Every week, our team sits down together and have a learning session where we learn new skills and discuss design philosophy related to those techniques.
Over the last two weeks I have been using that time to teach Ladbybug, an extension to Grasshopper that allows us to quickly check climate conditions and do environmental analysis. The first week focused on visualising wind roses and solar radiation, whereas this week has been about shadow analysis and looking at where sunlight reaches courtyards throughout different times of the year.
These simple tools allow us to parametrically design our buildings to adapt to nature’s dictates. They used to be the territory of specialised engineers with expensive programs and excel spreadsheets, but for the last few years they have become an essential part of the architect’s toolbox.