Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Data-Driven Documents

Data-Driven Documents

(#pcdirt) Pertinent Contextual Data In Real Time

A CTO and head of the Research & Development efforts a year ago saw potential in a not so well known technology to the AEC. He saw the potential to share Pertinente Contextual Data In Real Time (#pcdirt). We have lots of data but making sense of it quickly and visually is just what we need. Data-Driven Documents commonly referred to as D3 can help make data visually easy to understand and have the ability to updated in real time. 

the CTO and Darick Brokaw began prototyping in early 2016 a system that combined the use of D3, AutoLISP, & AutoCAD data. The objective was not to look for a single type of data and understand it but rather to begin to look at several types of data and then begin to see what correlation may be discovered via computer computation. If there ways an objective at best it was to test the technologies together and develop workflows that can inform our thinking about the future of data-science at the A&E firm. 

Below is the first successful D3 prototype from January of this year. Number of AutoCAD layers per drawing with a graphic horizontal bar chart integrated.

What came next was unexpected. Twitter is a great way to keep up with the pace of technology with its constant stream of what new. While in bed reviewing all that one might have missed for the day, there it was. Konrad K Sobon had done it again! Ever the Dynamite Dynamo developer, Konrad has built and published a new Dynamo package "Mandrill". Konrad has brought D3 and Dynamo together. Please see his page for the full story about this wonderful tool. 

What is interesting is that per Konrad's page he to discovered D3 about the same time. We are excited to know we are in good company with regards to our thinking about the use of technology. the future of our industry is changing in unforeseen ways at a pace that is both impressive and daunting at the same time.

Monday, September 19, 2016

LiveDevX planning begins!

LiveDevX  planning begins!

What is LiveDevX you ask. It is a Live Development Experience. Here, the Architecture, Engineering and construction Industry pitches issues that need solving or ideas that they want prototyped. Then a diverse group of students and professionals will choose to participate in the project of their choice for the next two days. Teams will begin with a Kickstarter.com campaign to raise funds to make their prototypes become real ventures if successful. Then teams go to work solving in collaborative self organizing teams. Teams may work non-stop through the weekend hack-a-thon style the final day. Teams will pitch their working prototypes/ ideas. Awards will be granted to teams based on the value of the solutions presented to the companies that pitched the issue/idea. Teams will ultimately retain the IP and have a chance to form a new  product or business around their prototype or idea possibly funded by real paying clients via Kickstarter.com 

To get all this rolling, we meet with Steven Romani, Jehan Salem, Desiree Luzzolino, Brittany Shivers, & Nathaniel A Ferguson of Seminole Sate College. 

We discussed first outlines and ideas as well as timelines as well as spaces. We convened with next steps and we are excited about moving forward. While leaving I had the privilege of seeing Jehan Salem's work in the hallway, seen below. This is 3D modeling in Autodesk Mudbox a digital sculpting software. Impressive detail.

Thanks again to all that made this possible and please stay tuned for future updates!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

ITT Technical Institute visits Architecture & Engineering Firm to understand what to expect on there first day.

Real world mentorship

President of Cuhaci & Peterson Jed Downs talking about the future of the A&E industry.

(Near Center - clockwise) Jennifer Patterson, Eric Strano, Maqali Velez, Jose Campos, Mateo Marin, Ciara Perry, John Ferrecchia, Michael Lakowski, Keishla Mojica, Keila Mojica. (Standing) Dale Ulmer, Bill Tomala, Jed Downs

  ITT Technical Institute Instructor Eric Strano (Left) is the mentor engaging his students in real world scenariosEric worked with a former ITT Tech. graduate now Process Development Leader of  Cuhaci & Peterson's R&D Dept. to organize members from several roles inside their architecture and engineering firm. It is the hope that the experience of Cuhaci & Peterson's Professionals shared with these students better eqips them for the role they will play in moving the A&E industry forward.

Manager of Government Relations Bill Tomala speaks about the role of interfacing with local government agencies to ensure correct design guidelines, permitting, and other related task.

Director of Technology/Facilities, Technology Jay Adkinson discusses how to interface with an I.T. Dept.

Graphics Manager, of Design Brian OHalloran talking about the software he uses to design.

Director of Architecture Dale Ulmer walks the group through space planning and the Architectural Process.

Thank you to C&P for hosting and providing pizza in addition to sharing your experience.


RTCNA 2016 RECAP of Scott Brown and Darick Brokaw's class by Marcello Sgambelluri

Wanted to share a recent find. The Simply Complex Podcast by Marcello Sgambelluri spoke of the class Scott Brown and I (Darick Brokaw) hosted at RTC this year. A snippet of the review by Marcello is below. The full episode can be found at

Architectural Jazz” The Psychology of Project Collaboration
Speakers: Darick Brokaw and Scott Brown

Below is the full class (video)

Did I mention it was hot out there?

Also a shout out to Deron Edge who won the RTC 2014 award for Innovation pictured in blue at the bottom of the banner. As I wondered the halls I saw it and had to mention it, even if it was 2014. Way to rock it out Deron!

Then it was time to head home. Orlando from the plane pictured below.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Project Fractal Alpha

Getting Started with
Project Fractal

I am excited to say we have applied to alpha test Project fractal!

Fractal was first debuted at AIA Philly the shown at RTCNA where I saw it in July. I was floored at the implication of such a tool. Algorithmic design is here and Autodesk is flirting with adding  machine learning and taunting us with it (Dreamcatcher).

DTO needs to be all over this! This is the future. If you are arguing about line weights and layers....., I hope it is quick and painless when it comes.

There are buzz words gaining gravity like Generative and Computational Design. While I am not sure of where you cross from one to the other, they are used to explain the magic that is the future of the AEC.

If you are also testing, please contact me as I would love to compare notes.



Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Community Project - Project Dooroom

Ok so, Deron Edge & I started the community project code named "Dooroom" at the first meeting on 7/3/16. Well I decided to get back in there and give it some more effort. Long story short it appears there have been many to do this same project. the issues currently lies with the fact that without the Revit API and some Python you cannot call the From / To Room parameter via Dynamo alone. You can download packages that will do all this for you, see links provided.

this is what Deron and i got done before hitting the wall


Using existing stuff is not in the spirit of a challenge to learn with, (yes it will get the job done). So i was thinking that there must be another way to challenge myself to get his done in a new way never done before.

Ahhh..... FLUX might be able to do this ( https://flux.io/ ). I only know of FLUX and the cool things people are doing with it. I signed up for free online and downloaded the files to install into Dynamo. Yes, it appears that one must wear boots for this journey. Flux to Dynamo to Revit, really...? Any ways, this is what I am going to experiment with.

If you want to share or see updates go to

twitter - @darickbrokaw
facebook - https://www.facebook.com/DTO