Workflow 2010: Designing Industry


Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation Scott Marble, instructor, with Julie Jira

Guest Speaker: Adam Modesitt of SHoP Architects

Please contribute your thoughts on Adam Modesitt’s presentation of SHoP Architects workflow on the Barclays Stadium in Brooklyn, NY.


Filed under: BIM, Collaboration, Design, Fabrication, Firms

9 Responses

  1. Julie Jira says:

    It was interesting to see the amount of rigor SHoP had in working on the Barclays Arena. From fabrication to the business aspect, a holistic approach was maintained by SHoP to achieve a high degree of precision in the execution of the facade panelization. The fluid use of software to iterate through particular issues that arose with the city and the client was impressive. As was the collaborative efforts between Front and SHoP on making the whole facade system come together. It was also insightful to see the workflow which involved the fabricators and how information needed to be fed to them in a very precise way in order for them to execute the work correctly. Overall, I thought that Adam presented us with a model architecture practice that knows how to maintain and gain a desired level of control over scope and quality in a project.

  2. I think Adam’s presentation could have benefited from the diagrams that we are talking about in this class. The complexity of the project combined with their (seemingly) holistically integrated role in the design, fabrication, scheduling and installation of the facade is interesting, and I would have like to see, graphically, how this actually all plays out with the other professionals at the table. I’m sure it’s not as smooth of a process as he described. Something as dumb as software interoperability has to come into play and throw a wrench into the works. I’m interested in the nuts and bolts, which very few people actually seem comfortable to talk about (especially on a project that’s currently ongoing). How is conflict resolution achieved? How is the digital master model actually structured and run? In a project of this scope, who ends up having final say in terms of quality, craft, design, and overall aesthetics?

  3. Muchan Park says:

    It was interesting to see how BIM to work in a real and specific project where also we could see communication with different scopes that originally can be one task though. Most interestingly, we saw the critical interface of ‘red line’ that divides two scopes of the work. What we think is beneficial of BIM is transfer or looping of the data through parts to whole or whole to parts theoretically. But this project is not a case of it. There are distinctive two desires having one interface, red line. Data is not penetrating the line, but request form is the interface to communicate with each other. This is a familiar or at least similar situation in the conventional way to communicate. We do fax everyday where we delineate the workscope and notify modification. Another interesting thing here is the fact that we can (not precisely but) distinguish who is an input-er that seems to have higher value or to have more critical functional issues from who is an output-er that generally accepts and execute what the input-er requests.
    However, the success of this project is perfection of making two functional systems integrated in one panel system even though two functional systems are highly developed to fulfill its own function.

  4. Adam Hanau says:

    The presentation with Adam Modesitt from SHoP Architects was very interesting, as we were able to see how BIM can be used to design the façade of an entire structure (something very cool to someone taking his first architectural class!). More fascinating, however, was the role in which BIM can be used to facilitate collaboration. SHoP and Front Studios were able to collaborate on the façade using a joint BIM model. This highlights the realization that BIM can be used to divide projects into many components, which can then divided amongst various firms. This allows each aspect of the project to be designed by an architect most suited for that element of design (as projects become more narrowly defined, so do the skill sets relevant to that sector). Traditionally, a single would design more complete aspects of projects, and divide the projects among their architects themselves. This sort of shift, dividing the project among many architectural firms, will cause different architectural firms to fill in particular niches of the industry. Projects will require collaboration amongst architects, and a joint BIM model will be used as the facilitator of collaboration.

    This presentation also demonstrated the fact that the central element of the Barclay’s Center, requiring the most architectural attention, was the façade (we also saw this in Gehry Technologies’ Strata Tower). This shift is interesting, as it seems to deviate from the conception of the architect being the master builder. This shift may be attributed to the fact that buildings are becoming more complex, and the façade is becoming the most enthralling aspect of their design. As the façade becomes more complex and the internal structure remains unchanged and relatively standard, the façade will inevitably become the focus of the project. It will be interesting to observe how long this façade-centric trend will continue, as it seems that sooner or later, architects will once again tap into the potential for creativity in the design of the structure’s interior.

  5. padams20 says:

    The Arena project is an odd case that illuminates the unifying, totalizing influence of BIM on practical process. In a parametric model, each object is a child of another object except the roots and end results. Thus there is a chain of dependency within the model. The chain of dependency, or the internal logic, of a model is as much a thing to design as the final form is. In the Barclay project, there are two parametric models, each made by two entities: SHoP and Front. The scope for each entity was close in adjacency, so coordination between the two models was needed. However, since they were parallel, without chains of dependency to unite them, a disjunction occurred where the scopes of work were supposed to physically join, the ability of the model broke down. When the flow of data within the model doesn’t follow the needs of the physical solution, but instead follows legal lines etc. disjunction is inevitable.

  6. kmd2148 says:

    The presentation given by Adam Modesitt from SHoP Architects was very interesting and inspiring. The fact that the Barclay Arena is split between the engineer and the architect and was evident in the digital model through the split between catia and revit; it was very interesting to see how these two complex and different digital models came together and how the dependency was handled and who had ownership of the connection. It was also inspiring to see such a large scale project modeled in such depth in BIM, as well as being utilized as a file to fabrication type file as well in terms of the steel façade. It was also inspiring to hear that in this digital model age there is a paradigm shift in firms employees and experience type and age, which gives a positive outlook on our industry.

  7. Solar says:

    Adam’s presentation was really relevant to how we are approaching this class in allowing our expiring definitions of architecture to transform into something more empowered and visionary. SHop has displayed a lot of intelligence in this area, creating a division of the company in order to streamline their processes. Even the Barclay Arena was an example of coming in for a specific goal and staying away from as much unnecessary complexity as possible. It was inspiring and Adam seemed really comfortable.

  8. lucbwilson says:

    It was great to have Adam come talk to us about the Barclay’s Stadium. There were many interesting and relevant topics brought up. First, younger architects are getting more responsibility because they are the only ones that have the technical skill (through BIM and parametric software) to realize the project. This has become a common occurrence in contemporary practice. The interesting part is that at some of the most innovative architecture firms, there are one or two young architects that play crucial roles. So crucial that if they left, the firm would have a hard time recovering. It is this type of person that allows a firm to be innovative and flexible, software agnostic and focus on the service, rather than the single BIM model, unified theory that is software specific. Each person and each firm is so specific that it has made it impossible to codify the software agnostic approach. Perhaps the codification can happen in school. What if MArch programs offered a concentration or certificate program in flexible, software agnostic practices? (Although, I’m writing this I have no idea how it would manifest.)

    Another way to codify the flexible software agnostic approach is related to the red line that Adam showed us in the Barclays Stadium. It was the line that defined where Revit stopped and Catia began. Also, within Catia, there was a point of interface between Front and SHoP. Lastly, there was a basic wireframe that controlled the overall form that everyone was working from. I don’t think we should worry about how to move and translate entire models from software to software, but rather clearly define a set of simple geometry (and more generally outputs and information) that becomes the interface between various software and various legal entities (architect, consultants, etc.) These simple points of interaction might be something that even gets codified within the contract documents.

  9. adam gerber says:

    I have to confess, I just talked to Luc about this… but the concept of wireframe data as common language working across software platforms and firms is very interesting. These geometric abstractions represented the driving parameters that were shared across all firms, the things that stabilized the other parameters that people were drawing on. Moving or otherwise changing them is a big deal that impacts everybody’s work flow. How cool!
    I wish I had asked adam more about the tabs that interface between SHoP’s work and front’s work. Is their non-automation an inherent problem and if so why? Could the project have been set up differently to account for their automation? Is the problem contractual or is it technological? It seems like they have a very sophisticated model with good collaboration, I think the moment of breakdown could be really informative in hindsight.

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