Episode 002 - Jonatan Schumacher

Jonatan Schumacher

Jonatan Schumacher Director of CORE Studio at Thornten Tomasetti drops by the Designalyze studio for this episode. We talk Arduino, TTX, Github, JIRA, Three.js, AEC Hackathon, and Jonatan's 23 minute commute to work.

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Show Notes

  1. Speaker Bio - Jonatan Schumacher - TT CORE Bio

  2. Sponsor link - Designalyze.com

  3. “Phonetic” and “phonetical” are both real words, but “phonetical” sounds stupid.

  4. The legendary poop emoji, also used in phonetic spellings to indicate a loosening/fluttering of the lips.

  5. Ontology is the philosophical study of the nature of being. Jonatan’s lack of knowledge concerning the pronunciation of his own name represents an ontological crisis of identity.

  6. Radiohead performing “Idioteque” live on SNL in 2001 - Jonny Greenwood’s contribution to the performance is unclear as he aggressively plugs and unplugs things from a switchboard synthesizer.

  7. Brian likes to drink Maple Shays from Brooklyn Roasting, but only when Zach’s paying as they are very expensive.

  8. TT CORE (Thornton Tomasetti COmputation & REsearch) Studio is the artist previously known as the ACM (Advanced Computational Modeling) Team. Before that they were just a twinkle in Thornton Tomasetti’s eye.

  9. The Culture Shed is a pretty badass building (not to be confused with a bad assbuilding) for a non-profit cultural organization designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro as part of the Hudson Yards Redevelopment Project.

  10. TT CORE’s kinetic ceiling installation in Thornton Tomasetti’s San Francisco studio. The motors were controlled with a series of Arduino boards.

  11. An entire strand of Christmas lights, when wired in series without a bypass wire, will fail when the filament in a single bulb is broken.

  12. TTX (Thornton Tomasseti Exchange) is an internal interoperability framework within Thornton Tomasetti that works off of a single model database that can read/write to multiple architecture and engineering 3D modeling platforms.

  13. IFC is a promising openBIM initiative for platform-agnostic platform exchange but arguably does not allow for true model authoring and has several other shortcomings that have kept it from full industry adoption.

  14. Round-tripping” is passing a model from platform A to platform B and then bringing it back into platform A with new data and/or geometry. Successful round-tripping would not lose any data or geometry structure along the way. This term, like many we appropriate, is not specific to AEC software.

  15. Github is a web-based Git repository hosting service that allows for collaborative development of code including developing alternative branches of the project in parallel, comparing differences when syncing various team members’ changes, and proper version control. Among many, the Git method of collaborative dev represents the holy grail of how BIM should work among design teams. JIRA and Stack Overflow have also been cited as software development technologies that could potentially solve the AEC challenges of project management and knowledge management, respectively.

  16. Gregor Vilkner is currently the VP and Director of R&D at Energy Metrics and previously worked as the Integrated Applications Director at SKANSKA and Director of Automation at Thornton Tomasetti. He spearheaded much of TT’s early work with platform interoperability and has championed the need for a common API for buildings.

  17. TT Toolbox is a freely available library for Grasshopper with a lot of cool and useful stuff including automated CAD export and advanced unrolling tools.

  18. vA3C is an open source, browser-based 3D model viewer for AEC models that uses THREE.js to render 3D geometry in the browser allowing for BIM visualization without the need to navigate complex BIM platform UIs. vA3C was developed at AEC Technology Symposium and Hackathon 2014 in Morphosis’ new Cooper Union building 41 Cooper Square.

  19. Unity is a gaming engine used for architectural walk-through visualizations and AR/VR work.

  20. Jeremy Tammik, or “The Building Coder,” is an Autodesk software developer considered one of the world’s preeminent experts in the Revit API.

  21. Dunit was a similar app to vA3C developed in Ruby-on-Rails as part of AEC Hackathon 2.0 at the Field Lens HQ in NYC. The project was used for punchlisting, as was Punchbot which utilized telepresence robots.

  22. Everyone be hatin’ on the Segway.

  23. GeoCities websites were hugely popular in the nineties and were notorious for things like green-on-black visitor counters, animated images following your cursor, obnoxiously tiled backgrounds, and auto-play music.

  24. The Pittsburgh Steelers’ Three Rivers Stadium website from 1998 is still up and is kind of amazing.

  25. Zach is from the perfect generation.

  26. Zach is a wolfpack of one.

  27. Top Gear celebrity lap times.

  28. Brian carries Pop Tarts around in his pockets as they are his preferred unit of measurement.


Lightning round:

  1. What book(s) are you reading right now?

  2. What music are you listening to right now?

    • Jonatan leaves it to Pandora to decide, but his father recently introduced him to Deezer. (Jonatan, why are you letting your dad discover apps for you? I think we’ve found your technological Achilles heel.)

  3. What’s your favorite sci-fi film?

    • Tried and failed to watch The Matrix three times.

    • Minority Report is interesting because much of it has come true. Plus who doesn’t love gesture control, glass monitors, and ubiquitous personal advertisement.

  4. What’s your favorite retro-game?

  5. What’s in your current “app kit?” - brought to you by aec-apps.com

  6. Describe your current rig/workspace?

    • TT CORE hanging out in conference rooms on laptops - like a startup within a corporate firm.

  7. Describe your productivity ritual.

    • Espresso

    • 23-minute commute to the city by bicycle

    • Emails - particularly Monday

    • Wed/Thu are meeting days

    • Keep afternoons free for software dev

    • Fridays are completely free - every 2nd Friday work from home and don’t check email all day - hide in conference room and do R&D

    • Try to avoid small talk

    • Jonatan once submitted an R&D proposal to not email in the office anymore - track conversations in project management instead or chat message for inconsequential stuff

  8. What’s something that recently blew your mind?

    • The way that other industries are being overtaken, like Uber for taxis. Only a matter of time for AEC.

  9. What is the most irritating part of your day? and what is the most enjoyable?

    • Irritating: Commuting on the subway

  10. Who is Banksy?


    • Theory: David Rutten

  11. WHAT IS ARCHITECTURE???!!! In one sentence.

    • The art and science of creating spaces with anything that comes with it.

tutorial rating: 
Average: 4 (3 votes)


Zach Downey

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