Computational Design Lab: Reinventing BIM


Takehiko Nagakura and Terry Knight are teaching an awesome class at MIT in collaboration with CO Architects. “Computational Design Lab: Reinventing BIM” is taking the inventive step of not just teaching how to use the tools, but how to work beyond the capabilities available out of the box. Using Revit, students will “propose exploratory tools that augment or transform existing software capabilities in creative and innovative ways, to develop conceptual prototypes based on their ideas, and then to test their prototypes.

Tom Vollaro and I got to help kick start the process with a workshop last weekend. Here is a one hour excerpt, exploring reporting parameters, shared parameters, calculated values, and filters.

MIT class on Filters, Schedules, Reporting Parameters and Shared Parameters

Watch on YouTube.

Download the File


  1. Hi Zach,

    May I ask you something about Divide Pattern on massing.
    For e.g I built a square block, and I divide the flat surface using Triangle (flat)
    I've set the U & V Grid layout to Fixed Distance of 1m each. And I'm able to archieve the dimension i want for my panel.
    But when i apply the same thing on a curve surface, the dimension no longer stick to my desired measurement. the panel size can go odd figures like 1.024m etc

    Am I using the wrong U&V Grid Layout option to treat a curve surface? or should I change it to Maximun Spacing? Even so, it still gives odd measurements.

    I've attached an reference image to your gmail.

    What I want to archieve at the end of the day is to panelized my curtain panel in modules.
    (The lesser types the better)
    I've followed what you did on “Computational Design Lab: Reinventing BIM” to achieve curtain panel schedules but there are too many odd figures floating around. How do i narrow down the panel types, and how should I handle the Grid Layout?

  2. You are experiencing a problem that is just a result of your geometry, not a limitation or problem of understanding the software. If you have a complex curvature surface, the panels will never all be the same, that is, unless you make the panels a fixed size and allow them to overlap and shift their edge relationships to each other. The size that you set them to is based on a single "belt" measurement made in a single area in U and V coordinate space. You can move around this belt, but you will always have different sizes.