE's Dynamo for Revit workshop... new and improved!
Dynamo is growing up so quickly that it is sometimes hard to keep up.  In this last year, the development team has completely refactored of the underlying code to support new workflows and user interface improvements.  In recent weeks, we've seen new educational content be released over at to ensure that users are up to speed with the basics.

At CASE, we've stayed ahead of the curve by developing our own computational design curriculum focused on practicing architects and real-world applications.  You may remember that we've been running Dynamo workshops for over a year now... but now our curriculum has been greatly expanded and enhanced for the newest versions thanks to some summer help from Lorenzo Villaggi!

Interested in a Dynamo workshop?  Reach out to CASE!

Dynamo Essentials Summary

CASE's 2-Day curriculum is designed to introduce participants to essential project workflows from the creation of abstract geometry to the manipulation of BIM systems.  If you are new to the world of computational design or are interested in expanding your skills to include Dynamo, this is a great workshop to get started.

Dynamo is a graphical programming language that allows users to create powerful algorithms for creating generative design systems, automating tasks, and enhancing the BIM experience.  Much like Grasshopper, Dynamo gives users a powerful interface for advanced geometric control.  A unique feature of Dynamo is its ability to interface directly with Revit as BIM tool.

Data and Geometry

CASE's curriculum begins with an overview of the Dynamo interface and example systems focused on data manipulation and basic geometric constructions.  These initial exercises are designed to give the participants a complete experience in designing algorithms while introducing key data concepts.
Geometric definitions for points, curves, and surfaces.
Abstract systems with controls and parameters

BIM Elements & Parameters

Our exercises quickly accelerate to applying new algorithmic concepts to the BIM process.  The curriculum proceeds to introduce the uses of Dynamo for creating and managing Revit elements and their parameters.  We address techniques for placing family instances and adjusting parameters.

Populating Revit adaptive components.
Using surface subdivisions for advanced patterns with LunchBox

BIM Project Development

Our main exercise is the creation of a parametric tower using the Swiss Re tower as a guide.  These exercises demonstrate the definition of  Revit levels, floors, structures, and facades.

Tower element definition for massing and floors.

Creating variations and options.
Tower structure and facade geometry definition.

Leveraging Data & Interoperability

Dynamo also offers numerous ways to manage and interact with data.  To conclude the workshop, our curriculum exposes participants to techniques for leveraging external data sources,  We have designed exercises that use Dynamo with Excel to enable interoperability scenarios for pushing and pulling data.
Reading data from Excel to reconstruct geometry and control parameters.
Using Dynamo to mine a Revit model and send building information to Excel.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Buy This Book

Karen Kensek and Doug Nobel, professors at USC, put together an impressive list of contributors to their new book entitled Building Information Modeling:  BIM in Current and Future Practice.  The book is an expansive look at BIM and it's influence over all facets of the building life cycle.  Topics covered in the book include BIM in relation to design thinking, analytics, performance, and building delivery.

Daniel Davis and I teamed up to put together a chapter entitled "Performance Art:  Analytics and the New Theater of Design Practice".  In the chapter we discuss the challenges and opportunities that Building Information-centric approaches offer for achieving performance-driven design and high-performance teams.

Check it out!  You can buy it through Wiley or

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Migrating my LunchBox to Dynamo 0.7

Dynamo has been undergoing some significant transformations as of late.  The yellow/orange color is gone, there are some nice UI/UX enhancements, and... most significantly, the program has been completely refactored to support new geometry and workflows.

So where does that leave my custom tools from the previous version..?  Well those, too, needed a complete overhaul to keep up with these new developments.  As of right now, LunchBox is at about 80% of what it was from Dynamo 0.6.  The biggest challenge for me is that there has also been some seismic shifts with how Dynamo interfaces with Revit.  These have made migration much more challenging than anticipated.  For now there are a few Revit-based nodes that are only partially working but this will hopefully get ironed out in a future update...

For the adventurous users out there, new version compatible with Dynamo for 0.7 has been pushed up to the package manager.*

Go ahead and try it out!

*If you need versions compatible with 0.6, they are still there as older builds...