Monday, June 15, 2009

Evolving Building

I saw a documentary about the conception of the Burj Dubai Tower. It was pretty impressive. They showed how they tested the structure using test model and computer simulation. They iterated through many variations of the structure during many years.

I recognize a pattern in this. This methodology is similar to Genetic Algorithm. A genetic algorithm uses a simple natural process.

  1. Generate new solutions to the problem

  2. Test the solutions

  3. Eliminate unworthy one

  4. Repeat until the best individual is good enough

Like in any other industry, I believe it would be beneficial for architect to use tools that would accelerate their works. This is not a totally new idea as it have already been applied to city planning. The architect would input in the software the constraint imposed by the location of the building. Then the software would generate new solutions from the nearly infinite pool of possibility. The tough part is to design a fitness function (a mathematical function that define how good a building design is) that would contain the intricate knowledge from the master architect. I strongly believe that computer simulation would accelerate tall building design. I'm adding this to the list of my research interest!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Windows 7 first impression

For now, I had no major problem. The install went smoothly. It took 2 reboots and about 20 minutes for Windows 7 RC1 to install. The first thing I have noticed is that the driver for my video card is integrated (NVIDIA) so I don't have to suffer from a low resolution during the install of the various device drivers.

Here a list of new functionalities or changes I've noticed:

  • Better organized control panel

  • The ability to burn .iso CD image directly from Windows

  • New task bar. The windows group by task (application) and are merged with the quick launch bar

  • Microsoft Paint have been updated (Nice!) ☺

  • I find the overall GUI to be smoother

  • I can't find how to deactivate windows 3D effects which I find annoying

more later