Autodesk Research

Azam Khan keynote at SpringSim 2009
April 2, 2009

At the ACM SIGSIM SpringSim 2009 conference in San Diego, California on March 23, 2009, Azam Khan, head of the Environment & Ergonomics Research Group of Autodesk Research, gave a keynote talk called Systems Architecture. The focus of the talk was the great complexity involved in architecture and urban design which has led to the problem that buildings are the largest Green House Gas emissions problem. This complexity results in many counterintuitive aspects of sustainability that are only clear from modeling and simulation outcomes. The talk also announces the Digital 210 King project to the simulation research community and announces the new SpringSim 2010 Symposium on Simulation for Architecture and Urban Design.

Specialization has helped us make progress in all aspects of academia, industry, and life. The benefits of modern technology, from indoor plumbing to the internet, are the product of this basic "scientific" reductionist approach. However, we now find ourselves faced with many strange counter-intuitive real world problems that reveal the true complexity of human activity and our relationship to the environment. The intuition of groups in several sciences is that "what worked before won't work now." From specialization, we turn to integration. For example, systems biology is a field that now works toward a holistic model of life as a single complex system to help describe emergent properties that would be difficult or impossible to model directly. We borrow this integrative approach applying it to the fields of architecture and urban design. These fields have been using simulation in a variety of specific areas for some time and we now propose an integrative methodological and technological framework for collaborative investigation to help take a bite out of the world's largest ecological problem: buildings.

SpringSim 2009 Keynote Presentation
PDF - 5.960MB

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