What was essentially Day Five at the SmartGeometry Conference in Copenhagen (sg2011) was called talkshop, a day-long series of panel discussions that focused on data – with topics such as: data by design, form follows data, performative data, the data promise.
To kick off the day, Shane Burger, associate and head of the Computational Design Unit at Grimshaw Architects, defined the 9-year-old SmartGeometry group as “a world wide community that believe that through digital tools they can make design process better and through that, can make better architecture and design.”
Founders Lars Hesselgren, High Whitehead, and Jay Parrish spoke about the beginnings of SmartGeometry:
“I sent email to the other guys about going forward using CAD,” said Hesselgren.
“I recollect there were a few who could do parametrics,” said Whitehead.
“We thought the problems were technological, but the way around the problem was more through sociology, and the reasson why sg continues to flourish is it is a social experiment,” said Parrish.
“We intended consequences and some happened, and unintended consequences also,” said Hesselgren. “Then there are those things that we absolutely had no idea were going to happen – the “unintended unintended.”
In September, sg organizers put out an email to the community asking for what a challenge would be and that becomes the overall theme of the conference. What is new, and where are the new boundaries – essentially what they should make sg about this year.
The conference comprises 10 clusters with 10 participants each, plus champions that set the brief of the cluster. “We had about 50 applications from people who wanted to run a cluster,” said Burger. “Last year there were only 15.” There is open registration, and you have to actually apply, only get the best people in. “We try to keep it small — to 110 people– but we are convinced that we have the best people in the world to run workshops. And who participate.”
He added that what people talk about in this conference happened just last night or this morning, unlike other conferences.
Kyle Steinfeld, UC Berkeley, and Nick Novelli, CASE Rensselaer said that for the past four days the group had been exploring ability for designing literal data creation from the ground up to see if that makes the process more transparent and more robust.
“Not just architects manipulate data, everyone does,” said Steinfeld.
- Data accessibility
- Data resolution
- Data agency