Kyle Steinfeld


A Bioclimatic Information Design Prototyping Toolkit

Kyle Steinfeld & Brendon Levitt

This paper presents a new prototyping visualization toolkit, developed for the Grasshopper (Rutten 2013) visual programming environment, which enables the situational development of information graphics.

The qualification of predicted building performance through quantitative methods is as challenging as it is crucial to the meeting of the mandate to design buildings better adapted to their bioclimatic conditions. Methods for the visualization of building performance data that have found success in the past struggle in the contemporary context of large computational data sets. While application of building performance simulation to architectural design is highly context-sensitive, existing approaches to the visualization of simulation results are generalized and provide the designer with a preconfigured battery of visualizations that are, by definition, not calibrated to specific questions or contexts.

By enabling more nuanced and customizable views of complex data, the software described here offers designers an exploratory framework in contrast to the highly directed tools currently available. Two case studies of the application of this toolkit are then presented, the results of which suggest that a more open framework for the production of visualization graphics can more effectively assist in the design of buildings responsive to their bioclimatic environments.

Two case study projects presented above illustrate the application of Dhour to thermal performance data visualization, and demonstrate the mutability of data-driven graphic material put in the service of a situated design question.

Read the full paper here.