Since we started the Project Fractal Alpha we’ve seen some great work from customers testing Project Fractal itself as well as some of the example workflows we’ve been exploring. As mentioned in earlier posts, we’ve been working since January with Perkins + Will’s Atlanta office on a Dynamo graph called the Space Plan Generator (SPG), which we plan to turn into an open source project later this fall. In July, Perkins + Will brought 15 building design professionals from their North American offices to Boston for an experiment — after about 3 hours of introductory presentations and with support from the Project Fractal team, could they reproduce past floor plans using only the SPG ?


The bar on experiments like this is generally pretty low. Those with academic experience of similar seminars recounted events where the experimental technology never quite got off the ground, but happily, we had a better experience, with all five teams coming up with some results and a presentation after about 6 hours of work. One of the most successful trials resulted in a generated floor plan definitely within shouting distance of the actual project’s final configuration:


Other generated plans were a little more… creative:


Overall, everyone was pleased with the outcome of the workshop, recognizing the potential of generated solutions to expand the exploration of design possibilities in a shorter amount of time. At the moment, the Project Fractal team is assessing the computed solutions as successful provocations to further design thinking, rather than necessarily offering complete answers to design problems.

We’ve seen some other interesting work coming out of the Alpha group over the last couple of months, more on that later this week.