Recently AEC_Connect's Dominik Holzer attended the 2009 SmartGeometry event in San Francisco as a workshop tutor and invited speaker, and he gave a presentation together with Steve Downing of Arup Sydney on Optioneering and their research work on DesignLink , a collaborative design evaluation framework designed to support multi-criterion- and multi-objective optimizations and other optioneering techniques for use by multi-disciplinary design teams.
According to AECbytes' Latchmi Khemlani:
" ... increasing specialization in the AEC industry is an inevitable response to the growing complexity of our projects, so it would be helpful to find ways to make it work better. Also, with the introduction of ... increasingly sophisticated design and analysis tools, the process has been greatly speeded up, which brings about new challenges in the way in which the different disciplinary members communicate and collaborate on a project."
(L. Khemlani, April 2009, www.aecbytes.com/feature/2009/SmartGeometry2009.html)
We couldn't agree more, and we would add that making the AEC industry work better would not only be helpful but is actually critical in view of its by now well-publicized inefficiencies, the near-term challenges of the current economic crisis, and the longer-term need for more sustainable practices in the building industry as well as throughout society. Complex problems such as these demand intelligent and effective action by parties from a wide variety of backgrounds and having a wide variety of expertise, so the business-as-usual approach of specialists working in their 'silos' and throwing disconnected packets of information over the fence clearly won't cut it any more. Collaborative design decision frameworks may not be the whole solution, but they are certainly a key component.
More coverage of the event is available at:
AEC_Connect congratulates all who contributed to the 2009 edition of SmartGeometry (with special thanks to Jeroen Coenders, Axel Kilian and Shane Burger of the organizing committee, as well as Bentley who have acted as main sponsor of the event)
We look forward to seeing and supporting the further development of important modeling and analysis techniques on the various platforms utilized in the course of the workshops. Rule-based modeling starts to become increasingly accepted in architectural and engineering design practice. Utilising parametric design tools beyond the mere exploration of formal design aspects has been one of the main goals of the workshop sessions. Links of parametric design tools to building-performance analysis and to scripting input have been high priorities at Smart Geometry.