Episode 015 - Shane Burger

Shane Burger

Shane Burger Director of Design Technology at Woods Bagot in the house! We talk Smart Geometry, Zach's computer names, Bass Guitar, Brian Exploiting Jane Austen for nefarious purposes and of course design technology.

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Show Notes:

  1. Shane is the Director of Design Technology at Woods Bagot

  2. Shane is Brian’s boss

  3. Shane is also the Director of Smartgeometry and was recently named to the ACADIA Board of Directors

  4. The ACADIA conference is not to be confused with the mid-size SUV or the national park

  5. Zach Downey AKA “ZD” AKA “Baked Ziti” AKA “Z Dawg”

  6. Zach’s personal computers are always named Zack Attack

    1. Missed opportunity: Zaq Attaq

    2. Bigoted opportunity: ZaKKK AttaKKK

  7. CASE names their computers after elements

    1. Zach chose “Urea” so he could say he’s pissing off at the end of the day

  8. The oldest shirt that Brian owns (circa 2006)

    1. IMG_9896.JPG

    2. Go Gooners!

  9. Shane plays the bass - he plays a 6 string fretless

  10. Shane plays a better Seinfeld bassline than Zach

  11. Zach’s bass idol is Les Claypool

    1. Les Claypool once auditioned for Metallica

  12. In high school Brian played the trumpet and wore spats

  13. He never skanked. He was never a rude boy

  14. Reel Big Fish and The Mighty Mighty Boss Tones are two of the worst things that have ever happened to music. Actually, they’re just two of the worst things that have ever happened

  15. The last Smartgeometry took place in Hong Kong

  16. Cluster champions lead research projects at Smartgeometry - would also make a great cereal name

  17. Daniel Davis’s write-up on Smartgeometry 2014 for Architect Magazine

  18. Smartgeometry was started in 2004 in Cambridge UK by Lars Hesselgren, Hugh Whitehead, and J Parrish

    1. They had been doing advanced parametric modeling at YRM to resolve structural issues for International Terminal Waterloo along with Grimshaw but no one else in the industry was advocating for this approach, so they partnered with Robert Aish and Bentley in order to develop parametric strategies and tools like Generative Components

    2. For more on the Smartgeometry story, grab the book Inside Smartgeometry from Amazon

  19. Shane worked on the design at EMPAC during his time at Grimshaw

    1. Davis Brody Bond were the architects of record

    2. EMPAC has an incredible program

    3. And a heated facade

  20. He also worked on the Queens Museum

  21. Shane first learned GC and design computation thought processes from Volker Mueller and Rob Woodbury at a workshop at an ACADIA-affiliated workshop at the University of Waterloo in 2004

  22. Xavier DeKestelier, Chris Williams, and Neri Oxman were also there

  23. Transaction files, ugh

  24. Marty Doscher wrote surface unfolding algos for GC

  25. Brian was first introduced to GC by Kyle Steinfeld when they were both working at KPF New York in 2005, and again by Stylianos Dritsas at KPF London in 2006

  26. Steve Sanderson taught Zach GC

  27. Axel Kilian taught Shane about arrays using egg cartons as a metaphor

  28. An 18-pack of eggs is called the “Downey Dozen”

  29. Brian took a Jane Austen seminar

    1. In Pride and Prejudice there is a character named Mr. Bingley. Hmmm. B(rian) (R)ingley. Coincidence? Yes

    2. Symptomatic of his general illiteracy, Zach confuses Charlotte Bronte with Jane Austen

  30. Wikipedia started on January 15, 2001 (Wikiception: The Wikipedia entry on Wikipedia)

  31. WikiWikiWeb was started in Portland in 1994 and is known as the first wiki

  32. The Create Form button in Revit

  33. Antimony is a computer-aided design (CAD) tool from a parallel universe in which CAD software evolved from Lisp machines rather than drafting tables.”

  34. Grasshopper is a UX/UI win

  35. While Sony won the recent high-def DVD format war, they lost the original video format war to VHS despite being considered technologically superior in several ways

  36. More like Super Nintendon't

  37. Shane had Thriller (1983), Flight of the Navigator (1986), and the original Transformers movie (1986) on Betamax

    1. Fun facts from the Transformers movie:

      1. Featured a Weird Al song

      2. Optimus Prime dies (the first of many deaths)

      3. Someone says “ah shit

  38. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's The People's Eyebrow

  39. The whoosh of a Lost flashback

  40. I was shot in the buttocks

  41. Method Design is a studio led by Reese J. Campbell, Demetrios A Comodromos, and David Stasiuk

  42. Shane planned the 2011 Smartgeometry event in Copenhagen with Martin Tamke and Brady Peters of CITA

  43. Architect Evan Douglis is the Dean of Architecture at RPI

  44. Brian is a robotmonger

  45. Woods Bagot hired Shane as its Director of Design Technology upon recommendation by a CASE design technology review

  46. While Woods Bagot was an early client, it’s likely that either Grimshaw or Cannon Design was CASE's first client

  47. Woods Bagot Paris would be called Le Bois de Baguette

  48. Robert Mencarini is Zach's doppelgänger

  49. After minute 00:59 this podcast is a real pansexual bazaar

  50. Woods Bagot has around 900 employees and 12 primary studios globally. With no real HQ, Woods Bagot refers to itself as the Next Generation Global Studio, “collaborat[ing] better than anyone else in the world”

  51. Woods Bagot’s origins can be traced back to 1869 in Adelaide

  52. Being a global studio means a lot of VCs

  53. Brian has been secretly rating the global studios in three areas. The leaderboard is as follows:

    1. Quality of Monday morning meetings: Perth

    2. Quality of Friday afternoon happy hours: Sydney

    3. Quality of coffee machine: Melbourne

  54. Woods Bagot’s new General Managing Director (GMD) is Nik Karalis

  55. The Design Technology Group has a number of roles in the firm, from direct project support to R&D initiatives

  56. As part of an initiative into real time experience and IxD, Shane led an ACADIA workshop in 2014 and will again instruct in 2015

  57. The Design Technology Group uses an agile development methodology and a fail fast mentality, which are management techniques inspired by the software industry

  58. NYC cyclists are the worst

  59. Or just cyclists in general


  61. Zach is the granter of sidebars

  62. The Google Project Tango Development Kit can be yours for 512 smackers

  63. White Christmas is a Black Mirror episode where people can be “blocked” in real life using an AR device called the “Z-Eye


Lightning round:

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

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

  3. What’s your favorite retro-game?

  4. What’s your favorite childhood cartoon?

  5. Describe your productivity ritual.

    • Ritual of coffee and eggs

    • Check emails - be sure to Ignore all emails from Brian

    • Necessity of blocking out time during the day to focus on particular tasks

    • Multi-tasking is a myth

    • Evenings are mostly VCs from home

    • Commuting by bike is nice because it allows for time to stew on ideas or problems

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

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

    • The crafting and execution of functional spaces for experience


tutorial rating: 
Average: 5 (4 votes)


Zach Downey

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