Episode 006 - Dynamo Team - Matt Jezyk, Zach Kron, & Colin McCrone


Some of the Dynamo Team drop by for BBQ and we force them to talk on the podcast. We talk about Charles River Software, Ian Keough, Scratch, Nyan Cat, Dynableau, and Duckhunt and the NES zapper.



Show Notes

  1. Dynamo is design computation for BIM - check it out - it’s pretty cool stuff

  2. The Designalyze podcast is also known as The Podcast That Shall Not Be Named

  3. The full name of the Designalyze podcast is Designalyze: The Podcast: A Rope of Sand

  4. Designalyze for Dynamo is called Designalyzamo.

  5. Brian sounds like Ira Glass

  6. Revit was originally developed at a company called Charles River Software in Newton, MA in 1999; in 2000 the company was renamed to Revit Technology Corporation; in 2002 the company was purchased by Autodesk

  7. Zach Kron used to be a “Quality Assurance employee,” essentially someone who is paid to beat on Revit with a stick all day until it fails. He would stress the model by making things like dinosaurs and shoes using swept blends

  8. Swept Blendz is the name of Brian’s hair salon in downtown Brooklyn

  9. Zach Kron and Matt Jezyk first met while pouring concrete in the backyard of a mutual friend in Cambridge using a concrete buggy that had flat tires

  10. Colin McCrone’s official title is “Computational Design Evangelist” but his unofficial title is “Guy Who’s Really Excited About Dynamo at All Times”

  11. When Zach Kron was an undergrad at Swarthmore and later in his twenties he periodically worked at the Marxist Puppet Theater in Philly

  12. Colin is United Airlines Frequent Flyer Gold. Next up is Platinum, followed by 1k (actually 100K in terms of miles), then Global Services which is 4 million lifetime miles or by invitation. The highest level you can achieve is Frequent Flyer Einsteinium Rapidly Decaying Isotope

  13. The #QsforColin hashtag is how Brian and Andrew Heumann ask Colin Dynamo questions via Twitter. For Colin’s sanity, please use it wisely. Or not at all

  14. The Dynamo team recently gave a Tech Workshop at the Facades+ NYC 2015

  15. Dynamo was “birthed" by Ian Keough after his experience with custom tool development at Buro Happold - one-off tools weren't necessarily getting reused so wanted to make something that would be more general purpose

  16. Dynamo is also a famous magician, a soccer team, and another soccer team. Ian Keough was once on the same plane with the magician

  17. Michael Kirschner (aka holyjewsus) is working on extended visual programming app in 3d space called XYZ Visual Programming as part of his thesis at MIT

  18. The process of restructuring existing computer code or visual programming graphs is called “refactoring

  19. Designscript is a programming language for designers developed by Robert Aish at Autodesk that was integrated into Dynamo at version 7. Robert Aish co-founded Smartgeometry and developed Generative Components at Bentley, among other incredible career achievements

  20. Dynamo has been successfully run on a Linux machine which is significant as it means that Dynamo could be run on a server

  21. Zach likes this song about a chair

  22. Dynamo is not limited to Revit; it’s already been used to connect to ABB industrial robotic arms, Robot structural analysis, SAP2000, Maya, 3D Studio Max, Inventor, Navisworks, Energy Plus, MS Paint, and more.

  23. Dynamo is a parametric way of developing parametric software; also known as “parametriception”

  24. Scratch is a free programming language developed at MIT for primary and secondary education. There is also ScratchJr for children ages 5-7

  25. Brian is currently kickstarting Baby Scratch (coding for ages 0-2), Scratch Fetus (intra-womb coding), and Scratch Family Planning (coding as twinkle in parents’ eyes)

  26. Designalyze’s target audience is children and Montessori parents

  27. Lambda functions are functions that can pass anonymous (unnamed) functions; also known as “functionception”

  28. Some noteable Easter eggs in Grasshopper:

    1. RIP Alan Turing

    2. Happy Bday Boris Delaunay

    3. Voronoi Overdose Warning

  29. DESIGNALYZE ‘SCLUSIE: If you string a bunch of map nodes together in Dynamo you just might discover an Easter egg

  30. There used to be a Random lolcats component in Grasshopper and it was amazing

  31. Nyan Cat is an 8-bit cat with a Cherry Pop Tart body flying through outer space.

  32. David Rutten’s acceptance speech for the ACADIA Innovative Research Award in 2012 at the Synthetic Digital Ecologies conference in SFO.

  33. Rhynamo now supports user dictionaries!

  34. In Grasshopper swapping branches with list items is called Flip Matrix, in Dynamo (array structures) and Excel (columns and rows) it’s called Transpose.

  35. You’re not using Twitter until you’ve used Tweetdeck.

  36. Brian would like to see a three-way interoperation, also known as a “datage à trois”

  37. Recent Dynamo packages of note include Illustrator by Elayabharath Elango (Dynamo to Adobe Illustrator), Raindrops by Neri Miller (Dynamo to Google Docs), and Dynableau (Dynamo to Tableau) by Kyle Morin

  38. Grasshopper Saved States allow users to manage design options by recording input parameter states

  39. SolidWorks Design Tables allow the user to compare multiple configurations of a part or assembly by specifying multiple input parameter state

  40. Clippy was the JarJar Binks of application user assistance

  41. The Grasshopper Markov widget tracks component usage patterns and tries to predict what component you’ll need next

  42. Brian rarely wears pants when pcasting

  43. Revit’s DirectShape API offers the ability to instantiate arbitrary geometry into Revit and ascribe certain Revit characteristics such as category; this is partly an effort to parallel the efforts of IFC to accommodate more generic building elements

  44. Grasshopper’s Data Dam component allows the user to hold information within a node for selective release downstream

  45. Groups and advanced color are now available in Dynamo!

  46. “Under the Covers” is the name of Brian’s new Dynamo package and also his album of Sade covers

  47. Namespace collision is when two or more identifiers in a given code namespace cannot be unambiguously resolved - this happened briefly when Rhynamo was first introduced into the Dynamo environment and has since been resolved

  48. Colin McCrone pro tip: Use F5 to run the Dynamo graph when in Manual Run mode

  49. Two Dynamo developers, Ian Keough and Luke Church, attended Space Camp as children

  50. “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe…”

  51. Tiger handheld games were popular from the seventies through the nineties and featured LCD screens in which the characters had a fixed number of possible positions. Every single game is documented here.

  52. ColecoVision was Coleco’s second gen home video game console released in 1982

  53. How the Duck Hunt gun (NES zapper) worked.

  54. Zach Kron runs an annual parametric pumpkin competition

  55. Brian made a parametric pumpkin that looks like a parametric butthole (this butthole is Safe For Work)


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 something that recently blew your mind?

    • Our minds are blown every day

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

    • Colin

      • Irritating AND enjoyable: Every day he sees a human do something in SFO he’s never seen a human do before

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

    • Matt

      • Compromise

    • Colin

      • Design under constraint

    • Zach

      • [CENSORED]

      • Thought made real

      • The delamination of space *getting increasingly satirical*

  9. What would you say to an architecture student?

    • Matt

      • Don’t take yourself so seriously

    • Brian

      • Stop wearing scarves indoors. Don’t be ashamed of your neck

    • Zach

      • Don’t worry about “is this part of the test.” Learn how to be creative within constraints - don’t throw off constraints for unfettered creativity; constraints are actually sources of inspiration

    • Colin

      • Don’t be afraid to be different - there are opportunities for many different talents and interests in architecture

  10. What is the Siths’ motivation?

    • Colin

      • There’s no such thing as a pure dark side so the Siths are a fallacy - Star Wars presents an unrealistic black and white worldview

    • Matt

      • It’s not black and white - it’s a progressive degradation to the Dark Side

    • Zach

      • Impossible to answer because Star Wars plays fast and loose with the apprentice-master relationship - lacks consistency

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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Zach Downey

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