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Showing posts from 2010

AU 2010: My top 5 lists

Most of you may remember the great movie High Fidelity , starring John Cusack, Jack Black and Catherine Zeta Jones back in 2000. The main character, Rob, would analyze every situation through listing the “top 5 items” of a category. With Autodesk University just finished, here’s my summary of an intense week with ups and downs: AU 2010: Top 5 High points 1. Discovering the power of mobile communication: You have probably read my previous post, where I explained my glad surprise in regards to sharing information, tips, complaints… “Social Media”, blogging, twitting (or tweeting?!?) is clearly the result of giving every person walking around the chance to shout their thoughts. And in a positive vicious circle we communicate what is the latest advance in communication tools, and it all gets connected. I should conclude with “RT if u agree” ;) 2. Presence of BIM: It’s probably yesterday’s news that I am a strong believer in the BIM revolution and an evangelist of its principles. Seei

The era of communication

I am going to start this post with a few easy quotes: "The 21st century is all about communication", "We live in a global world", "The world has shrunk because of ease of communication". For many years I've heard these phases and effectively not only believed in them but also enjoyed the meaning of them. From the good old brick mobile phones, allowing to keep talking (or shouting repeatedly "CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?!???") while on the move, to the sophisticated cloud computing technology, unleashing collaborative addition of "unlimited" computing power regardless of geographic location, there have been many shades and variations of the way we exchange information. And Information is another concept that has become key to modern life: access to information, freedom of information, building information... anything makes the cut under the "information" label. As I've been promising for weeks now, today I have done my AU

A lot of exciting news

Once again, about a month without posting... An echo from the previous posts says I've been preparing my AU classess. Now finally all handouts are uploaded and classes rehearsed, so just waiting for the big day! In the meantime, I've been working crazy hours in the office to finish a competition (still Under NDA, but I will share in due course some findings on Revit Conceptual Design you may find interesting...) So this is my second day back to normal life, and I want to touch base on the different parallel projects I have been working on/following, and share some amazing findings I came across in these last days: 1. Revit Conceptual Massing: Autodesk has released a free "Revit Light" Conceptual Massing tool, that can be run from a memory stick without installing it... I'm not sure if you are as excited as me about this, but it looks so promising in so many levels I cannot even start to describe it! Have a look: Project Vasari on Youtube 1a. Still on the

The android revolution

Still busy trying to get my AU Virtual classes ready, so with little time for my side projects... But I changed my Nokia E71 phone (amazing piece of engineering, by the way) for a Samsung Galaxy S. My wife says it's a wannabe iPhone... I say under the bonnet it has a very different beast: the android OS. I got tired of waiting for the android 2.2 version to reach the market... and all manufacturers are promising great new features in the phones "about to be released". So I made up my mind and entered the phone store. I was amazed by the range of options: iPhone 3G,3GS,4... Nokia E72 (I admit it crossed my mind...) and the android ones: HTC, Samsung, Dell... Bigger screens, or bigger memory, or faster processor, or a cheaper plan, they all sound tempting. My decision was based on the Operating System mainly and a balance between screen size and capacity to fit my pocket (the Dell Streak is fantastic... but I haven't seen mobile phones that big since the Motorola &qu

Formula-driven surface in Revit

The heading to this blog reads "... trails of projects too small to be considered or too large to be accomplished...  " This time it's one of the short easy-come easy-go projects, start to end in 2 hours. By chance I came across a challenge on an AUGI forum: The subject "Revit can't do it" and some names I recognized got my attention, and before I realized I was fighting to get a solution. The puzzle consisted in drawing the shape of the British Museum atrium roof. Fortunately part of the briefing information was a link to a geometric analysis of the shape: Based on the capability of the new adaptive components I quickly built a family that would drive the height from the coordinates x y (Reporting Parameters) of the Adaptive Point (using in principle the technique described by Zach Kron here ), but using the complicated formulas in the report...

Long time no post...

Hello again! It's been over a month since my last post, and I just want to let you know what I've been up to: I've been travelling a lot, a couple of short trips to Belgium (bank holiday weekend) and Italy (to the wedding of a friend), and then a week off to Maldives, celebrating my wife's 30th birthday. All this left me with little time to spend on side activities, if you don't consider bicycle riding under the rain, highway driving to get to the airport when your flight is already boarding, snorkelling, sunbathing and eating a lot activities worth mentioning in this blog... Cycling in Belgium Driving in Italy Snorkelling in Maldives I have been working too -in between trips :P -, and that lead to some development on the Genetic Design problem that will publish as soon as I have a spare moment under the title "Success of Failure"... because it's proving extremely interesting and moving in the right direction but yet far from practical..

Thinking about 4D

It's been a great first week as a blogger, adding 15 followers, nice comments and references from other blogs. I am also very happy that the point I made in my first post about trying to meet people with same interests or chasing similar goals have already paid off! In the meantime Alistair from the office sent me a quick note that got me thinking: in the BIM community we generally talk about drafting tools that deal with drawings separately as "2D", and then the ones where all the information gets stored in a single model as "3D". All clear up to that. Then we get about 4D (time) and even 5D (money) to describe the advantages of meta-data and database capabilities in our beloved Building Information Models. But in modern physics there is a diferentiation between "Spacetime", where time and distance measurements are combined in a single manifold, in the Relativistic approach and multi-dimensional Euclidean space (which is the geometry we are taught

Genetic Design - Part 1: General concepts

In my second post I'd like to thank my friend and Blogging mentor David Light, who featured this space in his highly respected blog. I guess most of you got here through there, but if you landed directly here I highly recommend having a look at , packed with tips, news and tools for the BIM enthusiast. Enough said as introduction, let's talk about my current after-hours project. About 2 years ago I went to a conference on Genetic Algorithm applied to Design. In a room full of engineers, I saw some examples of Genetic principles applied to Air Conditioning system planning, lighting design, and some shy approach to layout planning. The tools they used were some Java and C++ applets, lots of spreadsheets with complex scripting and occasionally some diagrams. Despite many interesting things were said, I was left with the feeling that the Architectural Design implementation was one I would have liked to chase, eventually. If you haven't n

Welcome to "Under NDA"

So, I started a Blog. Last week after the office I went to the bar with the guys, and went on about another crazy side project, one of those that could change the world if ever completed. Robbie asked: "Do you ever get to write about these topics? If you did, how big the book would be?" He left me thinking... and triggered the big question: if I was to write at least a line on these wild shots into technology, interoperability, robotics, BIM, would anyone be interested? Maybe I will inspire or influence an ongoing investigation even trigger a new one, or get in contact with people that are dealing with subjects that drive my attention. I have to admit that I rarely push to conclusion these ideas, and quite often forget about them after some time. Maybe by keeping track of some of them I will be able to compile enough information to write a book (most likely the blog itself will be my only publication though!) The title is meant to be puzzling: Discussions held "Under