Sunday, March 15, 2015

University of Nebraska - Computational Design with Dynamo & Revit

UNL - Computational Design with Dynamo.  A 3-session 'mini-course'
This spring semester, I taught a 3-session mini-course at UNL focused on computational design with Dynamo and Revit.  Like the professional workshops I instruct at CASE, I focused this academic course on a real-world design study:  the design of a parametric tower.  The course started with an overview of  concepts related to data management and geometry creation.  We then proceeded to explore the connections between Dynamo and Revit including element creation and parameter control.  The course concluded with an overview of advanced data management concepts with Excel and interoperability with Rhynamo.

Towers provide a nice framework for communicating parametric concepts.  These buildings possess repetitive elements and opportunities for variation.  Towers also allow for clear workflows for how Dynamo's abstract geometry can map to architectural BIM elements and use cases.  For example, an abstract "Number Sequence" can easily be conceptualized as a driver for building Levels.  Curves can be mapped to floor boundaries.  And so on...

I also like how the tower typology allows students to explore ideas with Dynamo.  In the class, a few basic workflows were introduced and the students could then develop these concepts into their own design ideas.  This makes the class less about 'training' and more about being a design 'workshop'.  I have found this to greatly improve knowledge retention and keep classes engaged.... especially with architects.

If you are interested in these kinds of workshops for professionals, here are some links you might find to be of interest:

Here is some of the output from the class...

Student: Salem Topalovic  
Student: Alec Eastman  
Student: Leul Yoseph  
Student: Michelle McCullough  
Student: Sarah Hitchcock  
Student: Xiaoyu Wu