Download Workshop Locations Guide PDF

SimAUD 2019 workshops will take place on Sunday, April 07 at 8:30 to 11:30 AM. The workshops will address the topic of simulation from a unique perspective and will offer hands-on learning opportunities on cutting edge computational approaches, workflows and tools. The workshops can be attended both by registered conference attendees and by anyone else interested. In both cases, a registration to a workshop is required. No workshop fee applies to registered conference attendees.

Download Call for Workshops PDF

A small fee applies to others participants (full fee: $50 – student fee: $20), for which there is no refund in case of cancellation after April 1st. To register to the entire conference event, including workshops, please visit To register only for a workshop, please visit:

SimAUD 2019 Workshops:

- Adaptive Urban Layout Optimization with DeCodingSpaces-Toolbox

- Augmenting Human + Digital Fabrication

- Early Stage Parametric Cost vs Energy Optimization

- IESVE Whole-Building Simulation: Solar, Daylight and Energy

- Sensitivity Analysis and Data Visualization to Support Decision-making

- Shape Machine

- Simulation-based Optimization 101

- Virtual Construction with Assembly Information Modeling


Adaptive Urban Layout Optimization with DeCodingSpaces-Toolbox for Grasshopper
Reinhard Koenig, Martin Bielik, Kateryna Konieva
Bauhaus-University Weimar
Min: 10 participants - Max: 20 participants

During this one-day-workshop you will be introduced to methods for the analysis, synthesis and optimization of urban layouts. We will cover computational generation of the street network, parcellation and the building form, based on the existing urban context and various design goals. You learn how to analyze street networks effectively, and we show you how to compare and optimize the generated designs systematically. For this purpose we use Grasshopper for Rhino3D with the plugin DecodingSpaces-Toolbox, and a new Design-Space-Exploration tool. The methods are demonstrated by realistic case studies in an existing urban environments.

This workshop is intended for both practitioners and researchers interested in rapid context aware generation of urban layouts. The presented workflow let you computationally explore the design options of new urban development area with the possibility to assess the site potential and inform the early planning stages. The presented DeCodingSpaces-Toolbox for Grasshopper is a collection of analytical and generative components for algorithmic architectural and urban planning. The toolbox is free software released by the Computational Planning Group (CPlan).

Participants need to bring their own laptops (Windows) with Rhino 6/Grasshopper (there is a free 90 days test version you can use ). In addition you need to install the DeCodingSpaces-Toolbox:

Reinhard König is Professor for Computational Architecture at Bauhaus-University Weimar and a Principal Scientist at the Smart and Resilient Cities competence unit at the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) in Vienna. In addition, he acts as Co-PI in the Big Data Informed Urban Design and Governance group at the Future Cities Laboratory at the Singapore ETH Centre. After studying architecture and urban planning in Munich and Kaiserslautern Reinhard König completed his PhD thesis in 2009 at the University of Karlsruhe. From 2007 - 2012 Reinhard worked as a research assistant and appointed Interim Professor of the Chair for Computer Science in Architecture at Bauhaus-University Weimar. From 2013 - 2016 Reinhard König worked as senior researcher at the Chair of Information Architecture, ETH Zurich. In 2014 Reinhard was guest professor at the Technical University Munich.

Martin Bielik is a research assistant at the Chair of Computer Science in Architecture at the Bauhaus-University Weimar in Germany and co-founder of the DecodingSpaces GbR. He graduated in architecture and urban planning in 2011 at the Faculty of Architecture, Slovak University of Technology. Since 2012, he worked at the Bauhaus University Weimar. His main research interest is computational analysis and simulation of urban systems and application of these methods in planning process. As associate investigator at Emerging Cities Lab in Addis Ababa, he positions his research in context of rapid urbanization.

Kateryna Konieva is research assistant in the Big Data-Informed Urban Design and Governance project at Future Cities Laboratory at the Singapore-ETH Centre. In 2017 she completed the internship at Singapore-ETH Centre supporting the course on advanced urban design. Her primary research interest is in developing parametric design framework, as a platform for inclusive and transparent planning process and negotiation between stakeholders. Study projects focusing on this issue include: Syncity - Parametric Masterplanning, a procedural design tool for emerging cities in Ethiopia; and Waterfront Tanjong Pagar, a platform for rapid prototyping of design concept with integrated design evaluation.


Augmenting Human + Digital Fabrication
Russell Gentry, Keith Kaseman
Georgia Institute of Technology
Min: 6 participants - Max: 20 participants

The workshop will focus on digital technologies (AR/VR/MR) used to visualize designs and facilitate the interaction of humans and machines in designing, fabricating, and communicating the built environment. The attendees will be asked to help us imagine the future of design, fabrication, and construction through approaches tied to ongoing research at the Digital Fabrication Laboratory at Georgia Tech. We are keenly interested in the ways in which building design, and buildings themselves (materials, systems, processes) will be shaped by future technologies. We believe that this joint exploratory work has the potential to expand the way we envision the future inhabitation of cities -- which will doubtless be shaped by these new cyber-physical orchestrations.

Workshop attendees will not need to bring computers but must wear appropriate shop attire for safety.

Russell Gentry is an Associate Professor of Architecture and Civil Engineering (by courtesy) and a licensed structural engineer. He teaches graduate courses in building structures, computationally-driven fabrication and construction, and building integration. He is affiliated with the design computing faculty in the School of Architecture and the structural engineering and mechanics of materials faculty in the School of Civil Engineering. He is director of MS Programs in Architecture in the School of Architecture at Georgia Tech.

Keith Kaseman is a designer, advanced production strategist and architectural educator. As Partner of KBAS, a spatial design practice launched in 2002 with Julie Beckman upon having their competition entry selected for the Pentagon Memorial (2002-2008), Keith continues to lead the digitally agile office through a diverse array of work, consistently achieving high levels of material and geometric precision across multiple scopes and scales of deployment. Among other awards, KBAS received a 2006 Young Architect Award from the Architecture League, NY and the 2012 National Award for Service from the American Institute for Architects.


Early Stage Parametric Cost vs Energy Optimization
Sandeep Ahuja, Patrick Chopson
Min: 5 participants - Max: 30 participants

This workshop will showcase a simple automated parametric methodology to make data driven early stage design decisions while optimizing for cost and energy. Participants will hear about successful application from the AEC industry using case studies and will have the opportunity to create their own optimization using cove.tool, guided by experts providing training, tips and advices. This would be a good session for all architectural practitioners, researchers and students that have the passion to use performance data to drive design decisions.

1) Rhinoceros –
2) Grasshopper plug in for Rhino -
3) Python for Grasshopper Plug in -
4) Cove.tool Account –
5) Cove.tool for Grasshopper Plug in -

Sandeep Ahuja: Co-founder of cove.tool, Sandeep brings her experience of building a successful sustainability consulting firm Pattern r+d. Working with high profile clients at university facilities, labs, healthcare, corporate and hospitality, Sandeep informs design decision to impact the building performance, occupant wellness and productivity. A graduate of Georgia Tech, she recently won the Atlanta Startup Battle and the 30 under 30 award for developing cove.tool, the automated sustainability consultant. With her desire to bring automation into the AEC world, she is pioneering the integration of building performance into the design and construction process by developing and using intelligent technology and software.

Patrick Chopson: Focusing on the crossover between architecture and technology, Patrick Chopson leads Cove Tool, Inc., a building consulting software company delivering daylight, cost, and energy modeling services. He oversees product development and strategy as it provides a web based software for cost optimization vs energy performance to dramatically lower the cost of green buildings. A graduate from Georgia Tech’s High Performance Building lab, Patrick focuses on process integration, and computational design. He is a licensed architect with over 10 years of experience in both architecture and mechanical engineering firms.


IESVE Whole-Building Simulation: Solar, Daylight and Energy
Matthew Duffy
IESVE Software
Min: 5 participants - Max: 15 participants

This workshop will walk through the steps required to simulate building daylight, electric lighting, energy flows and energy analysis optimization. Workshop highlights will include an overview of IESVE tools and applications. The attendees will then go into climate analysis and site solar analysis with IESVE. The different aspects of daylight illuminance, luminance, and daylight glare probability will be covered. Spatial daylight autonomy and annual sunlight exposure (sDA and ASE), the simulation option of LEED v4 daylight will be demonstrated. Developing a building energy simulation will include implementing internal gains and schedules in IESVE, improving building envelope, daylight harvesting with dimming (co-simulation), and incorporating renewable energy into the annual simulation.

IESVE Software is optional but is strongly recommended. Download a free trial from at least 3 days before the training event. Software licenses are granted by email only.

Matthew Duffy has been teaching building simulation for over 10 years. He is currently the committee chair of the IBPSA-USA Wisconsin chapter and a business development manager at IES. Matthew graduated with honors from the Milwaukee School of Engineering. His educational studies and research focused on thermodynamics and heat transfer while also encompassing renewable energy. Matthew has completed many different building simulation and solar energy projects including supporting and developing simulation software.


Sensitivity Analysis and Data Visualization to Support Decision-making in Large Design Spaces
Marcelo Bernal, Roya Rezaee, Tyrone Marshall
Min: 5 participants - Max: 15 participants

Design is a complex decision-making process. It is about the questions we ask and the decisions we make. To make decisions with confidence, multidisciplinary teams need to gather, weigh, and document rationale efficiently. This workshop introduces a framework of concepts and processes that support teams to construct and explore design spaces, understand and optimize conflicting objectives, and make performance-based decisions maximizing social, environmental, and economic value. Current parametric analysis methods can evaluate a large population of design alternatives. However, making a decision is not a simple task. While some alternatives have high performance in one objective, different alternatives perform better in others. In addition, stakeholders usually have different priorities. Such a combination of trade-offs and preferences requires a systematic post process to make decisions with confidence.

In this workshop, we will have an overview of the mechanics of the generation of design alternatives and parametric analysis, but more importantly, we will go through the process of representing preferences, visualize data derived from the analysis for qualitative preliminary assessments, and execute sensitivity analysis for quantitative analysis to build the evidence for decision-making. The learning objectives of this workshop are:
- Formulating multi-criteria design problems
- Understanding the fundamentals of parametric analysis
- Representing the subjective priorities of stake holders in a value function
- Visualizing data for qualitative analysis of large design spaces
- Performing sensitivity analysis to quantify the impact of each input parameter in the overall performance
- Reducing the design space

Hardware: Laptop capable of running the below software with sufficient speed. Software: EnergyPlus, OpenStudio, Radiance, Daysim, Rhino & Grasshopper, JMP (trial) for statistical analysis, and selected plugins that will be sent to participants before the workshop. Previous knowledge required: Intermediate Grasshopper preferred. Some experience with performance analysis, and/or optimization is a plus.

Marcelo Bernal holds a Ph.D. in Design Computing from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and he has developed his career between the professional practice and the academia. He was the principal of Arqze ltd, architectural office dedicated to the design, fabrication, and installation of mobile deployable infrastructure for Antarctica to support the scientific and logistic operations of the Chilean air force. He was also the Director of the Undergraduate program at Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María, Chile. Currently, he is the Co-Director of the Design Process Lab at Perkins+Will, an interdisciplinary research-based architecture and design firm. The scope of his area of research includes meta-modeling of design expertise, multi-criteria optimization to support decision-making, and workflows for design automation. He is the past Vice-President of the Iberoamerican Society of Digital Graphics, where now he serves as advisory board member. He is also member of the board of the International Journal of Architectural Computing, IJAC.

Roya Rezaee is a Senior Energy Lab research scientist and member of the Perkins+Will Process Lab and Water Lab. She has a Ph.D. in High Performance Building with an expertise in design and broad areas of building technology including energy performance, daylight performance, water consumption, life cycle assessment, parametric design, optimization, building information modeling (BIM), model-based system engineering, and risk assessment in performance prediction. Her focus is on the development of a novel integrated platform that enables designers to make informed decisions in regard to energy, daylight, glare, health, and cost from the early stages of architectural design.

Tyrone Marshall is a Perkins+Will Energy Lab researcher and a member of Perkins+Will Design Process Lab, and Mobility Lab Researcher and Energy Lab. He works as a Senior Researcher and Computational Designer with project teams for their strategies to address architectural performance design including the planning, development, implementation of new processes from our research program. He has a Master of Science with a major in Architecture and concentration High-Performance buildings from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta Georgia and a Bachelor of Architecture from the College of Arts in San Francisco, California. He has expertise in architectural design, computational design, and biologically inspired design, building technology and science with knowledge in energy performance and environmental impact of buildings, hygrothermal transient heat and moisture transport, daylight analysis, envelope design, life cycle analysis, applied simulation, AEC integration, and critical ecological thinking. Tyrone has more than 17 years of Architectural project experience and extensive knowledge in building information modeling (BIM). His firm focus has produced workflows and platforms for aiding the decision making the process as it relates to the design of buildings and their energy consumption, energy cost, life-cycle cost analysis, carbon emissions, and footprint.


Shape Machine
Tzu-Chieh Kurt Hong, Athanassios Economou, Heather Ligler, James Park
Shape Computation Lab, Georgia Institute of Technology
Min: 5 participants - Max: 30 participants

What does it mean to have a new modeling software for design that allows designers to specify their actions by drawing shapes rather than by writing scripts? What is the difference between an object registered in your computer system and a shape you really see? What does it mean to program with shapes?

For nearly four decades, the shape grammar discourse has described a different paradigm of design computing with the promise of revolutionizing computer-aided design (CAD). Its foregrounding of visual rules (shape rules drawn in a 2D or 3D modeling system) over symbolic rules (instructions defined in some programming language) has provided a robust theory for designers to believe in but nevertheless a formidable challenge to implement.

This workshop will introduce the Shape Machine, a new visual programming software developed at the Shape Computation Lab at the School of Architecture, College of Design, in collaboration with the Schools of Mathematics and Interactive Computing at the Colleges of Science and Computing at Georgia Institute of Technology. In this workshop, you will learn to automate your routine drafting functions by drawing shape rules instead of writing code and reworking shape rules instead of debugging code.

There are no requirements for this workshop.

Tzu-Chieh Kurt Hong is a PhD candidate in the School of Architecture at the Georgia Institute of Technology. The current research of Kurt is mainly focusing on implementation of shape computation system, including the development of geometry/graph kernel, novel data representations and shape recognition algorithms. Kurt is a research assistant at the Shape Computation Lab working with Dr. Thanos Economou and his works include the implementation of shape grammar interpreter, generative modeling system of US Courthouse design and generative modeling system of Froebel blocks. Before entering Shape Computation Lab, Kurt was a research assistant at the Digital Building Lab working with Dr. Dennis Shelden, and his main contribution to Digital Building Lab included the implementation of Automatic Routing System in architecture and an interactive web-based data visualization platform, Smart 3D Atlanta. Kurt holds BSEE, MSEE, MArch from the National Chiao Tung University (Taiwan), and MSArch from the University of Michigan.

Athanassios (Thanos) Economou is Professor in the College of Design at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr. Economou's teaching and research are in the areas of shape grammars, computational design, computer-aided design and design theory, with over forty published papers in these areas. Recent funded projects include the project Courtsweb: A Visual Database of Federal Courthouses, GSA/US.Courts, $1.3M. Design projects from his studios at Georgia Tech have received prestigious awards in international and national architectural competitions. He is the Director of the Shape Computation Lab at Georgia Tech and the Director of the Art and Architecture in Greece and Italy Study Abroad Program at Georgia Tech. He has been invited to give talks, seminars, and workshops at several universities including MIT, Harvard, TU Vienna, U. Michigan, UCLA, NTUA, U.Thessaly, U.Aegean, among others. Dr. Economou holds a Diploma in Architecture from NTUA, Athens, Greece, an M.Arch from USC, and a Ph.D. in Architecture from UCLA.

Heather Ligler is a PhD Candidate in the Design Computation concentration in the School of Architecture, College of Design at Georgia Institute of Technology. Within the School, she is also a research assistant in the Shape Computation Lab and a lecturer for the Architectonics in Greece + Italy Program. Her ongoing research investigates the evolution of John Portman’s architectural language from his 1964 Atlanta residence, Entelechy I, to his emblematic mega-projects for atrium hotels and mixed-use urban developments all over the world. Her larger research interests focus on how shape computation provides another lens to explore the logic of spatial systems in architectural design. Heather is a registered architect in the State of Georgia and a member of the American Institute of Architects. Her background includes professional experience with John Portman & Associates (2007-2013), Gensler (2007), and Cooper Carry (2005-2006). Heather holds a MS Arch from Georgia Tech and dual Bachelor of Architecture and Bachelor of Interior Architecture degrees from Auburn University.

James Park is a PhD Student in the School of Architecture at the Georgia Institute of Technology. His research investigates courthouses as a building type and focuses on designing and implementing a generative description of the building type in the form of a shape grammar. James is a research assistant at the Shape Computation Lab and his contributions include the administration of a funded research project, Courtsweb: A visual database of contemporary US courthouses, in collaboration with GSA and US Courts; generative and parametric modeling in formal design studies; and design and implementation of various database and web applications. He is an instructor for the series of courses on computational media and modeling at the School of Architecture and a teaching assistant for the Georgia Tech Architectonics in Greece and Italy Study Abroad Program. James holds a BSArch and MArch from the Georgia Institute of Technology.


Simulation-based Optimization 101
Thomas Wortmann
Xi'an Jiaotong Liverpool University
Min: 5 participants - Max: 15 participants

Have you, in your practice or research, ever used a black-box, simulation-based optimization algorithm, such as a genetic one, or are planning to do so? Then this workshop is for you!

The workshop introduces different kinds of optimization strategies for simulation-based problems, such as local and global search, metaheuristics, direct search, and [surrogate] model-based methods. The workshop presents recent benchmark results to guide which optimization algorithms to use when. The workshop focuses on single-objective optimization as a better-understood foundation but touches on—exponentially more difficult—multi-objective optimization as well.

In addition, the workshop provides heuristics on how to formulate optimization problems, and how to combine several performance criteria into a single objective function, for example with penalty functions, weighted sums, and weighted products. The workshop is primarily intended as a theory session but might include short demonstrations and/or hands-on exercises in Rhino/Grasshopper. However, the workshop’s theoretical contents concern simulation-based optimization in general and thus relevant beyond specific software.

Optional: Laptops with Rhino/Grasshopper, Goat, Silvereye, and Opossum.

Thomas is a lecturer (assistant professor) in architectural design at Xi’an Jiaotong Liverpool University. In 2018, he received his PhD from Singapore University of Technology and Design, for an award-winning thesis on “Efficient, Visual, and Interactive Architectural Design Optimization with Model-based Methods.” In 2013, he graduated from MIT with a Master of Science in Design and Computation, after having worked for several years as a project architect for the Dutch architectural practice of NOX/Lars Spuybroek, known for its pioneering use of digital design tools. Thomas leads the development of Opossum, a model-based optimization tool for Grasshopper, has published several conference and journal papers and one book chapter on Architectural Design Optimization, and has conducted related workshops at AAG 2016, IASS 2017, eCAADe 2018, and ACADIA 2018.


Virtual Construction with Assembly Information Modeling
Ayoub Lharchi
Centre for Information Technology and Architecture
Min: 5 participants - Max: 15 participants

Computational tools support architects and designers at various design phases. However, there is a clear lack when it comes to assembly planning as it takes usually only during the late stages. This workshop aims to introduce “Assembly Information Modeling (AIM)” as an approach to represent, simulate, visualize, communicate and optimize assembly processes. AIM is intended to be a general framework with which different stockholders (architects, engineers, constructors) analyze and communicate different assembly strategies and therefore enabling a large panel of purposes such as collaborative design on cloud-based platforms, robotic fabrication, augmented assembly and others.

The participants of this workshop will learn:

+ How to enrich building models with detailed assembly information.
+ How to generate an Assembly Digital Models from existing CAD models, such as Rhino3D.
+ How can algorithms be used to detect problems within the assembly sequences.
+ How cloud-based tools (e.g. Autodesk Forge) can be used for further processing and finally sharing Assembly model over the web.
+ How to use the digital model for detailed 4D assembly simulation.

Windows 64 bits (Bootcamp on Mac is also fine), Rhinoceros 6 and Visual Studio Community 2017

Ayoub Lharchi is a research associate and doctoral candidate at CITA (Center for Information Technology and Architecture) at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture. After his graduation from the National School of Architecture Rabat with honors, he joined the University of Stuttgart where he earned his Master’s of Science degree (M.Sc. ITECH). Ayoub is a registered Architect with an interest in computational design, complex geometries and digital fabrication. Current research involves the development of computational methods for the analysis, communication and planning of assembly in complex timber structures.