Why WeWork Thinks It’s Worth $20 Billion

11 September 2017 – A recent article in Wired touches on the work of WeWork's Research team.

Applying Machine Learning to Building Design

5 July 2017 – A talk about using neural networks to predict meeting room occupation, and what this might mean for the architecture industry.

SmartGeometry in Sweden and in Space

17 April 2016 – My coverage of SmartGeometry 2016 for Architect Magazine, which featured a lot of robots and talk of building in space.

Spatial Analytics: New Ways of Understanding Architecture at WeWork R&D

16 April 2016 – The first look at how WeWork’s R&D group measures architectural success.

Modelling Practice

23 December 2015 – My keynote at the design Modelling Symposium on how data-driven design necessitates changes in practice.

On Designalyze

23 November 2015 – My interview with Brian Ringley and Zach Downey for the Designalyze podcast.

The Underrated Success of Stevens

22 November 2015 – What was being taught there and why was it successful when so many other universities struggle to teach computational design?

Green Property Summit 2015

9 March 2015 – I'm coming to Auckland to give a keynote talk at the Green Property Summit on the 26th of March.

The Growing Importance of Research in Practice

24 February 2015 – An article for ARCHITECT magazine where I interview three leading practices about their research.

What’s Next for Autodesk is What’s Next for Architects

19 December 2014 – My latest article for ARCHITECT magazine looks at what Autodesk presented (and didn't present) at Autodesk University this year.

Gender Inequity and Design Technology

9 November 2014 – My latest article for ARCHITECT magazine reveals that while more and more women are becoming architects, very few are becoming design technologists.

How to Draw a Hyperboloid

6 September 2014 – Delving into the core of NURBs, I explain how manipulate the input values to NURBs so you can draw mathematical shapes like hyperboloids.

Not Everything is Captured by the Fitness Function

19 August 2014 – Earlier in 2014, Carlo Bailey and Lorenzo Villaggi interviewed me about parametricism for the 'Belief' issue of Colon. Here is what I had to say.

Drones, Games, Mathematics, and Urban Design

29 July 2014 – An article for ARCHITECT magazine looking at three of the clusters in this year's SmartGeometry.

Paradigm Shifted: New Zealand

15 July 2014 – My keynote speech at Paradigm Shift, on data what it means for the architecture industry in New Zealand.

Koolhaas in Venice

8 July 2014 – My analysis of the Venice Biennale for ARCHITECT magazine.

The Technology Paradox

19 May 2014 – My article for ARCHITECT magazine on why architects are more productive than statistics indicate

Paradigm Shift

14 April 2014 – I'm coming to New Zealand to give five keynote speeches on the future of architectural technology (Tauranga, Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Queenstown from the 9th to 13th of June).

Designing Architecture Like we Design Software

8 April 2014 – A summarized version of my thesis that appeared in ENR.

Big Data

7 April 2014 – An article I wrote for AEC Magazine about the potential for big data in the AECO industries.

Find Yourself and Get Ahead of Technology

2 April 2014 – My first piece for ARCHITECT magazine examining the ways indoor positioning technology will impact the architectural profession.

@CASE_inc

27 November 2013 – I'm moving to New York and joining CASE!

The Future of Architectural Discourse

27 October 2013 – I’ve been thinking about publishing a lot lately. What it means, why we do it, and where it is going.

Chapter 1 – Introduction

20 September 2013 – I introduce the central issue of my thesis: parametric flexibility. I outline the research method and the structure of the thesis.

Chapter 2 – The Challenges of Parametric Modelling

– I expand upon the challenges associated with parametric modelling that I have outlined in this introduction. I first examine the various definitions of parametric modelling and consider how these frame an understanding of what a parametric model is. I go on to reveal the numerous challenges architects have faced when using parametric models in practice. Aggregated together, these accounts reveal an array of problems that tend to be overlooked in many of the discussions around parametric modelling.

Chapter 3 – The Design of Software Engineering

– I contrast the challenges of parametric modelling to the challenges associated with software engineering. I introduce the body of knowledge associated with software engineering and hypothesise about which knowledge areas may also help the practice of parametric modelling.

Chapter 4 – Measuring Flexibility

– I discuss a research method for applying aspects of the software engineering body of knowledge to the creation of various parametric models. I outline criteria for selecting the case studies and I discuss how a variety of quantitative and qualitative metrics can be used to observe parametric flexibility.

Chapter 5 – Logic Programming

– I explore the differences between creating a parametric model with a logic programming paradigm compared to creating a model with a more conventional dataflow paradigm. The logic programming paradigm enables the reversal of the parametric process by turning static geometry into a parametric model. However, outside this niche application, logic programming proves to be a difficult modelling interface.

Chapter 6 – Structured Programming

– I consider how the principles of structured programming apply to the organisation of parametric models. Splitting models into hierarchies of modules appears to increase the legibility of the models and improve model reuse. Perhaps more importantly, the structure seemed to allow ordinarily pivotal decisions to be made much later in the design process – in some cases, moments prior to construction.

Chapter 7 – Interactive Programming

– Drawing upon innovations in software engineering Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) to create an interactive programming interface for architects. The interface enables designers to modify their code and immediately see the geometry of the model change. This case study positions the scripting environment itself as a important site of innovation, a site where many programmers have already provided numerous useful innovations.

Chapter 8 – Discussion: Beyond Toolmaking

– There is a close relationship between software engineering and parametric modelling. This relationship has implications for how parametric modelling is taught, for how parametric modelling is integrated in practice, and for how we discuss parametric modelling.

Chapter 9 – Conclusion

– In many ways the conclusion to this thesis is simple: software engineers creating computer programs and architects designing with parametric models share similar challenges, which can often be addressed with similar research methods and similar design practices.

Parametric Typography

21 August 2013 – A failed attempt to apply parametric modelling to typography as part of my thesis. Includes a discussion of parametric logos, and source files for six parametric fonts in Processing.

A History of Parametric

6 August 2013 – A long and incomplete history of parametric modelling. Starting in the nineteenth century with James Dana’s crystal drawings, and ending up in twenty-first century by way of Gaudí, Moretti, Ivan Sutherland’s Sketchpad, and other more recent technological innovations.

What’s in a name?

29 May 2013 – As of today, nzarchitecture.com is now danieldavis.com. In this post I look back at the various incarnations of nzarchitecture.com and explain why it was time to retire the name.

Hiatus

16 February 2013 – Why I haven't posted in a long, long time.

HTML5 & WebGL – one year on

16 May 2012 – Revisiting a year-old post about WebGL. A look at the new tools, new business practices, and new frameworks that have sprung up in the past year.

Interview with a supernode – Andrea Graziano

2 May 2012 – An interview with Andrea Graziano, better known as Digitag, about the shifting of architectural discourse into new media.

CASE inc. on putting computation to work

9 April 2012 – David Fano and Federico Negro of CASE Inc. discuss the organisational challenges of computational design.

Responsive architect: Chin Koi Khoo

6 March 2012 – An interview with Chin Koi Khoo about his responsive architecture installations that use material properties to sense, move, and glow.

Digital Culture in Architecture

19 February 2012 – A review of Antoine Picon's new book, Digital Culture in Architecture, which in my opinion focuses too much on the superficial cultural outcomes of digital architecture without digging into the technical causes.

Of the year – 2011

19 December 2011 – A look back at the software, the quotes, and the projects that helped define 2011.

Parametric modelling is hard

13 December 2011 – Six quotes that begin to expose some of the rarely discussed problems with parametric modelling.

CAD’s uneasy relationship with tablets

9 December 2011 – The iPad has become a primary consumption device in just 18 months. In this post I examine how the much slower architecture industry is adapting to tablet based computing.

Scripting cultures – Mark Burry

5 November 2011 – A summary of Mark Burry's latest book, Scripting Cultures.

The MacLeamy curve

15 October 2011 – MacLeamy's curve implies that designers are most effective when they shift their effort forwards on a project. In this post I draw upon software engineering to suggest how MacLeamy's curve can be manipulated to prevent this shift in effort.

Datamining Grasshopper

20 September 2011 – Analysis of 2035 Grasshopper models. A look at the most popular nodes, the unpopular nodes, and the biggest models.

Patenting Geometry

29 August 2011 – Evolute’s recent patenting of freeform planar surfaces and what it means for architecture. Evolute respond, as do many others, in a long debate in the comments section.

Yeti – 0.2

28 August 2011 – A video tutorial about using Yeti, the live scripting interface for Rhino.

CAAD Futures 2011

7 August 2011 – A summary of a few papers and workshop at CAADFutures 2011.

Robert Aish

DesignScript – Autodesk

27 June 2011 – DesignScript is a new programming interface developed by Robert Aish. Its development has been closely guarded and to date there has been almost no publicly accessible information about the project. In this post I uncover what DesignScript is and I speculate on where it might be going.

Yeti – public release

29 May 2011 – Yeti is a live programming interface for Rhino. This is the first public release.

HTML5 & WebGL

16 May 2011 – WebGL enables three-dimensional objects to be easily drawn inside a web-browser. Although the technology is still in its infancy, it is set to disrupt the CAD industry. In this post I explain what webGL is and why it is important.

Threading Grasshopper

7 May 2011 – An advanced tutorial for squeezing performance out of a Grasshopper model with threading – which doubles as an explanation for why CAD isn't getting any faster on most multi-core machines.

Inside Smart Geometry

26 April 2011 – Some of the trends seen at SmartGeometry 2011. The rise of the amateur & the respective market shares of Grasshopper and Generative Components.

Live Programming in Rhino

12 April 2011 – An early sneak peak at a project I have been working on: live parametric programming for Rhino.

Smart Geometry 2011

11 April 2011 – Photographs of the Responsive Acoustic Surface from SmartGeometry 2011.

Copenhagen 2.0

14 March 2011 – Two projects I have been working on in Copenhagen. Dermoid: a wooden reciprocal frame. SmartGeometry: a wall made from plaster hyperboloids.

A computer scientists dream system for designing houses

22 February 2011 – Eminent computer scientist Fred Brooks's latest book, The Design of Design, reframes programming as a design discipline. In this post I consider what architects can learn from this relationship and from this book.

Lars Spuybroek

24 January 2011 – A fairly unfavourable review of Lars Spuybroek's book, The Architecture of Continuity.

Smart Geometry

13 January 2011 – Three interesting clusters happening at the upcoming SmartGeometry 2011.

Of the year

27 December 2010 – A look back at the algorithms, software, quotes, and projects that made up 2010.

Schumacher on Schumacher

19 December 2010 – Patrik Schumacher's comments on my previous blog entry were worthy of a post in and of themselves. So in this post I summarise what they mean for the name of parametricism, for the lack of context to parametricism, for Zaha Hadid being parametric, and other arguments leveled at Schumacher.

The logic of architecture

9 November 2010 – William Mitchell's The Logic of Architecture is considered seminal to computational design. In this post I put forward the argument that it was actually far from perfect and that the holes in this book can tell us much about the discourse pertaining to computational design.

The New Mathematics of Architecture

26 October 2010 – A brief summary (with pictures) of Jane Burry and Mark Burry's latest book The New Mathematics of Architecture.

New tools: DraftSight to Evolute

3 October 2010 – In the past week there have been three new software projects launched. Draftsite - Dassault's free clone of AutoCAD. AutoCAD WS - AutoCAD for the iPhone. Evolute - software to optimise surfaces in Rhino.

Patrik Schumacher – Parametricism

25 September 2010 – Patrik Schumacher recently claimed that parametric design is the successor to modernism. He named the movement parametricism. In this post I explain why Schumacher is wrong and explain how Zaha Hadid Architects are just jumping on the bandwagon. Schumacher responds to this criticism in the comments -- his points are well worth reading.

Elements of Parametric Design cover

Elements of parametric design – Woodbury

11 September 2010 – A review of Robert Woodbury's latest book Elements of Parametric Design. The result of twenty years research into parametric design, it is probably the most significant book on the subject.

Dissecting Grasshopper

31 August 2010 – A look at the code that powers Grasshopper. User interface is a surprisingly large part of Grasshopper, is interface what defines a CAD tool?

I suck at parametric design

24 August 2010 – Parametric flexibility is more than being able to do something, it is the ability to actually do it. In this post I describe a recent situation when the parametric model failed me or, alternatively, when I failed the parametric model.

Untangling Grasshopper – Part 2: Optimisation

11 August 2010 – How to make better Grasshopper models: six methods for increasing model speed.

Untangling Grasshopper – Part 1: Design patterns

31 July 2010 – How to make better Grasshopper models: avoid spaghetti through the use of modules.

Trending topics

19 July 2010 – New materialism and mashups, two prominent topics at a PhD symposium held between CITA, SIAL and the Bartlett.

Swarming /& dynamic relaxation on a surface

15 July 2010 – A method for creating a swarm of points on a surface. Useful for evenly distributing points across a surface without imposing a topological connection between the points.

Twitter and Copenhagen

30 May 2010 – I joined twitter @nzarchitecture and I am off to Copenhagen.

Optimisation in the 1960s and 2010

23 May 2010 – A discussion of the favourite computational design problem of the 1960s: the distance occupants walked. Why this problem captured the interest of so many researchers, and the non-orthogonal way it was eventually solved.

Graph visualisation in processing

3 May 2010 – A method for visualising directed graphs using Processing.

A stalkers guide to Neil Leach

26 April 2010 – Neil Leach is one of my most beloved authors. This is a guide to his work and where to find it.

DeLanda & Leach

19 April 2010 – Videos from the Intensive Fields conference held at the University of Southern California. Neil Leach and Manuel Delanda discussing parametric urbanism.

Easter eggs

1 April 2010 – This easter, a look at some of the latest developments in Rhino, ubiMash, and Generative Components.

Simulation and global crises

30 March 2010 – Idle speculation that the global financial crisis was somehow caused by digital simulation in the same ways architects often deceived by digital simulations.

Do relationships matter?

16 March 2010 – A look at Spreadsheet 2000, a program that tried to better Excel by exposing the parametric relationships in a graph.

What the GUI cost architecture

27 February 2010 – Virtually every CAD program has a Graphical User Interface. While they undoubtedly make computing easier, have we lost something through our reliance on them? In this post I posit that interfaces limit as much as they enable.

Voussoir Cloud

22 February 2010 – The Voussoir Cloud Installation by IwamotoScott Architecture carries on Gaudí and Otto's tradition of using hanging chain models as form finding tools.

Parametric Software review

19 January 2010 – A classification and review of currently available parametric software.

Manuel Delanda

18 January 2010 – One of my favourite lectures, Manuel DeLand's talking about Deleuze and the Use of the Genetic Algorithm in Architecture - no Powerpoint just an hour long rant without any cues.

CAD 50 years ago

19 December 2009 – A brief look at the birth of CAD. Ivan Sutherland's 1962 Sketchpad was the first interactive CAD system, which laid the groundwork for much of what we do today, fifty years later.

A-periodic tiling in architecture

14 December 2009 – How a-periodic tiles (identical tiles that join to make a pattern that never repeats) can be used in architecture.

Graphemes by Sawapan

8 December 2009 – Graphemes is this weird tool that allows the manipulation of a spring based topology while it seeks equilibrium in real time.

Genetic Staircase by Caliper Studio

2 December 2009 – A look at one of my favourite projects, Caliper Studio's Genetic Staircase. In this project they use a genetic algorithm to optimise the a truss that forms the stringers of the stairs.

Archikludge

ArchiKludge

13 November 2009 – Code to recreate Pablo Carranza's ArchiKludge. A project that uses genetic algorithms to layout rooms.

Beginning programming

5 November 2009 – A suggestion for how to start programming using Processing.

Three essential books

1 November 2009 – A brief review of three important computational books: An Evolutionary Architecture; Algorithmic Architecture; and Tooling.