News from Winter School Friday and Saturday
Friday 23rd jan
The skiing conditions and sunshine were 110%, the kind of day that Alex (our hotel owner) said we may only get once or twice in a winter. The pistes were smoothed now, and with the mesh of runs and lifts, we could enjoy great variety. There were ski races taking place on the long chair lift run, and we shared the mountain and valley with a lot of enthusiastic day skiers and spectators.
In the evening
, we had our usual 'POT LUCK'
of presentations, but as the hotel design team were still frantically polishing off the design, we left the start till 9pm.
DavidNC from Nottingham
kicked off with some travel info for the flying delegates and a presentation of some Cadburys chocolate to the two waitresses, Nicole and Daniella.
Pavol Elias from Slovakia
showed some work a a few years back in which he was developing algorithms for interpreting the false perspectives of one of the impossible objects in a drawing by Escher - the Belvedere - the boy in the bottom left corner is puzzling over just such an object.
showed one of his current GDL projects, a GDL configurator for Velfac 200 range windows (an unfunded research project) that can produce all of the current configurations (about 60) plus another million or two. (A GDL configurator for Norwegian windows had been shown to both groups back on Tuesday.) David also showed the delegates ArchiCAD-Talk, quickly explaining how the system worked, and showing an example of BBCode. He also showed some extracts from the ArchiPUB and GDL Talk.
Charlotte Darre a 22yr old student from Aarhus, Denmark
, showed the work of her GDL class in Aarhus (which has had some late-in-the-day teaching input from David NC). The students have been tackling serious building technology tasks, and were required to build a small building at the end using the GDL objects, such as stairs, doors, windows, ceilings, flooring, bathrooms. Her task was precast walling panels (conforming to manufacturers rules), with a well developed user interface and graphical hotspots.
Adrian Harms from Nottingham
took us through a quick demonstration of Piranesi - retouching software with remarkable options for finally texturing the image, inserting people and vegetation and for applying artistic effects.
Georg Weber, from Munchen Gladbach
, showed us the work he has been doing in retail, with recent work setting up shops within shops for Alberto, a manufacturer of fashion trousers; something like 3 shops a week. These are done in hours thanks to the investment made in GDL objects which when brought together complete the shop and all listing information required. He has also done some houses which we saw some of last year.
Gerhard Hladik, from Salzburg
, showed us a cute trick with Mesh Objects. He has written a neat little GDL file during the week which takes a mesh object, and generates a version of it cut into slices at user settable heights to show the contours of it in 2D and 3D.
Simon Gilbert, of Graphisoft UK
, showed us a quick view of ArchiGUIDE and then showed an interesting construction simulation project for drilling railway tunnels. He finished with a quick canter through some of the movies of skiers at the Winter School, including some spectacular powder skiing from Lazlo Neda and Herbert Graier.
Andreas Lettner and Herbert Peter (from Innsbruck and Vienna)
presented a scheme they had developed in about 15 hours with ArchiCAD/Teamwork for a new Feuerkokel Hotel to replace the ruined Berghof next to the Cablecar station. This was a strikingly modernist response to the site, and would represent an impressive object on the skyline for arrivals in the new cablecar. Adrian Harms had used a contour plan of the Feuerkogel locality to generate a 3D model of the site (roughly with 100m contours) and planted over 1000 ArchicAD trees, and the hotel design. He used Navisworks thereafter to show us how fast it is in coping with many polygons.
closed with a quick show of Ecotect software, the building environmental prediction software from Andrew Marsh of Cardiff University (http:/www.ecotect.com/
Saturday 24th Jan
The conditions were so perfect, we decided to stay on till lunchtime and we were awarded free extensions to our ski hire and lift passes for the half day. For those who travelled to Salzburg it was highly rewarding. We found time to have a quick look round both Mozart's Living house and Birth house. That day, there was a big international outdoor music festival, using highly coloured facepainted, coloured costumed groups of about 20 each, brass, drums and dancing. Although we were too late to see the main parade, the bands were walking around the city, entertaining in every street and platz of the pedestrianised city centre.
ACUE Winter School
There is a most remarkable chemistry in the whole event - the magic combination of altitude, fresh air, feeling the improving fitness and skills is unequalled any other way - and then there is the most remarkable networking and friendship making in the evenings.
And having had the best snow conditions in recent memory (more than five years have gone by since anybody there can remember such a good winter) there were no grumbles about the skiing conditions, even though we took a rest during Tuesday. Although Feuerkogel is no Kitzbuhl, it has just the right combination of skiing environment to keep the experts and beginners happy alike. There is an excellent ski school at Feuerkogel, and every ACU Winter School introduces a new generation of newcomers to skiing. Its cheap and friendly, the family run Hotel treat us marvellously and provide excellent food and drink.
And the temperature is only about -10C at worst, meaning that you dont get cold. I was only needing a normal shirt and a thin sweatshirt (same warmth I would wear indoors), apart from the outer skijacket. The coldest time was about the last 2 mins of a 15min ride up the chairlift. I heard that in Banff Canada last year, the lifts were stopped because at minus 40 (F or C) the steel is too brittle to go round the rollers reliably. Well, forget the steel! Humans are too brittle to take that sort of temperature.
The program was more relaxed to allow people time to use their laptops for private work. Being able to keep in touch with home and office via broadband is helpful, and laptops enabled people to do a bit of work in spare time.