Mon, 31 August 2020
SHoP Architects has made a name for itself in its native New York via distinctive projects including Brooklyn’s Barclays Center — and now it’s expanding globally via Uber’s San Francisco HQ, US embassies in Honduras and Bangkok, and an innovation hub in Botswana. To create these buildings, SHoP has embraced technology and started its own in-house visualization team.
In this podcast, Visualization Director Mengyi Fan and Visualization Associate Samantha Anderson join Chris to talk about the various methods SHoP uses in the design and development processes, from videogame techniques to simple illustrations. They also discuss clever technology that allows them to oversee construction over thousands of miles or simultaneously experience VR spaces.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast290_MengyiFan_SamanthaAnderson.mp3
Category:Architecture -- posted at: 8:23am PST
Tue, 9 June 2020
“When you start taking care of other people, amazing things happen,” says David Guthrie. And he’s right — after discovering the lack of PPE during the COVID-19 pandemic, he took matters into his own hands and founded a company to manufacture and distribute face masks, making use of contacts he’s made in app development and fashion design.
David also discusses how he teaches the fundamentals of design at Rice University and the University of Houston via projects involving cubes, mandolins and furniture, imposing constraints to investigate and understand form and function. He gives his thoughts on how modern architecture and technology don’t encourage socialization — as well as his hopes for the post-COVID future.
Mon, 16 September 2019
Born in Cape Town, South Africa, Cobus Bothma has gone from industrial designer to architectural visualization artist to one of the most important players at Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF). Having helped create the international architecture firm’s mile-long Abu Dhabi airport — and managed its enormous data set — Cobus now serves as director of applied research.
In this podcast, Cobus tells Chris how the company seamlessly manages data and projects across its nine global offices — and a tenth virtual one. Other topics include how Chaos Group’s Lavina real-time rendering engine represents a paradigm shift in the way architects create imagery, why Hololens has become the tool of choice for visualizing designs at KPF, and computational design, machine learning and sustainability.
Cobus is a visionary with an ear to the ground, and his insight into the future of technology and architecture is unparalleled.
Mon, 17 June 2019
Zaha Hadid Architects has always embraced technology to stay ahead of the game — even the late Zaha Hadid was herself using computers to design buildings back in the 90s. Today, the company makes use of software including Revit, Maya, V-Ray, Rhino and Grasshopper to create its iconic parametric designs, as well as lots of bespoke tools to create VR experiences and model human interactions.
In this podcast, recorded at Total Chaos, Lead Designer/VR Developer Jose Pareja Gomez and Designer Marko Margeta offer a comprehensive breakdown of what happens behind-the-scenes at ZHA and how they get many different pieces of technology to play together nicely. They also talk about how they use scripts to make their lives easier and the ways in which real-time ray tracing promises to change workflows in the near future.
Mon, 15 April 2019
Since the mid-90s, Greg Lynn has pioneered the use of technology in architecture. When the rest of the industry was using formZ, Greg was experimenting with non-architectural software such as Alias and Maya, using nurbs and fluid sims to create radically different, organic designs. He’s seen masters of the set square become mouse-and-keyboard amateurs and happy accidents become established techniques.
Now, Greg is turning his computer-aided expertise to robotics via Gita, an autonomous robotic companion which can follow its owner on foot journeys and transport up to 45 pounds of shopping or burritos. Greg tells Chris and Lon about the process of designing this lovable bot and ensuring it can track individuals through complex urban environments.
This must-listen podcast also takes in many other facets of the architecture and design industries, including how its business model could be improved and made less resource-intensive, and the role new technology such as Hololens is playing in designs of the future.
Mon, 18 December 2017
Summer 1993. Jurassic Park is about to be unleashed in theatres. Meanwhile, at the Rice School of Architecture in Houston, Texas, a young student named Chris Nichols is learning how to use AutoCAD, 3dstudio v2, and Wavefront. Overseeing Chris is Shisha van Horn, a paleontologist turned architecture student, then lecturer.
Chris and Shisha are reunited for this trip down memory lane. Shisha talks about how she set up the school’s first computer network, and cajoled Chris into creating 3dstudio online manuals using nothing more than notepad and HTML tags.
It’s a reminder of how much has changed. Most of Chris’ portfolio from the time now fits on a single SD card, but in 1993 it would have filled a hard drive. The arch viz industry didn’t exist. The department used a dye-sublimation printer which cost $6,300, Gopher and Mosaic were the only ways to look at web content, and Chris even built his own render farms so he could get his thesis done in time.
It’s also testament to the talent and energy Chris brought to the university, then the architecture and VFX industries, and now to Chaos Group. And it’s nice to hear from Shisha, who was an instrumental and influential part of Chris’ life and career.
Sun, 12 November 2017
Some 20 years ago, Chris graduated with a master’s in architecture from Rice University in Houston, Texas. His thesis advisor and dean at the time was Lars Lerup, himself an esteemed architectural professor, author, artist, and designer.
For this podcast, Chris and Lars are reunited in the hallowed halls of Rice School of Architecture. As someone who’s seen architecture and its students completely change over the last few decades, dean emeritus Lerup knows what he’s talking about. Lars discusses the immeasurable impact of the human race on the planet, and the how it’s now the responsibility of architects to think on a global scale.
At the same time, he argues that there’s a dearth of imagination and risk taking in the industry, which isn’t helped by stark cultural, generational and financial divisions. Which begs the question: why isn’t architecture more fun? Together, Chris and Lars tackle this question in a conversation which takes in teaching methods, Lars’ new book The Continuous City, and the role of 3D software in real and imagined spaces.
Lars is bursting with knowledge and enthusiasm for the subject, and by the end you’ll realize that the people involved in architecture make it an interesting, innovative and fun medium.
Sun, 11 June 2017
The untimely passing of revolutionary architect Zaha Hadid last year has left a big hole in the world of architecture. Filling it is Patrik Schumacher, now a principal at Zaha Hadid Architects, and one of the world’s most respected architects in his own right. In this deep dive into the theory and practice of architecture, Patrik talks about how architects preempted computer aided design in the 1980s, and how philosophy, nature, and mathematics are integral parts of the medium.
Sat, 29 April 2017
Architect Thom Mayne should need no introduction — but here’s a potted history for the uninitiated. A graduate of the University of Southern California and Harvard, Thom co-founded Morphosis Architects in 1972. This experimental studio rejected contemporary ideas of architecture, instead using metal and concrete to create angular buildings which reflect their purpose and surroundings.
Despite his importance in revolutionizing the form, Thom modestly admits that no architect ever quite feels like they’ve mastered it. He talks about how Nietzsche, Darwin and Freud changed architecture in the early 20th century, and how computers and 3D printing have changed it in the 21st. He also goes into how unique architecture is as an art form and medium, especially in the way it’s taught and learned. By the end of this absorbing podcast you’ll be as passionate about architecture as Thom is.
Sun, 4 December 2016
Art Gensler’s name will be familiar to architects and designers, but if you haven’t heard of him, here’s a rundown. In 1965, Art founded M. Arthur Gensler Jr. & Associates, which is now the world’s biggest architecture firm in terms of revenue. It creates everything from wine bottle labels to the biggest buildings in the world. Chances are you’ve set foot in a Gensler-designed space at some point in your life, be it a Gap store or the Shanghai Tower.
Despite the enormous success of his company, Art comes across as humble and amiable in this interview with Chris. This genial nature extends to the whole company—it was years ahead of Apple and Google in valuing its employees, and providing nice surroundings where they could be creative and productive. As well as talking about his company, Art also tells Chris about how he played a round of golf with Arnold Palmer, and his book on the principles which have made Gensler so successful.
Gensler’s official site [http://www.gensler.com/]
Fri, 28 October 2016
Eric Stultz currently serves as a Principal and Design Director at Gensler’s LA offices. He’s worked on some epic buildings, such as the Shenbei Arena in Shanghai, Costa Rica’s Convention Center, and the proposed Farmers Field NFL Stadium in Los Angeles.
Sun, 21 August 2016
The visual effects industry is packed with people from the field of architecture, including our own guru and podcast host Chris Nichols. But Andy Waisler is a rare exception: after beginning his career in architecture, he was hired by Digital Domain to apply his knowledge to movies such as The Grinch and The Time Machine. But then he returned to architecture to hone his skills.
He’s an incredible character, and in this revealing podcast he shares the similarities between architecture and visual effects, and how this is going to become particularly important in the world of VR. He also talks about how he’s made tiny bathrooms feel palatial, and the clever, story-oriented design of Bad Robot’s Santa Monica offices.
Sun, 3 July 2016
Herzog & de Meuron is an architecture firm best known for its incredible glass and steel structures such as the Beijing National Stadium, The Perez Art Museum in Miami, and the Allianz Arena in Munich. The Swiss company has also dramatically repurposed existing space to create London’s Tate Modern and Serpentine Gallery.
But within Chaos Group, the company is more famous for its exhilarating and enthusiastic presentation on VR at the Shape to Fabrication event in London earlier this year. The presenters, Steffen Riegas and Mikolaj Bazaczek, marked an exhilarating finish to what had already been a great day.
Of course, Herzog & de Meuron needs to stay on the cutting edge of technology to maintain its status as world-renowned architects, embracing a pipeline which includes 3ds Max, Sketchup and Rhino. In this podcast, which is every bit as enjoyable as their presentation, the team talks about an approach which involves everything from hand-cut cardboard models to a cutting edge pipeline including 3ds Max, Sketchup, Rhino - and V-Ray. Of course.
Fri, 19 February 2016
Corey Rubadue and Christopher Nichols talk to Shane Scranton about the work of VR in Architecture design. We talk about the work that is being done at IrisVR, a company that he help co-found. We also discuss how VR will change the design process and that different flavors of VR serve different needs of the design and presentation process.
Sun, 7 February 2016
Curious as to what goes on in our Baltimore office? We talk to Brian Russell, Fernando Rentas, and Ted Vitale about the many ways that V-Ray has helped the design market: from Architecture design, building information modeling (BIM), industrial and product design, and more.
Sun, 4 October 2015
Lon Grohs and I talk to Kim Baumann Larsen, a licensed Architect and 3D artist for 20 years from Norway, about his experience in Virtual Reality. Kim has been working in the VR space since the early 90s. So when the new wave of VR happened a few years ago, he was ready. With all three of us coming from architecture we decided to talk about where we see how VR fits in the architecture world. We talk about all the challenges, different flavors, pitfalls, of this new medium..
Thu, 10 September 2015
My first real job out of Architecture School was at Gensler back in 1997. This year Gensler is celebrating it's 50th anniversary. I have very fond memories of my time there. This year, while at Siggraph, I ran into Scott DeWoody and Alan Robles who are now looking at a lot of new technology within the company. I figured it would be a great time to see what they are doing and help me see what has changed at Gensler since I left 14 years ago. We discuss VR, cloud rendering, real time raytracing, and a lot more.