1. My first foray into Dynamo. It’s a little less intuitive than Grasshopper, but the access to Revit API seems like it’ll be very, very handy.

     

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  3. Well, I’ve been severely lacking in initiative for this blog, due to a few different factors, including being sick with mono for a little over two weeks. But now that I’m full recovered, I’ve decided to jump head first into a few projects / learning endeavors. 

    First, I’m taking or signed up for a few massively open online courses (MOOCs) through websites like Coursera and edX. These basically let you audit actual courses at universities around the world (including Harvard, MIT, and Yale) using streaming lectures. Currently, I’m taking ‘Introduction to Computation Arts: Processing’ through Stony Brook University. I’ll post some of my “sketches” on here as the class goes on.

    imageA fancy way of drawing 4 lines

    In a few weeks, I’ll also be starting “Introduction to Computational Thinking and Data Science” through MIT and “Discrete Optimization” through The University of Melbourne. These both might be way out of my league, but that’s the benefit of MOOCs, little to no risk. Plus, anything to boost my computational thinking chops will be helpful.

    On the fabrication side of things, I’m joining a local “makerspace” here in Ann Arbor called MakerWorks. They have a 14,000 square-foot warehouse that has a Wood, Metal, Craft, and Circuits section. In terms of equipment, they have your basic wood shop power tools (bandsaw, chop saw, table saw, planers, sanders, etc), 6-axis CNC mill for wood, 3D printer, laser cutter, MIG and TIG welding, CNC plasma cutter, CNC mill for metal, and even a CNC embroidery machine! Basically, I’ll be a kid in a candy store. 

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    This baby can cut through 1/2” steel plates (cue Tim Allen grunt)

    Project-wise, I’m looking to create a lamp/light bar with an integrated Raspberry Pi that will respond to a variety of inputs (be it music, network activity, or user-defined alarms). I also owe my dad a piece of personally made furniture or art, and now that I have a whole slew of hand and digital tools at my disposal, I feel like anything is possible. 

    Finally, I’ll be able to Achim Menges serving a guest reviewer for MArch, MSArch, and PhD student at the University of Michigan’s Taubman School of Art + Architecture. He is the director of the Institute for Computation Design in Stuttgart and many of his projects served as inspiration for our Independent Studio last year at Iowa State. Not only will I be able to get a glimpse of what UMich’s graduate programs are producing, but I’ll also get to hear insights from someone who is pushing the limit of what is possible for architecture and design.

    imageby Achim Menges, ICD Stuttgart

     


  4. Some of my work was recently featured in a BNIM blog post by classmate and former studio partner, Brandon Wlosinski. His post covers the value of data and handling information throughout the design process. Brandon has a lot of experience in IT, having worked for ISU’s IT Department throughout his undergrad, so he knows firsthand how important managing massive amount of information is, whether it’s in a campus network or a physical network like a city or building.

    "We are producing and storing data at an intense rate (which in and of itself is has a set of challenges and opportunities for businesses). Within architecture, as our models and structures become more complex, we must use this production of information to advance the profession of architecture and take the next steps in building design."

    What Brandon discusses here is something that he and I explored greatly in our 5th year comprehensive studio: the embedding of information into three-dimensional models. As buildings and building technology become more complex, it is increasingly difficult for architects to keep track of all the various rules of thumb, code mandates, and best practices. It’s standard for firms to have a library on hand of the many reference books one could possibly need during the design process. Slowly though, we’re figuring out ways to incorporate those technical constraints into the tools we use to realize a design.

    As architects, our quickest and arguable most effective tools are a pen and some trace. They allow for the rapid ideation of concepts at a very basic level. Often, it’s only until you attempt to translate it to actual construction documents that you’re met with aspects of reality that a simple sketch can’t contain. Yet, no one (myself included) would be willing to trade in their trusty tech pens for a keyboard when it comes to conceptual design. Yet, with new technologies for augmented reality and the ever-increasing processing power of computing devices, the possibility to get on-the-fly information for even sketch information is becoming more of a reality. Not only does this have a major impact on the way we design buildings, but the buildings we design.

    Read: http://bnim.com/blog-entry/data-and-design

     


  5. Hello World 2.0

    So, uh, reboot. With a new job comes a new blog (not really, more of a coincidence). But I figured that since I have this blog attached to my professional portfolio website, I should cater the posts more to my professional self. Anyone who has seen my portfolio knows this includes architecture, computation, and fabrication. This may seem limiting, but there’s a variety topics that relate to my professional interests and goals:

    Architecture

    • General updates about my current job, the intern process, preparing for and taking the ARE and LEED AP tests
    • Personal projects, possibly competitions or purely conceptual work
    • Thoughts on current issues in the architectural discipline, be it global or local. I am now within an hour or so of Detroit, and I’m extremely interested in the situation there and how some of the problems can be mitigated through design and planning

    Computation

    • Creation of art through processing
    • Explorations in Grasshopper and/or Dynamo to create geometry for architectural or other use
    • Learning programming, primarily through experiments with Raspberry Pi and other small scale computing projects

    Fabrication

    • Furniture design and construction
    • Product ideation and prototyping
    • Informal attempts at testing potential architectural technology 

    Stay tuned, this will serve as a platform to show off my work before it gets put in the portfolio, express my thoughts on architecture and design as they’re being developed, and lay out my ever-changing goals for the future.