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Valerio Dewalt Train Associates Case Study
Case Study
Collecting, Archiving and Exhibiting Digital Design Data
Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
Case Study:
Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
The work of Joseph M. Valerio, FAIA, principal of Valerio Dewalt Train Associates, is already represented in the
permanent collection of the Department of Architecture of The Art Institute of Chicago. Valerio’s use of digital
design tools is of interest because he entered the architectural profession before computers were widely used
and before the use of computer-aided design was part of the academic curriculum. As the firm began to rely
more heavily on computer tools in its work, Valerio felt it was imperative for him to master digital design
techniques. In his personal design process, he has replaced the construction of study models with the
generation of 3D computer models. Valerio uses Bentley’s MicroStation CAD system for this exploration and he
describes it as a powerful tool. He finds he can model a concept and evolve it very quickly. Once he has
established the 3D model to his satisfaction, he brings collaborators into the process. At this point, the design
process becomes interactive. Valerio develops the first iteration, the collaborator works on the next iteration,
and so on.
Valerio finds that his ability to work in the computer environment makes the handoff of the design to the project
team much easier. “It used to be very awkward because I wasn’t involved. In other words, I would do the hand
sketches and then hand them over to someone else. To me, that’s really awkward. It’s like turning your baby
over to the sitter when your baby is only a week old. You’re dealing with people who don’t understand the
sense of what you’re trying to do. So now that I’ve been modeling, it feels a lot more natural for someone to just
jump in and open my model and start modifying because they have something that’s already in place. It’s a
much smoother transition than it used to be.”
In seeking to understand and archive Valerio’s design process and decisions, looking beyond the digital
presentations is important. The digital study models document explorations and tangents that never make it
into a presentation.
The survey response from Valerio Dewalt Train Associates (see charts that follow) indicates that the firm uses
digital design tools as the predominant way of working in the following categories:
ƒ Documentation
ƒ Communication/Presentation
ƒ Collaboration
ƒ Design Exploration
ƒ Design Analysis/Validation.
In addition, the firm expects to use digital methods predominantly for both Building System/Product Selection
and Design Generation within five years. The firm also reported using digital design tools in
Construction/Fabrication, compared to only 25% of the total survey response.
Case Study: Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
Computer Use During Design
Use of Digital Design Tools:
Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
100% 100%
100%100%
100%100%
0%
0%
100%100%
100%100%
100% 100%
Predominant Way Firm Performs Design
Will Be Predominant Way Within 5 Years
100%
100% 100%
100%
100%
90%
80%
70%
60%
50%
40%
30%
20%
10%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0% 0%
0% 0% 0%
0%
0% 0% 0%
Product
Comparison /
Cost Estimation
Design
Generation
Rapid
Prototyping
0% 0%
0%
Data Gathering Documentation Communication
/ Presentation
Collaboration
Design
Exploration
Design Analysis
/ Validation
Building
Systems /
Product
Selection
Computer Use During Design
Use of Digital Design Tools:
All Respondents
100%
Will Be Predominant Way Within 5 Years
88%
87%
87%
Predominant Way Firm Performs Design
94%
93%
90%
Construction /
Fabrication
80%
76%
72%
70%
60%
55%
54%
51%
50%
44%
38%
40%
35%
32%
27%
30%
31%
29%
28%
20%
17%
20%
16%
15%
11%
10%
25%
24%
21%
31%
29%
26%
25%
10%
10%
5%
0%
Data Gathering
Documentation Communication /
Presentation
Collaboration
Design
Exploration
Design Analysis / Building Systems
Product
Validation
/ Product
Comparison /
Selection
Cost Estimation
Design
Generation
Rapid
Prototyping
Construction /
Fabrication
Case Study: Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
The Department of Architecture of the Art Institute of Chicago is conducting a study to identify and address
the emerging need to collect, archive and exhibit digital design data. The study is being conducted by Kristine Fallon
Associates, Inc. This study is the first of its kind, and its ground-breaking findings will be presented in 2004 at
international architectural and archival conferences.
This survey will help the museum plan for incorporating digital design within its future exhibitions, programs
and archives. Please take a moment to let us know how you use digital design tools. Many thanks for your
cooperation!
About Your Practice
Firm Name: Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
Your Office Location: Chicago, Illinois
Total firm staff (all locations) 32
Total number of architects (including interns) 28
Please select the title that best defines your role at your firm:
Sole Practitioner
Managing Principal
Design Principal
CTO / IT Manager / CAD Manager
Project Manager
Lead/ Senior Designer
Design Team Member
Drafter/ CAD Technician
Please refer to the following definitions when answering the survey:
Data Gathering
Documentation
Communication /
Presentation
Collaboration
Design Exploration
Design Analysis /
Validation
Building Systems /
Product Selection
Product Comparison /
Cost Estimation
Design Generation
Rapid Prototyping
Construction /
Fabrication
Digital tools used to collect information that informs the design process: site
survey, program, etc.
Classic CAD – using computers to create drawings in the manual tradition (plans,
sections, elevations)
Using more advanced computer graphics tools to improve ability to show the
design concept: rendering, image montage, animation
Using special-purpose applications (not email) to share information and manage
shared work processes with remotely located team members or clients
Developing a design concept on-screen: the software replaces or adds to
traditional tools, such as physical model-making
Quantitative analysis, excluding cost; from computer-generated solar penetration
or shadow studies to engineering analysis
Automated selection of products and components; not operator selection from
electronic catalogs
Automated generation of cost estimates from computer model of building; ability to
substitute products or assemblies and compare results
Using automated techniques to generate design or configure products / systems
Data from computer model drives prototyping device
Using design data to fabricate building components (full-scale) or to generate a list
of specific manufactured components or products; using robotics in construction
Please check all the ways your firm uses
computers during design
Please check if this is the predominant
(most frequent) way your firm performs
this activity
If this is not currently the predominant
method of working, check if you believe it
will be within the next 5 years
Construction /
Fabrication
Rapid Prototyping
Design Generation
Product Comparison /
Cost Estimation
Building Systems
/Product Selection
Design Analysis /
Validation
Design Exploration
Collaboration
Communication /
Presentation
Documentation
Data Gathering
How does your firm use digital design tools?
Case Study: Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
3ds max™
AccuRender®
ActiveProject®
Adobe® After Effects®
Adobe® Illustrator®
Adobe® InDesign®
Adobe® Photoshop®
Alias Power Animator™
Alias Sketchbook Pro™
Alias|wavefront™
AlphaGraphics®
AutoCAD®
Autodesk® Architectural Desktop
Autodesk® Buzzsaw™
Autodesk® Revit®
Autodesk® VIZ
Citadon™ CW™
Citadon™ ProjectNet®
Eudora®
formZ™
Graphisoft® ArchiCAD®
Graphite™
IrfanView
LightWave 3D®
Macromedia® Flash™
Maya®
Media 100®
Microsoft® Access
Microsoft® Excel
Microsoft® PowerPoint®
MicroStation®
MicroStation® TriForma™
NuGraf®
Pro/ENGINEER®
QuarkXPress™
Rhinoceros®
Others, please list
Please return your survey via email or fax no later than May 15, 2003:
Kristine Fallon Associates, Inc.
312 641 9337 (fax)
[email protected]
Thank you!
Construction /
Fabrication
Rapid Prototyping
Design Generation
Product Comparison
/ Cost Estimation
Building Systems
/Product Selection
Design Analysis /
Validation
Design Exploration
Collaboration
Communication /
Presentation
Documentation
Data Gathering
Please indicate which digital design products your firm is using, and in which ways. Check all that
apply.
Case Study: Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
Project Data Sheet
Project name:
Indian Community School Proposal / Design Competition
Location:
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Client:
Indian Community School
Date completed / occupied:
N/A
Project / facility type:
K-8 School for up to 700 students
Size:
Approximately 200,000 - 250,000 square feet
Lead design firm, office:
Valerio Dewalt Train Associates, Chicago, Illinois
Consultants:
WMA Consulting Engineers (MEP/FP, IT)
Robert Darvas Associates (Structural)
Graef, Anhalt & Schloemer (Civil & Environmental)
Oslund & Associates (Landscape)
Farr Associates (Sustainability)
Construction Cost Systems (Cost Estimating)
Richard St. Germaine (Educational)
Shiner + Associates (Acoustical)
Cini-Little (Kitchen/Food Service)
Coss Creative (Graphics/Signage)
Gage-Babcock (Security)
Lighting Design Alliance (Lighting)
Rolf Jensen Associates (Life Safety)
Major design issues:
To create a building that reflects the evolving culture of American Indians and reflects the best
practices in sustainable design.
Your role on the project:
Principal in Charge (Joe Valerio)
What was the most important digital tool used on the project?
MicroStation
Case Study: Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
What image or object was the most important or effective communication medium?
Based on a slide that was used in the PowerPoint presentations, a cover was designed for a series of
oversized handouts, which showed a sketch of cliffs at the water’s edge, a sketch which used that
image to generate a massing form of the building and a finished rendering of the proposed building,
which further developed that idea.
This series of images showed our inspiration and the progression of the design.
Case Study: Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
V A L E R I O
Experiments
in
D E W A L T
Art
and
TR A IN
VALERIO
DEWALT
Technology
TRAIN
Case Study: Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
INDIAN
COMMUNITY
SCHOOL
OF
MILWAUKEE
VALERIO
DEWALT
TRAIN
The case study selected was the firm’s entry into an invited design competition for a
tribal school for the eastern woodland Indian nations. The client asked each
architect to explain his or her design concept and how it related back to nature.
Case Study: Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
© Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
VALERIO
Site photo taken by Bill Kissinger, VDTA
September 2002
DEWALT
TRAIN
Case Study: Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
© Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
VALERIO
Site photo taken by Bill Kissinger, VDTA
September 2002
DEWALT
TRAIN
© Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
Case Study: Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
VALERIO
DEWALT
TRAIN
Valerio began by searching through his sketchbooks for images of nature.
Case Study: Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
© Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
VALERIO
DEWALT
TRAIN
Case Study: Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
The image of a
distant shoreline
where the endless
forest comes down
to the water edge.
In places, this line
is punctuated at
intervals by giant
rocky outcroppings.
© Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
VALERIO
DEWALT
TRAIN
He selected a sketch of Mackinac Island showing the lake, a rocky outcropping and
a canopy of trees, which sometimes descended to the water’s edge and sometimes
skimmed just the top of the rocks. This sketch became the form-giver for the
building.
Case Study: Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
© Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
VALERIO
DEWALT
Valerio then began a new series of sketches to abstract that image.
TRAIN
Case Study: Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
© Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
VALERIO
DEWALT
TRAIN
The site for the tribal school had a pond. Valerio began to envision a series of
architectural forms coming out of the pond.
Case Study: Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
© Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
© Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
VALERIO
DEWALT
Simultaneously, he began to size the elements to fit the program.
TRAIN
Case Study: Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
© Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
© Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
© Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
VALERIO
DEWALT
TRAIN
In his personal design process, Valerio has replaced the construction of study
models with the generation of 3D computer models. He uses Bentley’s MicroStation
CAD system for this exploration and he finds it a powerful tool. He finds he can
model a concept and evolve it very quickly.
Case Study: Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
© Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
VALERIO
DEWALT
TRAIN
Once Valerio has established the 3D model to his satisfaction, he brings
collaborators into the process. At this point the design process becomes interactive.
He develops the first iteration, the collaborator works on the next iteration, and so
on. He does pick people based on their 3D literacy and ability. Initially, not all of the
office was capable, but almost all of the office is now 3D literate.
Case Study: Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
© Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
© Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
VALERIO
DEWALT
TRAIN
The organization of the project files on the firm’s server documents the evolution of
the digital design process. All data is organized by project number. There is a folder
for Design, with a subfolder for 3D digital models. These models always represent
the most current scheme. Then there are archive folders, where previous versions
of the model are saved and organized by date. The team archives whenever they
make a leap in design. This is a judgment made by the designers, not a scheduled
or automated archive. The archives are important to the designers, because they
sometimes return to an earlier iteration. Valerio can tell the models he personally
developed, because he uses descriptive file names. As the design team grows,
they begin to use the office file naming conventions. The change in naming marks
the handoff to the team.
Case Study: Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
© Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
VALERIO
DEWALT
TRAIN
Parallel to the 3D folder is a folder named Render. The firm stores renderings
created in MicroStation in JPG format in this folder. The renderings are also
archived by date.
Case Study: Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
© Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
VALERIO
DEWALT
TRAIN
The firm also uses Photoshop to retouch, change colors, crop and montage
computer-generated images with site photos. This is an aerial photograph of the
site with the the computer model of the building added.
Case Study: Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
© Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
VALERIO
DEWALT
TRAIN
Valerio continues to sketch throughout the development of the 3D computer model.
Most often he uses a computer image as an underlay
Case Study: Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
© Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
VALERIO
DEWALT
TRAIN
For this particular project, the team saved all the yellow trace. Valerio pointed out
that, unlike a sketchbook, which naturally organizes the drawings in a linear
sequence, the evolution of the loose tracings is unclear because they are seldom
dated. Although the team does not attempt to reinsert these sketches into the CAD
environment, they often scan the sketches to include in client presentations. They
find that people respond more warmly to the sketches.
Case Study: Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
One Way
Lawn and Additional
Parking
Parking
Nature Center
Parents Drop-off
Bus Drop-off
Service
Playing Fields
Future Student
Dormitories
Additional Playing
Fields
© Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
Bus Access
© Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
VALERIO
DEWALT
TRAIN
Like many firms, Valerio Dewalt Train uses PowerPoint as a way of aggregating
photos, CAD drawings, renderings and scanned sketches into a common
presentation format. This slide composites a site plan and an aerial photograph of
the site.
Case Study: Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
© Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
VALERIO
DEWALT
TRAIN
Valerio finds that his ability to work in the computer environment makes the handoff
of the design to the project team much easier. “It used to be very awkward because
I wasn’t involved. In other words, I would do the hand sketches and then hand them
over to someone else. To me, that’s really awkward. It’s like turning your baby over
to the sitter when your baby is only a week old. You’re dealing with people who
don’t understand the sense of what you’re trying to do. So now that I’ve been
modeling it feels a lot more natural for someone to just jump in and open my model
and start modifying because they have something that’s already in place. It’s a
much smoother transition than it used to be.”
Case Study: Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
© Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
VALERIO
DEWALT
TRAIN
For this design competition, Valerio drew approximately 100 freehand sketches and
the design team generated about 200 computer renderings.
Case Study: Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
WHO
Internal / external
participants in the
process
WHAT
Design activity (process) or
decision
Design
competition
invitation
HOW
OUTPUT
What tools - digital or
other - are used
Manifestation / communication
medium - digital or physical
Study brief.
Explore landscape
images in existing
sketchbooks.
Client
Select
Mackinac Island
sketch as formgiver
Lead Designer
Abstract
natural forms.
Generate
architectural
form.
Establish 3D
model
Expanded Competition
Team
Competition
sketchbook
Valerio
sketches
Valerio begins
3D computer
model in
MicroStation
On-screen
images
Digital site
photography
JPG images
from
MicroStation
Collaborative
development of
3D model in
MicroStation
Select final
scheme
Periodic
archives of
CAD model
Return to previous scheme
Edit /
montage in
Photoshop
Create
PowerPoint
presentation
Competition
award
Client
Complete
competition entry
Create
presentation
drawings in
MicroStation
Drawings,
renderings
Scanning
PowerPoint
presentation
Case Study: Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
Computing Environment
Firm, office location: Valerio Dewalt Train Associates, Chicago, Illinois
Definition of Terms
Data Gathering
Documentation
Communication /
Presentation
Collaboration
Design Exploration
Design Analysis /
Validation
Building Systems /
Product Selection
Product Comparison /
Cost Estimation
Design Generation
Rapid Prototyping
Construction /
Fabrication
Digital tools used to collect information that informs the design process: site
survey, program, etc.
Classic CAD – using computers to create drawings in the manual tradition
(plans, sections, elevations)
Using more advanced computer graphics tools to improve ability to show the
design concept: rendering, image montage, animation
Using special-purpose applications (not email) to share information and
manage shared work processes with remotely located team members or
clients
Developing a design concept on-screen: the software replaces or adds to
traditional tools, such as physical model-making
Quantitative analysis, excluding cost; from computer-generated solar
penetration or shadow studies to engineering analysis
Automated selection of products and components; not operator selection from
electronic catalogs
Automated generation of cost estimates from computer model of building;
ability to substitute products or assemblies and compare results
Using automated techniques to generate design or configure products /
systems
Data from computer model drives prototyping device
Using design data to fabricate building components (full-scale) or to generate
a list of specific manufactured components or products; using robotics in
construction
General
Product / Version
Microsoft Exchange
Microsoft Office 2000 / 2002
Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows XP
Primary Design Tools
Product / Version
Adobe Photoshop
Category
Email System
“Office” Applications
Operating System(s)
MicroStation SE v.8
Use (see above)
Communication / Presentation
Design Exploration
Data Gathering
Documentation
Communication / Presentation
Design Exploration
Flow and Aggregating Tools (translators, etc)
Product / Version
N/A
Used to:
Custom Applications
Purpose
N/A
Internal Development?
Case Study: Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
Data Management and Archiving
The organization of the project files on the firm’s server documents the evolution of the digital design process.
All data is organized by project number. There is a folder for Design, with a subfolder for 3D digital models.
These models always represent the most current scheme. Then there are archive folders, where previous
versions of the model are saved and organized by date. The team archives whenever they make a design leap.
This is a judgment made by the designers, not a scheduled or automated archive. The archives are important
to the designers, because they sometimes return to an earlier iteration. Valerio can tell the models he
personally developed, because he uses descriptive file names. As the design team grows, they begin to use
the office file naming conventions. The change in naming marks the handoff to the team.
Parallel to the 3D folder is a folder named Render. The firm stores renderings created in MicroStation in JPG
format in this folder. The renderings are also archived by date.
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