Episode 005 - Arpan Bakshi

Arpan Bakshi

Arpan Bakshi a Senior Sustainability Specialist at SOM stops by to talk High Performance Design, Performance Network, LinkedIn, Formsolver, IBPSSA, Star Wars, and Number Munchers for the Apple II.


Show Notes

  1. Teresa Rainey is the Director of High-Performance Design, a specialist group out of SOM’s DC office. She also led the charge on ASHRAE Standard 189.1.

  2. HPD stands for both High Performance Design and Health Product Declaration, effectively making the acronym useless. Also, Brian thinks it sounds like the name of a venereal disease.

  3. CASE Inc and other companies have started taking a serious look at indoor positioning as a means of understanding how people use space and behave in buildings throughout the day.

  4. Arpan is good at LinkedIn.

  5. Performance.Network is a series of affordable and accessible performance workshops and webinars for better-informed design

  6. Zach’s ideal website would auto-play the King’s Quest theme song

  7. Brian’s ideal website would repeatedly issue a system beep and feature the Ally McBeal dancing baby

  8. The International Building Performance Simulation Association (IBPSA) is like energy modeling therapy. They'll come to your house and give you full body massage

  9. COMFEN was developed by the Windows and Daylighting group at Berkeley Lab and is designed to support the systematic evaluation of alternative fenestration systems for project-specific commercial building applications.

  10. The “BIG U” is a resiliency plan put into place for NYC by the Bjarke Ingels Group. The plan was originally submitted for the Rebuild By Design competition in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.

  11. Grasshopper was originally called “Explicit History” and even used the old parental advisory CD label as its logo

  12. The two most popular screensavers back in the 90s were the flying windows and the 3D pipes

  13. Formsolver is a plugin that optimizes the material and form of a building to reduce its environmental impact developed by Tristan d’Estree Sterk of the Office for Robotic Architectural Media and the Bureau for Responsive Architecture (ORAMBRA). Formsolver was the first sponsor of Performance.Network.

  14. SOM’s Mumbai airport and the US Air Force Academy Center for Character and Leadership are two striking examples of the integration of multiple systems (daylighting, structure, etc.) through parametric thinking

  15. PlaNYC requires all buildings above certain size to report on energy consumption. 7 World Trade is the first building to adopt green lease language as crafted by PlaNYC.

  16. One of the improvements of LEED v4 is enhanced commissioning for higher performance envelopes

  17. SOM’s PS62 in Staten Island will be the first net-zero energy school in NYC and one of the first in the world

  18. If it’s yellow, let it mellow


Lightning round:

  1. What book(s) are you reading right now?

  2. What music are you listening to right now?

  3. What’s your favorite sci-fi film?

  4. What’s your favorite retro-game?

  5. What’s your favorite childhood cartoon?

  6. What’s in your current “app kit?”

    • A bazillion energy modeling apps

    • Outlook

  7. Describe your current rig/workspace?

    • Arpan doesn’t have a good computer, but he does sit next to one and uses it as a hand warmer

  8. Describe your productivity ritual.

    • Check emails

    • Check social networks

    • Understand the destination/bigger picture before starting tasks

  9. What’s something that you think is a critical issue in technology that’s currently being overlooked?

    • Post-occupancy analysis

  10. What’s something that recently blew your mind?

    • Arpan: Seeing the newest technologies of the future, but in the past. On a SOM project in Middle East while researching vernacular technologies I discovered a method for using atmospheric water generators to convert humidity in air into potable water. If we want to innovate, we should learn from past civilizations’ vernacular technologies and find a way to do it that’s relevant to us now.

    • Zach: On Tatooine there were moisture farms.

    • Brian: FACT*: Dyson Airblades were first used over 700 years ago in ancient Islamic architecture. *Not a fact.

  11. What is the most irritating part of your day? and what is the most enjoyable?

    • (Besides being on this podcast.)

    • The most irritating thing is repetition - trying to solve the same problems over and over again. And building the same tools over and over again - we should all contribute to one open-source solution and then we can apply our own UI skins over top of the core app, like a Fungus Amongus skin for Winamp.

    • The most enjoyable thing is learning about new developments in the industry through LinkedIn PULSE (Like the time Brian learned about color analysis in Dynamo - he’d been waiting all his life.)

    • The new Lightning Round theme song is Zach humming the music from the Star Wars cantina scene

  12. Who is Banksy?

    • Theory: Banksy is from the past

  13. WHAT IS ARCHITECTURE???!!! In one sentence.

    • An intervention on human behavior

    • Brian would argue that the Designalyze podcast is a Western

  14. What would you say is a critical thing for current architecture students to consider?

    • Programming. The code kind, not the spaces kind. Actually, you should probably learn about both.


On Designalyze, we analyze what makes thought leaders in design technology tick through informative, insightful, and often humorous interviews. Designalyze is hosted by Zach Downey and Brian Ringley and recorded in DUMBO, Brooklyn. For design technology tutorials and content visit us at http://designalyze.com

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