sg2007 brought together a global community of innovators and pioneers in the fields of architecture, design, and engineering for a six remarkable days of design exploration, fabrication, collaborative research and networking in New York City 26th – 31st January 2007.




The SmartGeometry 2007 Winter Conference took place on January 31, 2007 at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York City. The event featured an inspiring day long agenda focused on advanced computational and parametric design.


The SmartGeometry Conference featured an inspiring day long agenda focused on advanced computational and parametric design. Guest speakers discussed these issues through informative and inspiring presentations on design, technology, methodology and through case studies. Sessions also included a selection of highlights from the four day workshop held before the conference—these explorations provided a wonderful immediacy to the issues and concepts discussed.


Jeroen Coenders / Achim Menges, Arup / EmTech & AA
Where is the Exit?

Ian Keough / Andrew Kudless, Buro Happold / Ohio University
Structure and Form

Design Strategies: Structural Considerations - Group 3 Report   Jeroen Coenders, Arup

Shane Burger / Matthew Herman, Grimshaw / Buro Happold
Energy & Form

Design Strategies: Environmental and Material Performance - Group 4 Report
Shane Burger, Grimshaw

Neil Katz / Rob Whitlock, SOM / KPF
Why and How Tall Buildings? 

J Parrish / Robert Woodbury, Arup Sports / Simon Fraser University
Expert Systems Expert People

Robert Aish / Chris Williams, Bentley Systems / Bath University
Software Enabling Creativity

Rob Woodbury / John Nastasi, Simon Fraser University / PAE - Stevens Institute
Report from Academic Summit

Design Strategies: Algorithmic Design & Emergence - Group 2 Report
Chris Williams, Bath University

Axel Kilian / Hugh Whitehead, MIT / Fosters + Partners
Searching for Form

William Sharples / Makai Smith, SHoP / Bentley Systems
The New Artisans Digital Manufacturing as Driver

Design Strategies: Elegance and Fabrication Constraints - Group 4 Report    
Axel Kilian, MIT

Jenny Sabin / Chuck Hoberman, University of Pennsylvania, Hoberman Associates
Changeable Form

Design Strategies: Action & Reflection - Group 5 Report
Steve Sanderson, SHoP

Robert Ivy, FAIA, Moderator, Architectural Record
Workshop Champions! 

The SmartGeometry 2007 Winter Workshop was held January 26-29, 2007 at the Hudson Hotel in New York City. During this intensive collegial event, the use of advanced computational tools and methodologies were taught, and participants used these tools to pursue exploratory design objectives.


SmartGeometry workshops are intensive collegial events where the use of advanced computational tools and methodologies are taught, and participants use these tools to pursue exploratory design objectives.

The 2007 Winter Workshop consisted of four days of hands-on activity, with this year’s focus shifting from tool use to design. Computational tools such as Bentley GenerativeComponents are now maturing, and the goals of the workshop were to explore in depth what can be done with this tool and to create a critical forum based on professionals who actually practice the skill of parametric and computational geometry.


Design strategies informed by pure Design elegance and manufacturing constraints

  1. Design strategies based on ‘pure form’
  2. Optimisation of repetition
  3. Form driven by manufacturing and assembly constraints
  4. Form driven by spatial considerations (sight-lines, spatial flow)

Algorithmic Design and Emergence

  1. Iterative systems generally
  2. Genetic coding, inheritance and culling in GC
  3. Large-scale system form such as urban and wider issues

Design Strategies informed by Structural Considerations

  1. The principles of GC structural modelling, loads and feedbacks
  2. Dynamic linking to structural analysis
  3. Structural optimisation strategies and form finding techniques

Design strategies informed by Environmental and Material performance

  1. Simple energy considerations (heat flow)
  2. Sun and Wind responsive systems
  3. Material behaviour systems—knitting and weaving
  4. Lighting and acoustics driven systems


The workshop participants were both practitioners and students in architecture and engineering. Workshop groups were led by 20 tutors, including these senior tutors:

  • Mirco Becker - KPF, London
  • Shane Burger - Grimshaw
  • Jeroen Coenders - Arup, Holland
  • Kaustov DeBiswas - MIT PhD Candidate
  • Stylianos Dritsas - KPF, London
  • Jalal El Ali - Buro Happold, London
  • Onur Yce Gn - KPF, NY
  • Ian Keogh - Buro Happold, NY
  • Axel Kilian - MIT
  • Achim Menges - Architectural Association, EmTech
  • Jenny E. Sabin - University of Pennsylvania, PennDesign
  • Steve Sanderson - SHoP
  • Kyle Steinfeld - MIT/TU Delft PhD Candidate
  • Chris Williams - Bath University
  • Rob Woodbury - Simon Frasier University


  • Shane Burger - Grimshaw
  • Jalal El Ali - Buro Happold
  • Axel Kilian - MIT
  • Chris Williams - Bath University
  • Rob Woodbury - Simon Frasier University


Platinum sponsor


Bentley is the global leader dedicated to providing architects, engineers, constructors, and owner-operators with comprehensive software solutions for sustaining infrastructure. We offer solutions for the infrastructure lifecycle: from buildings to bridges, transit to utilities, clean energy to clean water. Bentley Systems applies information mobility to improve asset performance by leveraging information modelling through integrated projects for intelligent infrastructure.