Wednesday, November 21, 2007

BIM and The Matrix

All work and no play makes James a dull boy...or so the saying goes. I'm a big fan of The Matrix Trilogy - fact: I took an extended lunch when Revolutions came out to see it at the Lincoln Center IMAX! It's about time to begin my comparison of the movie and special effects phenomenon with building information modeling. Think about the idea of bringing the idea of adding time to one of the controls of a camera. This is the fundamental concept of "bullet time" cinematography - FX guru John Gaeta's modern adaptation of the concept that predates cinema itself. Remember all those 'swinging' Gap commercials with "Jump Jive an' Wail"? Even more recent Advil commericals...c'mon!

Now think about BIM...what used to be 2D (plans, sections, elevations) and 3D (renderings) can now have an element of time (4D) as well. In Revit, we can assign building objects to phases - even link them to project schedules in Navisworks. We can use tools like Ecotect to simulate characteristics of space and material. But I digress.

As I make final preparations for AU, I have stumbled across one of my favorite 'viral videos.' Imagine producing The Matrix live - without any special effects? Check out "Matrix Ping Pong"...

Friday, November 16, 2007

Green Design: Project Chicago

While buried in my preparation for Autodesk University (Nov 26-30), I overheard some of my colleagues reporting in from the GreenBuild conference in Chicago about a great presentation from Phil Bernstein, VP at Autodesk, on their latest vaporware effort code named "Project Chicago." Autodesk has recently posted a video of this concept on their website. While the concept relies heavily on LEED credits for sustainability instead of a more open conduit, this demonstration is probably one of the first holistic approaches to the integration of BIM tools for design, modeling, visualization, simulation and analysis that I've seen to date.

Click here to link to the Project Chicago website.