The creation of a digital model that communicates a computational design 

system in an urban environment with a  community using  AutoCAD.



Project-Equation Discussion

15 Responses to 02.01

  1. Matt Hoefler says:

    I just want to make sure that I understand the freedom and creation for this design idea. Using para-metrics and these categories listed above i will create a set of small scale iterations and ideas that produce an overall “finished” product at the end? using different iterations will help move the process along and create a more parametric design idea.


  2. Peter Edward Atwood says:

    At this point your understanding of project 02.01’s freedom is correct. We can currently use any of the values from the above list, however the goal at this moment is to have an active discussion about which values to pick for project 02.01. As a group we will decide on one value from each list to fill in the blank spots in the project equation (I have updated the project equation above so this is more clear). This will be decided on the discussion closing date also listed above. After that we will work individually on a project that meets the constraints we defined and then post our results to the site.

    Although small scale and iteration are not values for this project equation, there were used in the first session and are still relevant to the discussion. Why do you think that using different iterations would help move the process along and what do you mean by the creation of “more parametric design ideas”? I think this last statement of your comment is perhaps the most interesting but I would challenge us to relate this idea of “more parametric design ideas” to the values listed above.

  3. Matt Hoefler says:

    my thoughts were that using iterations will help create and move the process forward and ultimately lead to a parametric idea. I guess im not sure what i meant by “more parametric” ha! i was just think of starting at one point and creating a parametric idea.

    So I will start with discussing my ideas for the 02.01 project

    urban location

    I think computational is appropriate because it can be used to assign values to the ideas
    Urban locations tend to lend themselves to more active and interpretive ideas
    Community will allow for design strategies that include masses of people and gathering
    Autocad because of its great way of displaying ideas – relatively difficult but overall a very good program to use and to know how to use in the future

  4. Peter Edward Atwood says:

    Matt H

    It sounds like you are suggesting that a parametric idea is somehow associated with iteration, or in other words that through the act of repeating a certain task or idea multiple times we can then synthesis these iterations into a single parametric idea. Your association of iteration and parametric is something I think we should all continue to discuss and I would suggest that we start by talking about what we mean by “parametric”. This might help shed some light on the connection you are making to an iterative process.

    For my part I think that there is a clear stop and start point when an iterative process is used, otherwise how would you know which iterations are differentiated from each other. On the other hand a parametric idea contains various “iterations” with in it self all at the same time but there is no indication of a starting or stopping point.

    To suggest a definition to more parametric perhaps you mean it contains more values or parameters?

    Concerning your selection of values for this project are you suggesting that the relationship between project values and the final idea is somehow computed or calculated by the digital model? What is the form of this calculation and how does it relate to either the urban location or this community of people we would be communicating with?

    AutoCAD is a very good program to learn for the future and I think is under rated with the academic environment, it does possess the ability to compute some very simple things, however its can do these things very fast and efficiently. What kinds of autoCAD objects do we think could be computed in this project equation option?

  5. matthewmoeckel says:

    Sorry for the delay in posting, I have been looking into the idea Para-metrics design through a word study, trying to understand it from this point of view.

    While there are many different ways could go about putting the list of values together for a design. I decide to start with a word study…

    From my finding with the word study I have found that para-metrics is more of a response- In the manner that it gives an answer, reply, and or a reaction.

    From the finding of the word study, I have defined para-metrics as “a response”. I have layout the list values as an answer, reply, and or a reaction to the word study I have done. Here are the list values I have come up with for the first draft.

    -Existing Structure

    -Urban location

    -Rural location

    At this time I’m not sure it would matter which list that we would start with for the first design.

    I looked forward to the conversation around this topic…

  6. Peter Edward Atwood says:

    At this point in our conversation it looks like we are jointly interested in the following project equation for the first project.

    The creation of a digital model that communicates a computational design system in an urban location with a community using either AutoCAD or Revit. However, we are not decided on which type of software to use for this project.

    I think at this point it would be worth while to talk more specifically about the connection between either AutoCAD or Revit as a software program and any of the other values we are leaning towards. For example is AutoCAD/Revit the best program to create or communicate a computational system? What kinds of different input can each program receive which helps us better understand an urban environment or a community?

    I think that AutoCAD’s ability to associate information with simple geometry might make for an interesting investigation of subjective impressions of a community regarding their urban environment. This could be accomplished using dynamic blocks with assigned user parameters. I also think that AutoCAD, differently then Revit, does not make assumptions about design elements.

  7. matthewmoeckel says:

    When it comes to the computer programs I don’t have to much in depth knowledge of the programs… After looking back at the list values and the points that Peter and Matt H have made about the program. I can see how AutoCad could be good fit for the list value. Like I said I don’t have to much working knowledge of the programs, but when I put the list together I was thinking about how Revit can works in families. That was main thought at the time…

  8. Matthew Dunham says:

    Great points raised on the discussion for which equation to select as a group. I must say that the primary points of “Urban” and “Community”, previously raised, I must agree with. I would agree that the urban environment is a dynamic setting which will better inform parametric design and provide more values to study. Moreover, the use of community in the equation is a positive selection as it adds more complex reactions to respond to. Jumping back to the the “Computational” I think sounds exciting. It demand the use of computer science, mapping, and data-entry. It also demands a really solid well done model.

    Now for the undecided discussion of software. AutoCAD is vastly efficient at creating and mapping complex layers in a very vector-based-simple way. Inputing data and information into autocad can be easy and distinguishable by color and layers. However, using the Revit additions found it the 2013-2014 versions, the ability to create complex massing forms, as well as export data to spreadsheets and import data from spreadsheets it allows more versatility and visible data-tracking of design elements. Furthermore, as Revit is becoming more of an industry standard it would be exciting to push its limits in parametric-computational computer design. Revit is really becoming, within the last 2 years, a tool for complex (not as much as rino/bonzi) design, structure, site, mapping, and data analyzing.

  9. Matt Hoefler says:

    I like both programs and feel as if they both have there place – however with revit i feel that it can sometimes limit creativity and design just based on its UI. AutoCAD is a great program that can allow for freedom to design and input parameters directly within the program. So between the two i would say AutoCAD is the better option although revit would also work well. Overall either program will be effective.

  10. Peter Edward Atwood says:

    To further develop our discussion of which program to use, perhaps we should start making some clear definitions of the various terms we are using, most specifically computational. In my view this has something to do with an equation which is pre defined and used to generate a model or run a system. However when referring to computational parametric design I think it is important to determine how this is different then other types of parametric design. For example could it be suggested that computational design uses the parameters or variables in a parametric design drastically differently then the other two values, generative or associative. Moeckel’s discussion of parametric design being “a response” starts to get at this distinction and it would be beneficial to further articulate the idea in light of our three different values.

    Dunham’s insight into Revit’s ability to track,map, or analyze and export data is a large part of where that program is right now and where its moving, however I would challenge whether or not this programmatic ability could be considered parametric. Another way to ask this question would be is parametric and BIM the same thing, are they different or is one a subset of the other. On another note an interesting aspect of Revit Families is that they do have the ability to interact with a larger Revit model in predefined ways. Revit families were designed, I think, to associate with the large industry of architecture and its related fields. If we are considering doing the urban, community, computational design for the first project, should Revit be used for an associate project instead of a computational one?

    Hoefler also brings up a very good question, what is the importance of UI? He seems to suggest that less UI will allow for more creativity, which I would agree with, but there is a larger investment of energy into actually getting something into the program. In Revit a “building” can appear on the screen very fast, however in AutoCAD it may take much longer to draft or model the individual parts from scratch rather then choosing from a predefined library. This UI question is very relevant especially when we start asking ourselves where else UI matters and how does it compare in the other programs as far as their “parametric” abilities are concerned. For example, opening AutoCAD for the first time you would be presented with a ribbon tab or option which says Parametric however from there I think it is not apparent how it works. Rhino/Grasshopper tries to make parametric design very UI sensitive, but could one argue that this limits design freedom? Revit is far less apparent on what it considered parametric within its interface.

    I think we still need to investigate and come to an agreement on which program to use for project 02.01 specifically how each program relates to the three values, computational, associative and generative and suggest what we think each programs UI means to our ability to design. Also remember that once we choose a value we can no longer use that value in the remaining two projects.

  11. Peter Edward Atwood says:

    I have uploaded two video sessions which will hopefully help us determine if we want to use Revit or AutoCAD for the first project. Each video gives a very brief introduction into how equations can be used in the programs. I think it would be in everyone’s benefit to watch the videos and share some concluding thoughts regarding the two programs and their relationship to our discussion so far. Remember this discussion will close at 11.50pm on July 2nd. At this point a final decision will be made regarding which values to use for project 02.01. This decision is based on all the discussion presented here.

  12. matthewmoeckel says:

    Looking over the three list values.

    The word study describe computational
    As an act of computing and or mathematics
    From this it would appear that AutoCAD would fit this Idea better. I think from my understanding of the video Peter posted…

    -Urban location
    The word study describe urban location as city or town. And compared it to rural area.
    When I think of town or city. I think of many thing responding to each other and also using some of the same restraints to maintain a pattern to work together. From the aspect of the program it would appear that Revit could play a better part in this do to the family feature. But again I’m not sure because there seems not to be much different from the two programs in the way that they were demonstrated…

    The word study Describe community as living in one location.
    From this I can already see one of the restraints place on this design from this definition for sure the restraints is people living in one location… So from computer program either Revit or AutoCAD could be used to define this one restraint
    It also describe community as have many things in common, like cultural, religious, ethnic, and other characteristics. From this I could see how Revit could be a better option with how you are able to apply the aspect of families to the design. So there could be family that represent each one of these different commonalities between the groups… while manning the restraints.

    So looking at these three values and my understanding of the two programs I would conclude that Revit would be the better option for this project to do the overall list that has been created. Because of the Family feature in Revit. Maybe AutoCAD can be used in similar way I’m not sure. I would go with Revit at this time.

  13. Matt Hoefler says:

    Great videos they have some very useful information! – I have been watching other tutorials on parametrics in Revit and they have all been so confusing! so thanks for creating these videos.

    Overall I feel that if we choose computational the choice is AutoCAD – not so much Revit because each program has its own way of computing, but i think auto cad has more of a technical or numerical way of inputing perimeters. Using mathematics and different equations seems to be more integrated in CAD and allows for different complex forms. there seems to be more options dealing with CAD and more customization – families and blocks are essentially the same thing however with block there much easier to change then families in my opening because you don’t need to open a new file you can do it directly from the same screen. using blocks with parameters could help improve the productivity of the design and allow for multiple layers and better organization – similarly to refits family function. Both programs would be effective for this project however I feel that AutoCAD might be more productive for this particular set of values.

  14. Matt Hoefler says:

    this is actually a really interesting blog that uses AutoCAD 2d parametric design as a discussion topic. Although the posts are a couple years old the information is still relevant, and it becomes apparent that there are some pros, and also some cons to the program. – however I still feel it is a great option for this combination of values.

  15. Peter Edward Atwood says:

    Project 02.01 will be the following:

    The creation of a digital model that communicates a computational design system in an urban environment with a community using AutoCAD.

    Excellent discussion now let see what we can come up with in reacting to this project equation.