There is a point in almost every design process when the software that you are using runs out of buttons. That is, you simply can’t make the software do what you need it to do. Buro Happold responds to this challenge by creating custom software for modeling, analysis and visualization. I’ll explain the design and implementation of several tools using recent Buro Happold projects as examples. I’ll show how each of these tools is designed to take into consideration the constraints of fabrication, the iterative nature of design, and the capability of the parties involved in the construction process. I’ll also show some recent research in which tools are created to visualize some of the massive amounts of data being generated by designers, buildings, and institutions.
Ian’s work with Buro Happold has focused on the implementation of Building Information Modeling (BIM), and the design of software for linking modeling and analysis applications. Projects on which he has been involved include the Brian Lara Cricket Academy, the United States Institute of Peace, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, U2’s 2009 tour stage, Club de Futbol Monterrey Stadium, and several collaborations with the artist Janet Echelman.
He has lectured widely on BIM, design automation, and computational design at such venues as the SIGGRAPH, the Columbia Building Intelligence Panel, and ACADIA.
Whilst teaching at the Columbia Graduate School of Architecture and Urban planning he developed his software “CatBot,” to link parametric modeling and structural analysis through iterative optimization. Along with his colleague David Benjamin, their paper on this research, “Multi-Objective Optimization in Architectural Design” won the Best Paper award at SimAUD 2010.
His current research includes mobile computing in architecture and the development of parametric design tools. His software “goBIM” is the first BIM viewing application for the iPhone and iPad. And his new tool “Dynamo” for Revit enables visual programming using the Revit geometry API.