Episode 007 - Mostapha Sadeghipour Roudsari and Konrad Sobon

Mostapha and Konrad stop by the office to give shoutouts and talk python. They discuss tools they've made (Ladybug, Honeybee, and Mantis Shrimp) as well as a bunch of cool stuff. Check out the show notes below.

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Show Notes

  1. Thornton Tomasetti’s CORE (COmputational REsearch) studio specializes in AECO research and development, physical prototyping, parametric modeling, and other cool stuff

  2. Ladybug is an “open source environmental plugin for Grasshopper that helps architects and engineer create an environmentally-conscious architectural design”

  3. Grimshaw Architects was founded by Sir Nicholas Grimshaw in 1980 and was one of the pioneers of the high-tech architecture movement. Their well-known projects include Waterloo station, the Eden Project, EMPAC, and Fulton Center

  4. Mantis Shrimp is an awesome animal that can kick your ass

  5. Mantis Shrimp is also an interoperability package that connects Grasshopper to Dynamo developed by Konrad

  6. Konrad runs a blog called Archi.lab full of coding tips, design news, and more

  7. Mostapha’s next big project is multiplayer Pac-Man

  8. What you talkin’ bout Willis

  9. Open source software is “software that can be freely used, changes, and shared by anyone”

  10. Both Konrad and Mostapha are Pythonistas/Pythoneers/people who are good at the Python programming language, a widely used language that emphasizes brevity and readability and can be used to script in a variety of design applications including Maya, Dynamo, Revit, Grasshopper, and Rhino

  11. Konrad met Mostapha through a mutual friend in Chicago before he had ever coded - he credits Mostapha with getting him hooked on Grasshopper and design technology in general

  12. Chris Mackey is a student at MIT currently wrapping up a dual degree for a Masters of Architecture and a Masters of Science in Building Technology. He’s responsible for developing the thermal comfort analysis tools in Ladybug has some great YouTube videos for getting started with the software

  13. Ladybug and Honeybee are developed by a team - the contributors include Anton Szilasi, Alex Jacobson, Abraham Yezioro, Boris Plotnikov, the aforementioned Chris Mackey, Djordje Spasic (Ladybug photovoltaics!), Mostapha of course, Saeran Vasanthakumar, Trygve Wastvedt, Chien Si Harriman, Patrick Chopson, Sandeep Ahuja, and of course the developers at Radiance, Daysim, EnergyPlus, and OpenStudio.

  14. web.py is a web framework for Python developed by Aaron Swartz when he was at Reddit that can do a ton of powerful web stuff but is also just a useful way of launching web pages in browsers directly from your CAD application

  15. Ladybug is developed as a series of Grasshopper Python components saved as Grasshopper User Objects and are not locked, meaning that users can access the source code simply by double-clicking on the component. This provides an immediacy of information that surpasses even that of open-source but hard-coded apps which require the user to navigate the code via a repository such as Github or Bitbucket

  16. The Ladybug and Honeybee repos are available on Github

  17. The Ladybug Grasshopper Discussion Forum is a means of crowdsourcing Ladybug support through the user and developer communities

  18. Day 3 of SimAUD 2015 was the Mostapha show where he presented or co-presented three papers in a single session

  19. While Lyrebird and Geometry Gym allow for various means of direct Rhino to Revit translation (using a local server and IFC, respectively), Dynamo essentially acts as a data container, not only allowing for free, manipulable transfer between Rhino and Revit but also allowing the user to tap into a wide range of Dynamo packages and connect to a multitude of other platforms

  20. Revit Key Schedules are like component schedules except they can be defined to user specifications. Konrad uses Dynamo as a means to populate Revit Key Schedules with data that is not necessarily native to Revit, which is a limitation of using Key Schedules sans Dynamo

  21. Excel is Konrad’s best friend

  22. Mostapha likes Excel

  23. Ladybug got its name because Mostapha wanted users to know it would always be buggy. And it’s a better name than Bedbug. What really sealed the deal was that Ladybugs are thought to predict the weather

  24. Honeybee was originally supposed to be called Caterpillar but that name was already taken for a Grasshopper unit conversion library by Konrad’s Grimshaw colleague David Mans, who also seems to have something of an affinity for insect names: He also developed Bumblebee to live link Grasshopper and Excel while working at Woods Bagot

  25. Mostapha developed EPWMap as an alternative to navigating the DOE website

  26. Elcin Ertugrul’s @it library (pronounce “at it” or, if you’re Mostapha, “at sign it”) for Grasshopper allows for access to OSM data. It’s called @it because Elcin was constantly running routines such as “call it,” “”map it,” “run it,” etc.. As a result this guy is getting a lot of unsolicited Twitter mentions

  27. Josh Wentz developed code to convert clean addresses via Google Maps into lat/long coordinates (used in @it) as well as an app called energyplus.io for running Energy+ on the web

  28. Brian only invited Mostapha to the podcast to ask him a Ladybug question

  29. Brian Washburn developed Heron to allow for GIS Shapefile importing directly into Grasshopper

  30. Brian used Designalyze when he was a grad student from 2007-2009

  31. Brian met Zach at the Intersections 2012 symposium

  32. Brian’s first Grasshopper definition was making this avatar using the Image Mapper component - in his first seminar he had his students use the same method to generate Gravatars for Google Wave which allowed them to remotely communicate and collaborate in real-time

  33. Apache bought the Google Wave Protocol and is incubating it (aka subjecting it to purgatory) as Apache Wave to be deployed as Wave in a Box or WiaB

  34. Speaking of dead Google stuff, RIP Google Reader

  35. I’m just noicing your noice

  36. Rodrigo Medina runs a video tutorial website ThinkParametric and a design technology news aggregator called DesignHunt

  37. Get, get, get that paper

  38. BetaNYC is NYC’s “civic technology and open government vanguard”

  39. “If you know JavaScript you are in control of your life.” - Mostapha emphasizing the importance of understanding the foundational language of the web for designers today

  40. Your “sidecode” is your code language sidepiece

  41. “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” - His Airness

  42. “Bad Monkeys” is an unofficial Dynamo community that can only be accessed by wearing a Guy Fawkes mask and using Tor to communicate on the Dark Web

Lightning round:

  1. What books are you reading?

  2. What music are you listening to right now?

  3. How do you feel about software tutorials set to music?

    • Mostapha

      • I don’t feel good about that

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

    • Mostapha

      • Never seen one

    • Konrad

      • I like them all

      • I never re-watch a movie

      • I immediately forget the movie after watching it

  5. What’s your favorite retro-game?

  6. What’s your favorite childhood cartoon?

  7. Describe your current rig/workspace?

    • Mostapha

      • Carries a laptop around

    • Konrad

      • Desktop guy. Likes the power. Huge screens. The heft. Cables coming out of it. Extra cables for no reason. Overclocked. Liquid-cooled.

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

    • Mostapha

      • Next

    • Konrad

      • Next

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

    • Brian

      • Mostapha’s presentation at SimAUD, in particular the method developed for analyzing frit and Chris Mackey’s reworking of the Shaderade (and here) algorithm to make a similar algo for thermal comfort in Honeybee

    • Mostapha

    • Konrad

      • Nothing rattles me

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

    • Mostapha

      • Enjoyable

        • From 10pm to 2am in “The Cave” (what Mostapha calls his apartment) when he codes and does push-ups

      • Irritating

        • Early morning meetings

    • Konrad

      • Enjoyable

        • After everyone else leaves work and he’s left alone to code

  11. Who is Banksy?

    • Konrad doesn’t care. But he does appreciate the socio-political message

    • Theory: A bunch of interns painting stupid shit on walls

    • Theory: Brian needs to work out his rage issues with Banksy

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

  13. What is the Siths’ motivation

    • Mostapha

      • I don’t know Star Wars

    • Konrad

      • I never watched that thing

  14. Have you ever watched Monty Python?

    • Both

      • No

  15. What would you say to a student?

    • Konrad

      • Get rid of your TV

    • Mostapha

      • The job that you will have after graduation may not exist yet - create your future job instead of settling for the status quo

    • Konrad

      • Pull no punches - chase down your own interests and passions. But only if your interests and passions relate to technology

tutorial rating: 
Average: 5 (5 votes)


Zach Downey

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