Workshops: July 17

SimAUD 2022 workshops will take place on Sunday, July 17. All workshops will be held online, and registration for the workshops is free. The workshops are offered on a first come first served basis. For registration, please refer to this link:

EventBrite Registration


Workshop 1:

Modeling Pedestrian Activity in Cities with Urban Network Analysis

Workshop Leader: Andres Sevtsuk, MIT
Duration: 3 hours
Held between 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. PT
Maximum capacity: 30 attendees


The global climate-change crisis, along with public health and economic competitiveness challenges in cities around the world have underscored the need for analytic tools and models to examine the relationship between city design and sustainable mobility.

Transportation and land use models have generally not been designed to address pedestrian mobility, creating a gap in the ability for urban designers and analysts to systematically assess and forecast walkability outcomes of planned developments and interventions. The Urban Network Analysis (UNA) toolbox was developed as a free plugin for Rhinoceros 3D (since 2015) to address this gap, offering an accessibility-based framework for analyzing how built environments produce demand for pedestrian activity and for modeling how pedestrian trips in both existing and newly-planned built environments are distributed over spatial networks.

The workshop will introduce participants to UNA tools in Rhino, providing a hands-on opportunity to set up networks for analysis, measure accessibility to pedestrian opportunities, model pedestrian flow over networks and estimate the patronage of spatial facilities. We will also examine how geospatial and tabular data can be imported and exported to/from Rhino so as to enable flexible workflows along with other data-analytic software tools.


Workshop 2: ( (ver. 1.0)
A Web-based Interactive Tool for Modeling Human Feedback on Big Data

Workshop Instructor: Mehdi Ashayeri, Southern Illinois University
Workshop Assistant: Soroush Piri, Graduate Student
Duration: 3 hours
Held between 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. PT
Maximum capacity: 35 attendees

Description: is a state-of-the-art interactive (input-out (io)) and user-friendly web-based tool for modeling human feedback based on big data. This tool is developed by the Urban Intelligence and Integrity Lab (URBiiLAB) at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. integrates the Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Emotion Artificial Intelligence frameworks to perform real-time and historical sentiment analysis on real-world big text data. It further automates data acquisition and cleaning processes to allow non-skilled users to develop the model. In addition, implements graph theories and geospatial mapping tools for the set of user-defined subject matter(s) (up to five different subjects), simultaneously, to visualize results, spatially. can further allow users to filter the geolocation and time accuracies/durations based on their desired spatial granularities from a point location to a global level.

Users can use this tool for any research purposes, no matter what subject is explored. is developed based upon the R programming language and uses the R engine embedded in the platform, so users won’t need to directly work with R interfaces such as RStudio software. Therefore, no coding skills are required to develop and execute the model. can aid designers, planners, and researchers, among other user groups, to explore human feedback on real-world subjects effectively and comprehensively.


Workshop 3:

Policy-based exploration of equilibrium representations (PEER): A topology grammar for generative conceptual structural design

Workshop Instructors:
Ioannis Mirtsopoulos, École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne
Jonas Warmuth, École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne

Duration: 6 hours
Held between 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. PT
Maximum capacity: 30 attendees


The current workshop focuses on a grammar for structural design, which has been developed during the doctoral studies of the first author. As an outcome of his work, a computational framework that integrates the developed theory into a fully functioning Grasshopper plug-in has been implemented. The tool allows the incremental generation of numerous diverse reticulated conceptual structures in a semi-automated way within predefined design domains and for predefined loads without any knowledge of structural mechanics. In particular, it provides an easy and intuitive workflow for structural design, beneficial to understand how the flow of forces affects the design of structures. The integration of static equilibrium conditions ensures designers that the generated design candidates are always in static equilibrium and no further post-processing to impose equilibrium is required.

This design workflow aims at provoking creativity. Additionally, it deals with structural design and structural performance, which can optionally be optimized if the designer/user wishes so. Overall, it is a generative, algorithmic and evolutionary design approach that integrates interactive genetic algorithms and aims to unveil unprecedented structural forms. Multiple SimAUD themes tackle with creativity, structural design and generative/evolutionary design and therefore we are convinced that the SimAUD community perfectly matches the target group of the developed plug-in. In particular, the workshop targets architects with interest in conceptual structural design. During the workshop the theory of the generative grammars that support the workflow will be provided. After, the participants will be guided for the generation of 2D and 3D structurally valid design candidates.

So far, the tool has been tested within Master courses and students from architecture and civil engineering. The plug-in has not been released publicly (i.e. at the food4rhino platform), but it will be in the next couple of months.