A look back at the algorithms, software, quotes, and projects that made up 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.

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.

A brief summary (with pictures) of Jane Burry and Mark Burry’s latest book The New Mathematics of Architecture.

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 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.

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.

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

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.

How to make better Grasshopper models: six methods for increasing model speed.

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.

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.

I joined twitter @nzarchitecture and I am off to Copenhagen.

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.

A method for visualising directed graphs using Processing.

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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.