Studio Chair Makai Smith Talks SIGGRAPH 2012 Program
Which Workshops or Talks are you looking forward to the most?
Because of my architecture and fabrication background, I’m looking forward to the Studio Talks session titled “Digifab” which will present cutting edge digital fabrication techniques and case studies on Tuesday afternoon. There’s also the “Grooving” Studio Talks which will showcase music performance systems – it will be preceded on Monday morning by a live demo in the “Jamming” session.
The “Signal Strength” workshop on Tuesday afternoon is an overview of open-source radio communication and mesh networks. Beyond the technical aspect, this project is fascinating to me because of its radical social implications. The Studio will have sample devices for people to come in and use. The Studio has selected talks that cover the gamut, so we hope all attendees will find something that interests them.
How did you initially get involved as a SIGGRAPH volunteer and what motivates you to remain involved?
In 2000 I was encouraged by friends to become a Student Volunteer while attending Arizona State University because the Studio at SIGGRAPH had 3D printing and scanning technologies like I was using in my architectural studies. Other than once, I’ve been a volunteering every year since then! I keep coming back because SIGGRAPH brings together a unique and amazing group of people with so much to teach. There is no other way I can stay on top of so many different facets of computer graphics.
Describe one of your more current interesting projects at Bentley Systems?
I’m currently working on the application of multi-disciplinary optimization (often called MDO) to architecture design. This will use GenerativeComponents software as a MDO platform to bring together the analysis of a building’s structure, energy use, and other feedback to assist users in creating the most optimal solution to complex problems. What we are able to build and its effects on our environment is ultimately a product of the decisions we make when designing. That’s why computer aided design has moved beyond just “making drawings” to become a decision support system which aids human intellect.
If you could have dinner with any architect (living or dead) who would that be and why?
Filippo Brunelleschi, a Florentine architect of the early Italian Renaissance, fascinates me. He is one of the inventors of perspective in visual representation. With the introduction of computer modeling to architecture, we have crossed another “perspectival moment” in which fundamental representation of a discipline changes. What did great artistic and technical change look like to him? Brunelleschi was also a talented builder who mastered both architecture and engineering in his construction Il Duomo, the dome of the cathedral in Florence. He, like Leonardo, exemplifies the mind of a polymath: bringing together art and science.
Source: ACM SIGGRAPH