Last year around this time I did an “end of the year post”, and it pretty much turned out to be an ode to Dynamo. Yeah, I know, that sounds horribly boring, but truth be told I had a lot of fun being one of the early Dynamo adopters and really getting a lot of people infected with the bug. It was a lot of fun watching others get “Dynamo rabies”, run around and sing praises for Dynamo wherever they went, and went they everywhere. Speaking of going places, it turns out that travel was a big part of 2015 for me as well.
First, I had an opportunity to attend RTC in Washington, DC. It was my first time at RTC and…it was F.U.N. It was not only that I was able to meet all these crazy Australian fuckers – yeah Adam, Quac, Stephen, Dominic and rest of you whiskey guzzling bastards that kept me pumped up full of alcohol for three straight days. I might be an organ donor but after hanging out with you I doubt anyone will ever have any use for my liver. :-) Now, in all seriousness, it was fun but it was also great to meet all of you and most of all it was good to learn from you all. It was during that RTC event that I was handed one of the best gifts ever – no it wasn’t the toy drone – it was an opportunity to go to Adam’s and Harry’s Dynamo and Revit API classes. Oh yeah, that sounds a little nerdy, but it was exactly what I needed to take my game to the next level. I learned just enough Visual Studio, Dynamo and Revit to really dive into a little more serious developments. For that, I salut you all!
Last year I was also invited to co-teach a Dynamo workshop at ACADIA. Nate Holland and I spent three (3) days preaching the gospel of Dynamo to those 11 or 12 poor souls that signed up for it. It was fun, it was hard and tiring at times, but at the end of the day it was gratifying to see that our students were happy to be there. I met some great people at ACADIA, too many to name them all, but most importantly I was able to have some epic dinner table conversations with people like Ana, Elcin, Mostapha, Brian, David, Nate, Shane, Chris and many more. Overall, I have to say that ACADIA was pretty nerd and animal (mostly penguin) friendly and I would recommend it to everyone.
Other than those two large events I was also part of some smaller, one or two day things that were fun. Most notable I was part of NYC AEC Hackathon, then AEC Symposium and Hackathon organized by TT and finally a Grimshaw Hackathon Lite co-organized by Grimshaw Architects and Pratt’s Digital Futures. They were all cool and unique with, personally for me, varying outcomes. I might have not produced much of anything during Grimshaw Hackathon Lite, but it was good for me to be amongst students again. It definitely reassured me that I made the right choice not pursuing my Masters in Architecture. Oh yeah, I am pretty sure that I felt my brain overheat just from listening to all of the new words invented during this event. If only I could understand any of them, I am sure I would have been able to help at least some of them.
On to the nice things…development was the name of the game for me in 2015. It started out by working with Brian Washburn and developing some interesting automation tools for Revit and GIS Tools using Mantis Shrimp:
Then I did a quick one for Image Exporting and View by Room creation in Revit using Dynamo:
This was all driven by a bigger workflow that I was working at the time, developing some neat Room Data Sheet stuff. I ended up scrapping it and going in a different direction, but Image Exporter and that Floor Plan by Room node remained relatively useful.
After that I went on to release Bumblebee for Dynamo – an Excel and Dynamo interop plug-in. This was a big one for me. It was developed based on original Bumblebee developed by David Mans, and I was able to (or at least I hope) improve it a little bit while giving it some of my personal touch.
I also did quite a few workflows that were developed specifically for other people. This printing PDFs with dynamo workflow was developed for a colleague of mine at Grimshaw – but I guess this is my job so I am not sure this counts. Mhmmm…anyways, this framing model checker with dynamo was a wish granted to Marcello, if I remember correctly while this spaces and space tags with dynamo was developed for a Polish dude located in Germany by the name of Michal. I also did a couple of smaller workflows around revision and image management in Dynamo with these two posts: image management with dynamo and revisions on sheet with dynamo.
As you can see I was quite busy around Dynamo community, but this wasn’t the best thing about 2015. As a matter of fact the best part of 2015 was that I got hooked on working in Visual Studio and writing in C#. I got hooked on learning a new language and a new way of working. Once I realized that as great as Dynamo is, I am still having a hard time convincing my end users (designers in the office) to use these great Dynamo workflows. It was just too steep of a learning curve for most of them to simply jump into Dynamo and start using workflows that I have developed. I am not sure if its lack of time, or Dynamo’s relative user un-friendliness compared to tools like Grasshopper, but for the love of God, I could not get enough traction in the office to make a real difference. Instead of hitting my head against the proverbial wall, I decided to educate myself, since its hard to educate others. I started learning C# and developing tools for Revit via External Commands. These ended up being a lot more successful, and it has also quickly became my preferred way of working.
You can see that in couple of the last few posts that I have made on my blog: revit beyond macros – building your tools as external commands, create your own tab and buttons in revit as well as a series of hands on tutorials: building revit plug-ins with visual studio: part 1-3. These were pretty much a culmination of work that I have been doing for Grimshaw in the last few months, developing Revit add-inns.
On another note this past year 2015 have been an interesting year for couple other reasons as well. I saw my first project get built: my first completed project… and I got engaged to this pretty lady:
Yeah, I know…we both like over-sized, yellow animal sculptures. If Polish people like them, it must be normal. :-)
I also visited Poland for the first time in 12 years, or pretty much since I left. It hasn’t changed much, except maybe that everyone got older. Oh well, at least I stayed pretty much the same age. :-P Thanks to these pretty ladies for keeping me company during my visit to this old/new world that I left so long ago.
Finally, I became an uncle and as Lebron James would say: Not once, not twice…well actually only twice. Congrats to two of my awesome sisters for extending the Sobon bloodline – there is still chance that we will rule the world one day…in 2016?
Ps. I am not sure who this guy is, but I met him in Venice and took a picture of him, for him. Does that make sense? Probably not, long story short, this poor chap was standing there with his selfie stick and wasting such a could be decent image with his Samsung phone camera. I promised to email this to him when I got home, but of course lost his email address. If anyone happens to know him, please let me know. I don’t want to anger any gods before 2016.