Friday, July 31, 2015

Increased used of Isometric drawings in Architecture

A July 13th post on The Revit Kid renewed my interest in encouraging more use of isometric and axiomatic drawings within the AEC industry. We are lucky to live in a time when BIM can offer tools which streamline the generation of displaced isometric drawings no matter what design phase.
Design drawings, especially on presentation boards, have already established the value of 3D displaced views to communicate the design. Isometric or axiomatic drawings when displaced do an excellent job of orientating the viewer and relating the horizontal design elements to the overall 3D volume. To laboriously generate such architectural views from perspective grids is time consuming and introduces inconsistences. REVIT’s ability to quickly generate excellent quality line work (to then pull into one’s program of choice for post-processing if needed) is a welcomed addition to the building design industry.
More controversial is the use of 3D displaced views in production drawings. REVIT’s power to generate displaced views is put in direct opposition to architectural tradition. A contradiction to point out is that it seems well established 3D displaced views are an ideal way to communicate complex spatial information graphically (see the work of Edward Tuttle) and furthermore architecture and design school, including academic literature, stress the importance of drawing clarity. This is what REVIT offers but many shriek at the idea of including displaced views in working drawings. Perhaps there is something standard and organized about regularly spaced 2D sections which has benefited the industry but I would encourage the reader to be openminded about the possibility of using displaced isometric views to render building details. I ‘ve found with my work with displaced views in REVIT it is possible to impress upon them a certain standard consistency. That trait in addition to the quick generation of quality line work makes 3D displaced views and isometric views ideal for spatially complex building details.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Reinforcing Concrete in BIM for Structural Engineering


The excellent BIM and Beam REVIT Structure blog put me onto the a great "Autodesk Customer Success story" PDF. Though promotional in nature readers will be interested in the following trends identified in the story:
Firstly, the article highlights the different levels of granularly now available in comparable REVIT add-ons. Compare, for instance, the native automated rebar placement tool and German Software company SOFiSTiK's concrete reinforcement tool. Each does the job but SOFiSTiK's rebar placement tool does it with a higher degree of flexibility and functionality. This difference might only become apparent, and in fact becomes an advantage, depending on how much one details concrete reinforcement in REVIT. An example from the article is given by BIM specialist Sandra Hombergen of ABT Netherlands. Reinforcing concrete is her wheelhouse. So to have a tool which is both powerful in automatically detailing concrete reinforcement to EU code specifications and is flexible enough to overcome all the unique conditions found in complex projects is no doubt a relief to her and those in her position. Myself, on the other hand, who need only periodically detail reinforcement can get away with applying the native add-on and then post-processing to get the same final effect. Where a shop lay on this continuum will depend on the firm's disposition toward using software to glean operational efficiencies in proportion to the scale of their practice.
Secondly, ABT's altitude toward the collaborative nature of their work is worthy of note. The article is testament to the growing demand within the industry for one centralized model which can be distributively accessed. To quote Sandra Hombergen from the article, "It’s clear to me that 3D rebar will be a standardized deliverable in five years’ time." With the demand and functionally of such features clearly articulated, left to business is the problem of execution. Glossed over in the article is how clunky this can be in real life and any honest review of the software must admit the collaborative elements of the program can be unpredictable. And unpredictableness in a business setting can be both wasteful and stressful.

Monday, June 29, 2015

SUMMER 2015 Architectural 3D Printing Update


We begin this inaugural post with an example of architectural 3D printing from a current leader in the field: UC Berkeley. Assuming the reader is somewhat familiar with 3D printing (if not, please see the links below for the sculpture’s history and specifications) we move directly to its analysis.

To address its aesthetic qualities first: the overall form is a 4-way radially symmetrical complex curve which is then inverted and rotated 45 degrees on its lower half. A vegetative motif is fused into the structure itself underlining the amount of customization possible with 3D printing while still retaining structural integrity. The take away is that such topographically complex curves are not realizable in traditionally formed concrete.

The structure is made from a cement-based iron-oxide free polymer. A class of printable material I have long advocated for. However the method of production leaves much to be desired; it being composed of 840 bricks, collected into 11 panels, and then assembled on site. From a purely architectural stand point it would have been more efficient to use a print-in-place technique, resulting in reduced labour costs, but I suspect in this case its segmented nature is an advantage because of the sculpture’s need to travel to different exhibitions around the world.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Big Announcement Coming

Please watch this space in the coming weeks for a big announcement regarding restarting this blog!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Under Construction

Space is still active @perfectarchcom

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Extended Hiatus

With just under 900 posts this blog will be going into extended hibernation. After keeping it up to date for three years I need a break from the format. I am still around on Facebook daily if anyone needs to contact me.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

First Stony Plain Images

So I returned to Canada with two guests from my old days in Koriyama. Kumama, my host mother, and her niece, Yumiko. I might of missed mentioning that in the swirling business of past months. We will be touring around Alberta this week before they return to Japan and I return to a some what normal life here. It is nice to return home with some Japanese friends to lessen the culture shock.

Monday, September 15, 2008


I have previously scheduled this blog to upload about the time my plane takes off from Tokyo. This will be the last time I am in Japan for a long time.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Last terrestrial post

It might not have been evident from the last couple of posts that I have arrived safely in Koriyama and have been preparing for my departure with Kumama and her niece for Canada. That is the case. I haven't taken many pictures here because life seems so normal, but tomorrow I will try to snap a few. My last meal in Japan was Sukiyaki, a stew of sorts, quite rare in Hokkaido but possessing the deep complex flavor I was seeking. It was a special treat because we sprung for the good Japanese meat which I always find so tender.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Ueno is several things; here I will discuss Ueno Park, where several of Japan's best cultural assets are located, including the national museum. I really think the Tokyo National Museum is a world class museum. Encompassing several buildings, its collection is extensive, with many notable pieces. I especially liked the modern styled and darkly lit Gallery of Horyuji Treasures. I've been to that temple before outside Nara. It's the oldest standing wooden structure in the world. In reality, after visiting, it's not very impressive except for the "No Smoking" signs absolutely everywhere. But the treasure became property of the Royal household decades ago and is now displayed beautiful in its own building. A notable excpetion about that time period (c. 800AD) was that Japan and Buddhism were still very poor at that time, thus that pieces are not very big. But somehow I liked the quality and intimacy of the smaller works over the following period. Just lots and lots to see at this huge museum and in the park on a busy afternoon.

3 pictures that deserve an explanation

So I'm trying something a bit different. Instead of putting up some nice aesthetically pleasing pictures I thought I would post some images that need a bit of explaining to make clear. I regret not having more time to put into the details at this point. One may have heard, Japan is going through a national leadership race at the moment and one of the candidates made a stop at Shibuya's scramble as I was arriving. The picture can't capture the number of people stretching to see and hear the speech. With so many windows there any many good vantage points. It was an odd feeling having so many thousands focus their attention on one point.

Early this morning I made a pilgrimage to Tsukiji Fish Market for some world class sushi, stopping, for a moment, to watch the tuna auction. There are actually two auctions going on at once, and they can be identified as the little heads above the crowds.

Here I was obviously talking about something deep. Feeling poor and drained from travelling across a great swath of Japan. My friend Miki introduced me to the izakaya/yakitori ya san where her parents 40 years had previously gone one dates. For a place to survived in the heart of Shibuya amongst the thousands of constantly changing restaurants and massive construction projects most have taken equal parts luck and determination. The placed was packed with salary men looking for cheap, but excellent, food. The wings were amazing. I don't think I'll ever have bar wings again.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Kumamoto Castle

I passed Mount Fuji on the Shinkansen going north today which means I must be in Tokyo! Not much time to post but here are some pics from Sept 8th and my trip to Kumamoto Castle. Amazing castle, definitely worth a trip, but I didn't enter the main keep because it's a 1960s reconstruction and after seeing the crown jewel of Himeji-jo in that respect, the tourist clogged main keep of Kumamoto didn't offer a big draw.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I'm in Kyoto and have been for two nights now. Please expect a deluge of pictures in the next couple of posts as I can't stand the thought of typing out a long post in an expensive internet cafe using a Japanese keyboard with its infinitesimally small spacebar.