This is an archived SimAUD Conference website from 2011.

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Conference Program

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  Monday Tuesday Wednesday
Session Keynote Keynote Education
8:30 AM SCS Keynote SCS Keynote SimAUD Invited Talk
Christoph Reinhart
9:00 AM SCS Keynote SCS Keynote SimAUD Invited Talk
Christoph Reinhart
9:30 AM SCS Keynote SCS Keynote Solar Zoning and Energy in Detached Residential Dwellings
10:00 AM Coffee Break Coffee Break Coffee Break
Session Keynote Workshop Design & Analysis
10:30 AM SCS Keynote Workshop 1
Introducing DEVS for Collaborative Building Simulation Development
A simple method to consider energy balance in the architectural design of residential buildings
11:00 AM SCS Keynote Workshop 2
System Entity Structure And DEVS for Collaborative Building Simulation Development
A methodological study of environmental simulation in architecture and engineering. Integrating daylight and thermal performance across the urban and building scales.
11:30 AM SCS Keynote Workshop 3
DEVS Standardization: introduction and current status
Irregular Vertex Editing for Architectural Geometry Design
12:00 PM Coffee Break Coffee Break Coffee Break
Session Implementation Augmented Reality
1:30 PM SimAUD Welcome GRAPE: Using graph grammars to implement shape grammars Lifecycle Building Card: Toward Paperless and Visual Lifecycle Management Tools
2:00 PM Designing with Deformation - Sketching material and aggregate behaviour of actively deforming structures Automated Energy Model Creation for Conceptual Design 3D Scans of As-Built Street Scenes for Virtual Environments
2:30 PM Analysis of Sustainable Manufacturing Using Simulation for Integration of Production and Building Service An Integrated Approach to Algorithmic Design and Environmental Analysis Visualizing Urban Systems: Revealing City Infrastructures
3:00 PM Coffee Break Coffee Break Coffee Break
Session Data Sensing Generative Design Parametric Urbanism
3:30 PM Real-Time Occupancy Detection using Decision Trees with Multiple Sensor Types Generative Fluid Dynamics: Integration of Fast Fluid Dynamics and Genetic Algorithms for wind loading optimization of a free form surface City of Love and Hate
4:00 PM Sensor Placement Tool for Rapid Development of Video Sensor Layouts Use of Sub-division Surfaces Architectural Form-Finding and Procedural Modelling Components for Parametric Urban Design in Grasshopper. From Street Network to Building Geometry
4:30 PM A New System Dynamics Framework for Modeling Behavior of Vehicle Sharing Systems Leveraging Cloud Computing and High Performance Computing Advances for Next-generation Architecture and Urban Design Projects Multi-Objective Optimization in Urban Design
5:00 PM Tour of MIT Media Lab Tour of MIT Media Lab

Last updated: Thursday, March 31, 2011



This workshop will unite the SimAUD and DEVS symposiums to explore how modeling and simulation theory can be applied to the design of energy-efficient buildings. Modern buildings are too complex to be modeled in detail by a single expert. To develop simulation software that can accurately predict the energy requirements of new buildings, several teams of experts must each model different building subsystems. Once this is done, the various submodels must be combined to yield a single model of an entire building. Rhys Goldstein will provide an introduction to DEVS (Discrete Event System Specification), and explain how the formalism can be used in a collaborative fashion to integrate models of various building components. Bernard Zeigler, the inventor of the DEVS formalism, will then demonstrate how a family of collaboratively developed models can be organized using the System Entity Structure (SES). Finally, Gabriel Wainer will present current efforts towards standardization to promote the reuse of DEVS models between different teams of developers. The workshop will provide a forum where ideas can be shared between the two research communities.

Presenter Biographies

Rhys Goldstein joined Autodesk Research after completing a M.A.Sc. in biomedical engineering at Carleton University in 2009. His thesis focused on the design of complex simulations of biological systems using the DEVS modeling formalism. He is now applying DEVS and other simulation techniques to predict how much power new buildings will require, and how much energy can be saved by retrofitting existing buildings.

Bernard P. Zeigler, Professor Emeritus of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Arizona (UA) and Research Professor in the C4I Center at George Mason University, is internationally known for his seminal contributions in modeling and simulation theory. He has published several books including “Theory of Modeling and Simulation” and “Modeling&Simulation-Based Data Engineering : Introducing Pragmatics into Ontologies for Net-Centric Information Exchange.” He is well known for the Discrete Event System Specification (DEVS) formalism that he invented in 1976 and which is now being used world-wide in advanced information systems. Zeigler co-founded the Arizona Center for Integrative Modeling and Simulation (ACIMS) in 2001 dedicated to the development of modeling and simulation as a discipline of the future. Zeigler is currently Chief Scientist with RTSync Corp, an ACIMS spin-off, which is developing a collaborative web-service modeling and simulation (M&S) environment for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Gabriel Wainer received the M.Sc. (1993) and Ph.D. degrees (1998, with highest honors) of the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Université d’Aix-Marseille III, France. In July 2000, he joined the Department of Systems and Computer Engineering, Carleton University (Ottawa, ON, Canada), where he is now an Associate Professor. He is the author of three books and numerous research articles, edited four other books, and helped organizing various conferences in the field of Modeling and Simulation. He is Vice-President Publications, and was a member of the Board of Directors of SCS. He is the Chair of the Ottawa Center of The McLeod Institute of Simulation Sciences. He was a Chair of the DEVS standardization study group (SISO). He has been the recipient of various awards, including the First Bernard P. Zeigler DEVS Modeling and Simulation Award.


Invited Talk

Towards Reliable Workflows for Designing and Operating High Performance Buildings

Current building design practice relies on a non-standardized and mostly non validated analysis workflows and performance metrics. A design workflow may be anything from a rule-of-thumb to a computer-based process to evaluate a specific performance aspect of a project. This presentation initially reviews a series of interrelated research projects that lead to the development, validation and testing of a comprehensive framework for architects and urban planners for designing daylit spaces with superior occupant comfort and reduced operational energy use. The framework promotes the use of validated rules-of-thumb in combination with a Radiance/EnergyPlus-based plug-in for Rhino. A series of Grasshopper components further allow users to conduct geometrically complex parametric modeling studies. Simulation outputs range from climate-based daylighting metrics, annual daylight glare probabilities and view analyses to traditional thermal space loads, operational energy costs and equivalent carbon emissions. Based on a recent collaboration with the Harvard Medical School, a preliminary simulation-based alertness/performance predictor for occupants in daylit spaces is presented. Finally, a new ‘form suggesting’ algorithm for static shading systems is presented that can help designers to transform formally inspired objects into environmental high performing solutions. The last part of the presentation discusses results from a field study and an online survey that explored technical and non technical opportunities and barriers related to using building energy models developed during the design process for fault detection and performance monitoring.

Presenter Biography

Christoph Reinhart is an Associate Professor of Architectural Technology at Harvard University, Graduate School of Design and head of the ‘GSD Square’ Research Initiative. Before joining the school in 2008, he worked for over a decade as a staff scientist at the National Research Council of Canada and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems in Germany. His research expertise is in daylighting, passive climatization and the influence of occupant behavior on building energy use. He is the main developer of the DIVA-for-Rhino and Daysim design tools and holds a doctorate degree in Architecture from the Technical University of Karlsruhe. He currently serves on the editorial board of the IBPSA Journal of Building Performance Simulation and has authored over 95 scientific articles. His research has been supported by a variety of organizations including the National Science Foundation, Autodesk, and the Harvard Real Estate Academic Initiative and has won several awards including the ARUP Best Paper Price at Building Simulation 2009 and the 2010 Leon Gaster Award from the Society of Light and Lighting.


Paper Abstracts

Designing with Deformation - Sketching material and aggregate behaviour of actively deforming structures

Anders Holden Deleuran – Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture

The recent development of material performance as a key driver of architectural design is currently challenging the role of representation and prototyping. This paper shares findings from a research project exploring the potential of a digital-material prototype capable of addressing this challenge. The project examines the possibility of incorporating material properties into digital models using respectively an analytical and a dynamics-based approach. The paper will present three design experiments with different material properties all attempting to deliberately embrace deformation as a key principle of design. This exploration of actively deforming structures is carried out using light weight dynamics simulation producing flexible and intuitive models for sketching material behaviour in the early design stages.


Analysis of Sustainable Manufacturing Using Simulation for Integration of Production and Building Service

John Michaloski, Jorge Arinez, Guodong Shao, Swee Leong, Kevin Lyons and Frank Riddick – NIST and General Motors

The desire to be environmentally sustainable gives manufacturers the necessary impetus to implement "green" technology that previously may have been regarded as less important. Traditionally, Energy Management Systems (EMS), which handle energy-related activities within building services, and Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES), which handle production activities, have been isolated from one another. Clearly, the integration of EMS-MES offers a compelling opportunity to make important energy-efficient contributions toward manufacturing sustainability. Discrete Event Simulation (DES) has been very valuable for manufacturing applications as an efficient analysis tool to aid problem solving and decision-making. This paper analyzes the requirements of EMS-MES system integration within the framework of DES. A case study of the EMS-MES system integration for precision sand casting production will be explored.


Real-Time Occupancy Detection using Decision Trees with Multiple Sensor Types

Ebenezer Hailemariam, Rhys Goldstein, Ramtin Attar and Azam Khan – Autodesk Research

The ability to accurately determine localized building occupancy in real time enables several compelling applications, including intelligent control of building systems to minimize energy use and real-time building visualization. Having equipped an office workspace with a heterogeneous sensor array, our goal was to use the sensors in tandem to produce a real-time occupancy detector. We used Decision Trees to perform the classification and to explore the relationship between different types of sensors, features derived from sensor data, and occupancy.

We found that the individual feature which best distinguished presence from absence was the root mean square error of a passive infrared motion sensor, calculated over a two-minute period. When used with a simple threshold, this individual feature detected occupancy with 97.9% accuracy. Combining multiple motion sensor features with a decision tree, the accuracy improved to 98.4%. Counterintuitively, the addition of other types of sensors, such as sound, CO2, and power use, worsened the classification results. The implication is that, while Decision Trees may improve occupancy detection systems based on motion sensors alone, one risks overfitting if multiple types of sensors are combined.


Sensor Placement Tool for Rapid Development of Video Sensor Layouts

Tyler Garaas – Mitsubishi Electronics Research Laboratories

The arrangement of video sensors - in closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems, for instance - can have drastic effects on the efficiency and cost of the final system. In the present work, I describe a tool designed for rapid construction of simulated video sensor layouts that allows quantification of sensor coverage and cost estimation to be determined prior to installation; thus, avoiding costly changes during or after the installation. Most previous work in this area either considers sensor coverage only in a 2D space or requires significant preparation to achieve accurate results in 3D. In the present work, I describe an implementation of a novel coverage-analysis algorithm that uses the geometry of image formation to cast rays from simulated video sensors through the monitored area to estimate sensor coverage at every 3D location. Visualization techniques of the acquired sensor coverage data are additionally presented.


A New System Dynamics Framework for Modeling Behavior of Vehicle Sharing Systems

Dimitris Papanikolaou – Media Laboratory, MIT

One-way vehicle sharing systems are convenient mobility systems consisting of parking stations and a fleet of shared vehicles. Users can pick up a vehicle from any station and drop it off to any other station. However, due to asymmetric demand patterns eventually all vehicles end up at the stations with no demand, decreasing throughput performance. This paper presents an ongoing research for a new computational framework in System Dynamics that describes distribution of resource allocation in a vehicle sharing system under non homogenous demand patterns by simulating the resource flow between areas of high density to areas of low density as demand pattern changes. The framework will be used as study tool to understand behavior and explore organizational solutions.


GRAPE: Using graph grammars to implement shape grammars

Thomas Grasl and Athanassios Economou – SWAP [+] and Georgia Institute of Technology

An implementation of a shape grammar interpreter is described. The underlying graph-theoretic framework is briefly discussed to show how alternative representations from graph theory including graphs, overcomplete graphs and hyperedge graphs can support some of the intuitions handled in shape grammars by direct visual computations with shapes. The resulting plugin implemented in Rhino, code-named GRAPE, is briefly described in the end.


Automated Energy Model Creation for Conceptual Design

Lillian Smith, Kyle Bernhardt and Matt Jezyk – Autodesk

Architects today rarely use whole building energy analysis to inform their early design process. During this stage of design, the team is responsible for macro-level decisions (such as basic form and orientation) that can have the most significant effects on energy use. So why are so few architects using energy analysis tools at this stage? In many cases, this is because the tools available to perform energy analysis are too complex and time-consuming to learn and use during the fast-paced conceptual design phase because of the time needed to model and analyze the design. Often energy analysis tools are separate, standalone applications that require a separate thermal model to be authored. This adds more time and complexity and limits the number of professionals experienced with these tools. Understanding the results and using them in presentations is also quite difficult in current tools.

This paper describes a system that can alleviate these problems by automatically generating an energy model from an architect's basic massing model. Our approach allows an architect to focus on modeling the building form, rather than the thermal zones that are the focal point for most energy modeling software on the market today. The architect's massing model can then be modified and the energy model stays in sync, allowing comparative analyses to be made quickly and easily.


An Integrated Approach to Algorithmic Design and Environmental Analysis

Robert Aish and Andrew Marsh – Autodesk

This paper describes the motivation and design of DesignScript, an end-user domain-specific programming language for algorithmic architectural and geometric design. Furthermore, the integration and use of DesignScript within the context of an environmental analysis software application is described that invokes a representative subset of analysis functionality.


Generative Fluid Dynamics: Integration of Fast Fluid Dynamics and Genetic Algorithms for wind loading optimization of a free form surface

Angelos Chronis and Alasdair Turner – University College London

The integration of simulation environments in generative, performance-driven form-finding methods is expected to enable an exploration into performative solutions of unprecedented complexity in architectural design problems. Computational fluid dynamics simulations have a wide range of applications in architecture, yet they are mainly applied at final design stages for evaluation and validation of design intentions, due to their computational and expertise requirements.

This paper investigates the potential of a fast fluid dynamics simulation scheme in a generative optimization process, through the use of a genetic algorithm, for wind loading optimization of a free form surface. A problem-specific optimization environment has been developed for experimentation. The optimization process has provided valuable insight on both the performance objectives and the representation of the problem. The manipulation of the parametric description of the problem has enabled control over the solution space highlighting the relation of the representation to the performance outcome of the problem.


Use of Sub-division Surfaces Architectural Form-Finding and Procedural Modelling

Shajay Bhooshan and Mostafa El Sayed – Zaha Hadid Architects

Growth in the role of simulation, in conceptual design and evaluation of building performance, is coupled with the need for architects to manage the dichotomy between high resolution geometries used in simulation and lower resolution, free-form manipulation-friendly geometries. We argue for the benefits of Hierarchical Subdivision-surfaces (HSS) in this process, concentrating specifically on its uses in several areas. First, we discuss HSS for the design and approximate simulation of Shell structures using particle-spring methods and its correlation with FEA analysis. Second, we show the benefits of HSS for the procedural modeling of large numbers of such shells. Third, the pre-engineering rationalization of such designs is explained and, lastly, the preparation of such geometries for downstream production, including fabrication and construction, is discussed. The paper will present case studies for each area, the design of architectural competition entries within the areas, and mock-ups of structures designed and fabricated using these methods.


Leveraging Cloud Computing and High Performance Computing Advances for Next-generation Architecture and Urban Design Projects

Francesco Iorio and Jane L. Snowdon – Autodesk Research and IBM Research

Architecture and urban design projects are constantly breaking barriers of scale and complexity and continuously seek improved efficiency, sustainability, building energy performance, and cost-effectiveness. Simulation and large-scale data processing are now fundamental elements of this process. Recent advances in algorithms and computational power offer the means to address the complex dynamics of an integrated whole building system. However, scalability is a significant barrier to the realization of whole building systems tools for design, control and optimization.

This position paper presents a set of techniques such as fast design parameter-space exploration, large-scale high-accuracy simulation, and integrated multi-disciplinary optimization for semi- or fully-automated designs. These techniques are extremely computing intensive, and have traditionally only been available to the research community. But, once enabled by advances in cloud computing and high performance computing, these techniques can facilitate the interactive design process resulting in improved outcomes and reduced development cycle times.


Solar Zoning and Energy in Detached Residential Dwellings

Jeffrey Niemasz, Jon Sargent and Christoph Reinhart – Harvard University

The Solar Envelope is a three dimensional envelope on a site which ensures adjacent neighbors a specified minimum direct solar access time per day throughout the year. The solar envelope was developed as a tool to give buildings in an urban setting the mutual opportunity to employ passive and active solar design strategies. Parametric computer-aided-design (CAD) environments significantly ease the construction and visualization of solar envelopes across whole neighborhoods, facilitating its wider use as a prescriptive zoning tool. This study investigates the implications of a solar envelope zoning approach for the most common building type in the United States (US) with respect to energy use and developable density. The results indicate that solar zoning for this building type has a limited, and sometimes negative effect on energy use as well as a larger negative impact on developable density.


A simple method to consider energy balance in the architectural design of residential buildings

Laëtitia Arantes, Olivier Baverel, Pascal Rollet and Daniel Quenard – ENSAG, CSTB and UR NAVIER

This paper describes a "morpho-energetic" study that is part of a broader study that considers the morphology of energy-saving cities. Nowadays, French urban planners recommend denser cities. Are dense and compact cities really sustainable? How can dwelling designs balance the environmental issues with the inhabitants' wishes? This study is focused on two urban typologies: the "nanotours" (little tower concepts made up of houses) and the refurbishment of 1960s-70s towers. In order to check the energy performance of these high-rise forms, this research proposes a simple method to consider an energy balance in the architectural design of buildings. In particular, this paper examines the link between the size of a building and its whole energy consumption (heating and cooling, lighting, hot water, building energy and the inhabitants' consumption). The input data is the primary energy consumed during both the construction and the use of a building. The output parameters are the dimension ranges (size) of an energy-saving building. In conclusion, the paper explains the prospects of this study and its possible implementation for energy-saving cities.


A methodological study of environmental simulation in architecture and engineering. Integrating daylight and thermal performance across the urban and building scales.

Peter Andreas Sattrup and Jakob Strømann-Andersen – Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts School of Architecture and Technical University of Denmark

This study presents a methodological and conceptual framework that allows for the integration and creation of knowledge across professional borders in the field of environmental simulation. The framework has been developed on the basis of interviews with leading international practitioners, key theories of environmental performance in architecture and engineering, and a range of simulation experiments by the authors. The framework is an open structure, which can continuously be renewed and contributed to by any author.

The value of the framework is demonstrated, using it to map a series of simulation studies, emphazising the multidimensionality of environmental performance optimization. Clarifying the conceptual interconnectivity between architecture and engineering, - agency and physics, - not only enhances communicative power and the dissemination of knowledge, but becomes instrumental in pointing out the need for improving metrics, software and not least the performance of the built environment itself.


Irregular Vertex Editing for Architectural Geometry Design

Yoshihiro Kobayashi and Peter Wonka – Arizona State University

This paper introduces an innovative computational design tool to edit architectural geometry interactively and demonstrates the process of designing geometry using this tool. The background, related work, implementation methods, system framework, and case studies are described. In addition, the designed geometry is evaluated using off-the-shelf structural analysis tools and construction simulation tools. The evaluation and future work are described at the end.


Lifecycle Building Card: Toward Paperless and Visual Lifecycle Management Tools

Holger Graf, Souheil Soubra, Guillaume Picinbono, Ian Keough, Alex Tessier and Azam Khan – Fraunhofer IGD, CSTB, Buro Happold and Autodesk Research

This paper presents a novel vision of paperless and visual lifecycle building management tools based on the coupling between Building Information Models (BIM) and Augmented Reality (AR) called Lifecycle Building Card. As the use of BIM increases within the architecture, engineering, and construction industries, new opportunities emerge to help stakeholders and maintenance operators to leverage the BIM dataset for lifecycle issues using realtime environments and simulation. In particular, a tighter coupling of BIM with computer vision techniques could enable innovative lifecycle management tools based on AR concepts. In this context, this work explores the possibilities and derives theoretical and practical concepts for the use of BIM enhanced by AR for supporting maintenance activities in buildings. An implementation of a wireless spatially-aware display is presented as a first step toward the stated vision.


3D Scans of As-Built Street Scenes for Virtual Environments

Naai-Jung Shih, Chia-Yu Lee and Tzu-Ying Chan – National Taiwan University of Science and Technology

The purpose of this research is to build digital urban models by as-built environmental 3D scan data. Scans were made of a street and surrounding buildings for 5.5 km through the center of Taipei, Taiwan. A 3D long-range laser scanner was used to record buildings, landscapes, and open spaces. The scan tolerance was controlled in 4 mm/50 m. The final urban information creates a precise description of objects in a virtual environment with colors and textures feasible for internet browsing, infrastructure dimensioning, and construction monitoring. A 3D representation of scan noise, in terms of pedestrian pattern in front of Taipei Metro, was conducted to illustrate the response of human flow to obstacles.


Visualizing Urban Systems: Revealing City Infrastructures

Chris Kroner, Phu Duong, Liz Barry and Mike Szivos – Columbia University

Modeling urbanism affects urban understanding. This paper introduces a layered pedagogy focusing on urban design representation. It emphasizes the ephemeral and experiential dimensions of the contemporary metropolis. While this research-oriented coursework has targeted a visual study of infrastructural systems found in the New York-New Jersey metropolitan region, the topical nature of the urban discourse remains universal: urban systems and social production they elucidate transpire across the city at large. Beginning with geographic tools, initial mappings become subjective endeavors with specific intentions or empowered by a design agency (political). This information then is filtered through an algorithm oriented process to efficiently reconstitute 3d attributed data into modeling software for further interrogation and speculation (computation and visual). By running simulations driven by this data, urban systems reveal visible and invisible relationships upon urban space. Cinematic techniques are developed through film analysis studies which are then employed to integrate these animated models with live-action video footage. The resulting work of the lessons aims to produce short videos that animate, analyze and link disparate spatial qualities together. The videos make visible the various latent relationships of how infrastructural systems work and what they mean and do for people in cities.


City of Love and Hate

Adnan Ihsan, Amirali Merati, Eva Poulopoulou and Foteinos Soulos – Columbia University

The rising complexity of 21st century cities demands a more rigorous and intense understanding of their inherently complex programs, which cannot be resolved by a conventional design methodology. This paper proposes a new design process using an automated workflow that incorporates the computational iterations and the design values of an architect in a unified process aiming to produce high performing optimized results. The procedure, that is described, uses CATIA for parametric simulation and modeFrontier for multi-criteria optimization. The "value meter", a qualitative assessment, is used to grade the results according to subjective design criteria. The setup operates in two stages, Phase 1 [city scale] elaborates on broad urban land-use goals, whereas Phase 2 [neighborhood scale] explores detailed objectives such as density and infrastructure. The complete workflow operates under the realms of conventional urban design ideas, but produces exponentially large variety of design alternatives.


Components for Parametric Urban Design in Grasshopper. From Street Network to Building Geometry

Christian Schneider and Anastasia Koltsova – ETH Zurich

The main contribution of our work is in combining the methods for parametric urban design of highly specialized software such as CityEngine and general-purpose parametric modeling platform such as Grasshopper. Our work facilitates and prompts the use of parametric tools by architects and planners for urban design. In this paper we present a custom grasshopper component for street network generation and block subdivision. The component was developed in C# using the RhinoCommon SDK. We used Grasshopper for the development of an urban design proposal at a teaching exercise. To meet the requirements of the urban design project, additional functionalities had to be added to the range of existing Grasshopper components. In particular, we needed components for street network generation and block subdivision. To develop the component we implemented the street expansion strategies described in (Weber et al., 2009) and the methods for block subdivision described in (Vanegas et al., 2009). Additionally, we adapted and enhanced the strategies to meet the NURBS modeling capabilities of Rhinoceros.


Multi-Objective Optimization in Urban Design

Michele Bruno, Kerri Henderson and Hong Min Kim – Columbia University

Urban Design is a multi-objective task. Traditionally, urban spaces are designed hierarchically; organizational inputs are idealized uniquely, and negotiated through sequential overlay. In our investigation, parametric modeling (with the software application Catia) and evolutionary optimization employing genetic algorithms (with the software application Mode Frontier) enable the exploration of a non-linear design space whereby multiple objectives may be optimized concurrently. This paper describes an experiment that builds from prior research in multi-objective optimization of architectural design and applies that workflow to multi-objective optimization in urban design. The experiment employs given constraints, custom procedural algorithms and genetic algorithms to examine a wide design space and identify designs that perform well in multiple arenas. Design, data and latent influences are exposed and negotiated quantitatively to render topological variation through optimization. By using multi-objective optimization we define and apply quantitative metrics in order to examine the potential for a new workflow in urban design.