Grasshopper

algorithmic modeling for Rhino

Well, novel to me at least. Being in close proximity to (without having a direct influence on) a lot of computational architecture I have over time developed, I hope, a reasonably critical view of software-as-part-of-the-design-process. There are excellent arguments to be made both for and against the use of simulation/computation as a design tool, but here's one that didn't occur to me before:

"Mastering this craft [drawing and drafting by hand] has been an important stage in becoming an architect and provided a significant part of the architect's professional identity. Skill in drawing has been the hallmark of the profession and contributed in no small degree to the authority and respect accorded it by clients and builders. In a well-made set of working drawings, builders can see the work of a master craftsman, analogous to the mastery they have achieved in their own crafts. The craft of drawing has thus provided a link between architects and builders and provided the critical nexus that unites the building industry."

David Ross Scheer

Above paragraph came from The Death of Drawing (blog, amazon) which admittedly is more concerned with CAD and BIM than algorithmics.

Food for thought.

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My best work, the drawing started in 3 stages, 1) in my mind's eye, 2) by hand in a sketch, 3a) to grasshopper and then to 3b) rhino. Understanding in my mind's eye is key to some of my designs, when I understand what the design issues are, I can rotate, scale and so on, in my mind's eye. Drawing, by hand, is key to understanding the geometries. I usually just do a sketch, strangely in pen not in pencil, and even though I trained on a drafting board and t-square, I am happy to go to grasshopper. Occasionally I get happy "accidents" while coding that produce unexpected results that lead to completely new and different work than what i originally started with. But My end result, is an object i can see, and hold in my hand or on a forklift. Sometimes clients want to see the sketches, and I show them, it seems to takes the mystery out of it. 

the respect for the skill in drawing is still there, but in the end I think that no one cares if I am using a #2H mechanical lead pencil.

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