Starting today the Factory will shutdown for a bit. I'll see if I can queue up a post or two to fire off while we are away but will otherwise I'll join you all again on the fourth of the new year. Enjoy the holidays! _erik
We continued our lecture series here at the factory last week with a visit from José Duarte, Associate Professor at the Technical University of Lisbon Faculty of Architecture. He is currently conducting research at MIT on applying design patterns and shape grammars to create computational systems for urban planning. The stated goal is to use rule-based computer-aided design and manufacturing processes to re-think the uniform housing and rigid plans. He presented work that he did 10 years ago with Alvaro Siza's Malagueira housing project outside of Lisbon.
In an attempt to recreate the variation inherent in organic urban plans and provide clients with a individualized result, Durate create what he calls a "discursive" shape grammar. This system encodes Siza's preferred proportions and design rationale into a language which can be applied in a seemingly endless number of ways (over 67 million possible combinations, actually.) What was interesting about this system was it's seeming simplicity and practicality. It builds on the work presented to us last month from Kostas Terzidis - but applies a similar computational concept in a tangible way. The web-based prototype he built, albeit almost a decade ago, accepted input parameters, such as client preferences and local zoning rules, generated solutions based on the grammar and pumped out drawings, 3D models and cost lists for each variation. This talk predictably generated the same debate as with the last lecture: who is the author of the resulting design? The architect of the design language? The designer of the system that generates the alternatives? Or, the system itself? This is not a new debate and predates the use of computers in architecture. However, based on the type of work we see being attempted by students and our customers alike, this is going to be the central debate concerning the use of computation and design in the coming years. It is an exciting time. Erik summed it up well: "I went to architecture school 15 years too early!"
Fall in the factory brings new feature announcements and demos. Features are put through their paces and refined as needed and time allows. A lot of this work will become visible in the upcoming beta so its a good time to turn back on the released product and share some tips and workflows. Why let the other Revit blogers post all the neat tips and tricks?
Somewhere on the mile long list of "wouldn't it be cool if Revit..." are exploded axon drawings.
I can imagine a setting dialog that controls how items separate from their parent elements (windows out of wall, walls off floors ect..) and some in-canvas controls to specify the separation. You would enter the mode and then drag a control to see the structure produce a refabricating architecture - like image right before your eyes. Very revity and awesome....in my mind.
So given this feature does not exist outside my mind what can Revit do now? Impossible or Possimpible?
Below are the basic steps for creating an exploded axon:
1. View Creation
First create a base view
Duplicate this base view for each logical group of elements you want to dislocate.
Name these views for the logical groups
2. Isolate Elements
In each special view select and isolate the group of elements you want to dislocate.
3. Make Isolation Permanent
In the Temporary Hide/Isolate menu on the View Control bar choose Apply Hide/Isolate to View.
Repeat this for each duplicate view you created.
4. Create a Viewport type
Create a viewport type that matches the settings shown below (no title or extension line). Be sure to make a new type and name it so you don't mess up other drawings or confuse other team members.
5. Assemble views on Sheet
Drag the views onto a sheet in the desired sort order. (Revit does not currently allow Bring to Front/send to Back for viewports)
make sure each view uses your new viewport type
Add dashed Detail lines as needed
In the example above I used graphic overrides in one of the views to dim the house. You can also use section boxes to cut out and separate parts of a model.
I am sure others have tried this and have other tips so please share them. In theory this would work in a perspective view too but it would be tricky to get the relative camera positions to match.
My co-worker Greg (Frame) Demchak and I just wrapped up a new advanced Revit class (VS631) at the Boston Architectural College. This class covered advanced topics such as project management and design options. It was also the first covering the new conceptual model tools. These were covered in two classes: a guest lecture by Zach from Buildz and a follow-up class on how to make a point-based curtain panel rig. Below are the results after seven hours of instruction.
The class illuminated strengths in the underlying tool concepts as well as areas that could be enhanced or altered to eliminate stumbling points. The students caught on quick and pushed the tool hard.
Thanks to Aristide Little-Lex, Bram Koss, Junald Severo, Justin Whiteside, Liane Silevitch, and Spencer Culhane.