Parametric Design and OpenBIM

We recently caught up with one of our speakers, Ákos Karóczkai, not only for this year’s European BILT event, but for events globally, and we asked his opinion on the state of the industry and where we may be heading. He believes that in order to further our industry we need to approach BIM by helping the project teams to understand the benefit of BIM based workflows and make them see how collaboration with different disciplines can make their life easier and reduce the conflicts between the different stakeholders. To Ákos it is about education and collaboration. He also talks about his strong passion, parametric design, something which is quite a trend currently.

Ákos is a BIM consultant at GRAPHISOFT, is incredibly passionate about process and technology innovation, and was happy to share this with us!

  1. Who are you – tell us what you really do and help us to get to know you a little bit better (I.e. what got you excited last Wednesday?)

I am Akos Karoczkai, an architect by education and a BIM consultant by profession at GRAPHISOFT. I am an expert on parametric design and I develop and conduct trainings on various trainings related to ARCHICAD. I travel the world and do presentations and conduct training with our partners and clients. I often speak at conferences and expos where I spread the knowledge and enthusiasm that I have for parametric design.  My goal is to make people see that it’s not just a passing trend and it’s much more than making double curved shapes.

What I’m really interested in nowadays  is how programming will affect the AEC industry – especially designers’ workflows – as more and more people learn coding.

  1. What’s interesting to you outside of your work?

I am lucky that I found an activity at work that became also my hobby. I experiment with parametric tools to make interesting shapes and forms. I also love to work with wood and I try to combine the two to make small pieces of furniture or lamps utilizing laser cutting or 3D printing.

Besides this I love to cook and blend the different cuisines that I have the luck to try during my travels into my daily meals.

  1. Having a global perspective on what is happening in the AEC industry, what do you feel is most lacking currently? And how do you think this can be changed? Is it different in Europe to other regions?

What we see is a globalization of the industry with the appearance of many local players who provide good point solutions. It is of course very important that the different software continue to communicate with each other through Open Standards. With more than 250 application developers who support the Open BIM standard IFC we can say that it is a common effort of AEC software developers. What is left behind is the education of these new technologies and how to effectively collaborate with them.

Unfortunately BIM has not yet penetrated all curriculum and therefore GRAPHISOFT has developed a special project to increase the knowledge of BIM in general and Open BIM and ARCHICAD in particular. With the efforts of our partners who are supported by specialized consultants from our HQ, we contribute to the training of professionals and students.

  1. A common view in the industry is that using a particular software means you are working in a BIM environment. What are your thoughts on this?

Obviously, everybody has their own preference for software and that is the beauty of the current technological developments, that this is possible! When someone chooses to work with one specific software, and that choice is made on the basis of objectivity, that is excellent. When the choice is made by others, it can be disputed. After all, the software should be chosen because it best supports the work, the expertise and the workflow, not because it happens to exchange data in a native format.

  1. The Implementation of BIM is growing in Europe, but is still not universally used among all disciplines. Why do you think this is, and what can we do to change this?

Too often, organizations try to implement BIM from a top-down approach instead of helping the project teams to understand the benefit of BIM based workflows and make them see how collaboration with different disciplines can make their life easier and reduce the conflicts between the different stakeholders.

Moreover, an implementation is often approached technically, focusing on the exchange of files instead of optimizing the processes and workflows. That is because BIM is a logical continuation of CAD and the same people, with their years of experience, continue to work the same way. This is why educating students as well as practicing designers and engineers has a huge part on changing the landscape of BIM implementation and collaborative design in the future.

  1. What are some issues that your customers face and how has GRAPHISOFT/ARCHICAD managed to help overcome these issues?

The majority of our users have chosen ARCHICAD specifically because it increases their potential. Not only the continuous development of tools but certainly the connection with the day-to-day practice of the modern designer/architect ensures a major improvement in productivity compared to the use of other software. As we mentioned earlier, GRAPHISOFT has a knowledge-intensive (training) program for the academic world. The same applies to the support of our users. We distinguish ourselves by the great attention value that our users receive and the service and support that comes with it. Moreover, GRAPHISOFT, our dedicated partners and our parent company Nemetschek are big supporters of buildingSMART, in financial but certainly in organizational terms. We assist (non) profit organizations on many fronts in how the cooperation, collaboration and exchange of BIM data in the global construction can be improved. Not only in word, but also in deed!

  1. Tell us a little about your session – what was the motivation behind it and why should delegates attend? Who are you hoping to reach with your sessions and why these people in particular? What are you hoping delegates will gain from attending your sessions?

I will talk about parametric design and its place in the AEC industry in GRAPHISOFT’s interpretation. It is a very up and coming topic (just see the session titles of BILT) and we would like to tell our opinion about the topic as well. I am going to showcase the capabilities of our solutions with live demos and real life case studies of our clients who are already using it.

If you take a look at the history of how buildings were designed and constructed, you may be able to recognize this pattern as well. Previously we were drawing lines in the physical space manually to create the documentation that was necessary to construct a building. Now we are modeling digital representations of actual construction elements and structures and we try to use the computer to create the drawings for us. As I see it, in the future we will build up the system that will define the building then the computer will generate the elements as well as the drawings. Maybe in the future we won’t even need drawings and we can right away send the list of elements and geometry to the constructor or factory for fabrication. Parametric design and its utilization for automation is the vanguard of this whole movement.

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See the full schedule of sessions here

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