At the start of last week, I was delighted to participate in the very first UK Dynamo User Group Dynamo Day. I was invited to speak about my experience with Dynamo and also had the opportunity to take part in a Dynamo workshop. This was the first event of this kind to be organised in London and as part of it, the UK Dynamo User Group meeting was the first one ever to be ticketed. It goes without saying I was eager for that day to come, and the UKDynUG did not disappoint. The organisation was brilliant, and along with all the excellent professional perks of being there, there was also vegan desert after lunch, so pretty much all my needs were satisfied.
The intermediate workshop was carried by John Pierson, and had a lovely air or accessibility, even though it was meant for people with some experience. John was really great breaking things down and handing us practical tools as well as helping us understand the underlining concepts of the algorithms we were exploring. We even got to create our own custom package – something I had never attempted, because I assumed it was way too complicated, but actually turns out is beautifully straight forward.
Following the workshops, we moved on to a series of talks, opened by yours truly. My talk aimed to show simple every day usage of Dynamo that anyone can implement in a working project. I built on simple graphs for running checks on schedules and moved onto mass placement of families under a system of rules. This kicked off an evening with an excellent range of presentations:
Giacomo Bergonzoni & Fabrizio Sampietro spoke about the challenges of Historical BIM and how Dynamo can help overcome them – having had some experience on listed building refurbishment in BIM, I have to say – this is some admirable work that they are doing.
Nicolas Leguina talked about Computational design & workflows on a specific project with a tight budget, and it was really great to see the genuinely creative usage of various software in a way to help a seriously understaffed project.
Radu Gidei talked about alternative uses of Dynamo, and I must admit I was very impressed by his angle; it is also true that what his research has done requires experience and knowledge that not anyone in an architectural studio has.
Hands down the most visually exciting presentation was by Long Nguyen from the university of Stuttgart. He presented his custom package DynaShapes – do look it up – and gave us a demonstration that made me think of the animators that did Merida’s hair.
Sol Amour & Mark Thorley from Designtech closed the evening talking about Project Refinery. Project Refinery follows on from the form finding exploration of Project Fractal, but also explores optimisation and refinement as well as allowing for randomisation. Refinery seems like something that can bring great depth to conceptual design without demanding the proportional work. The Project is still a work in progress and the duo called out to anyone who is trying it out for feedback.
The event culminated to the usual networking drinks and it was amazing to share experiences with so many people equally excited about computation. I hope to see all of you on the field soon!
Cover image currency of Sol Amour.