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.

Chapter 2 – The Challenges of Parametric Modelling

20 September 2013 – 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 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.

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.

Parametric modelling is hard

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

Datamining Grasshopper

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

Yeti – 0.2

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

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.

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.

Live Programming in Rhino

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

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.

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.

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.

Graph visualisation in processing

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

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.

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.

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.

Beginning programming

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