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Dynamo

5 Ways Computational Design Will Change the Way You Work

09:30 - 15 April, 2016
5 Ways Computational Design Will Change the Way You Work, Adapted from an image © hanss via Shutterstock
Adapted from an image © hanss via Shutterstock

This article was originally published on ArchSmarter.

These days, nearly every architect uses a computer. Whether it’s for 3D modeling, documentation or even creating a program spreadsheet, computers are well entrenched within the profession. Architects now need to know almost as much about software as they do about structures, building codes, and design.

As our tools become more powerful and sophisticated, we need to evolve and develop our working methods in order to stay competitive. I’ve written previously about how architects should learn to code. A lot of the problems we need to solve don’t fall within the capabilities of off-the-shelf software. We need to tweak and customize our tools to work the way we work. Creating our own tools and software is one way to do this.

That said, the reality is that not everyone has the time or the inclination to learn how to code. It’s time-consuming and you’ve got projects to run, show drawings to review, and buildings to design. Fortunately there are new tools available that deliver the power of programming without the need for all that typing.

Enter computational design and visual programming.

The Architecture Software Revolution: From One Size Fits All to DIY

09:30 - 11 December, 2015
The Architecture Software Revolution: From One Size Fits All to DIY, Cedars-Sinai 360 Simulation Lab / Yazdani Studio of Cannon Design. Image © Benny Chan
Cedars-Sinai 360 Simulation Lab / Yazdani Studio of Cannon Design. Image © Benny Chan

We’ve always been a profession of hackers. Every building is a one-off made up of countless elegant hacks, each bringing disparate materials and systems together into a cohesive whole. But when it comes to the software that designers have come to rely on, most of us have been content with enthusiastic consumerism, eagerly awaiting the next releases from software developers like Autodesk, McNeel (Rhino) and Bentley (MicroStation).

It’s been 5 years since we officially launched our research program at the Yazdani Studio of Cannon Design, and during that period we’ve come to understand the evolution of our process reflects the larger, changing relationship architects have with their means of production. Specifically, we've noticed that in late 2007 something changed. McNeel introduced a visual programming plugin called Grasshopper, and more and more architects began to hack their tools as well as their buildings.

Courtesy of Yazdani Studio of CannonDesign Courtesy of Yazdani Studio of CannonDesign Courtesy of Yazdani Studio of CannonDesign Courtesy of Yazdani Studio of CannonDesign +7

Call for Entries: Flux Emerging Architects Competition

14:30 - 9 December, 2015
Call for Entries: Flux Emerging Architects Competition

Today over 3 billion people live in urban areas, composing 50% of the world population. By 2050, it is estimated that the world population will grow to between 9 and 11 billion people, and over 70% will be living in urban areas. This means within 35 years, we will need to house an additional 3 billion people within cities by the most conservative estimates. Even if we could build large apartment complexes that house 500 people each, we would need to construct 500 buildings each day every day for the next 35 years to meet that demand.

Dynamo: The Secret to Working Smarter and Making Your Life Easier

08:00 - 4 September, 2015
Dynamo: The Secret to Working Smarter and Making Your Life Easier, Courtesy of Autodesk
Courtesy of Autodesk

When working with clients, architects are bound to change, update and reiterate projects. Revisions are deeply ingrained into the design process, and as projects become more complex and updates become more frequent, keeping the most up-to-date versions of your designs can be a challenge.

As a part of Building Information Modeling (BIM), computational design is a burgeoning trend, based upon the idea that any design problem can be described as an abstract model with clear and logical guidelines, which can then be solved through computation. This design process is especially gaining popularity among architects and engineers who want to explore a multitude of designs and iterations to quickly discover the best solutions for their needs.

In the past, creating and updating responsive, dynamic models proved much more time-consuming and difficult than it should be. Luckily though, an industry-proven visual programming environment powered by Dynamo helps combat this problem.