OSArch Mission Statement

Please use this thread to help form some ideas on who we are and what our goals are.

This will help us understand each other, build community and focus our efforts.

Every now and then I'll draft a text and find somewhere where we can edit it collaboratively.

I look forward to hearing who you are and what's important to you!



  • It might be good to pin this discussion, at least for a while. @Moult is that something you can do.

  • edited May 2020

    @duncan thanks for posting! I've pinned the discussion!

    My goals:

    • To spread awareness of FOSS tool capability in the AEC space, which is woefully under-marketed. This would hopefully get people talking, get some more users trying things out, and hopefully win over a few new devs in the process.
    • To create synergies between different FOSS tool devs - it used to be just FreeCAD in the OpenBIM space, but I'd love to see Blender, Speckle, Code_Aster, Radiance, Sverchok, all joining forces...
    • To create some awesome tools so that we can finally kill Autodesk :) These tools will be a set of utilities that span the entire pipeline - from concept design, to operations and facility management, and even teardown and post-demolition urban analysis (hint: you can store design intent in OpenBIM!).
  • maybe someone could mention the participants in the video chat yesterday so they find this discussion. i'm sorry but i have to leave this discussion for a few days, i have a huge EU Tender infrastructure project to send on tuesday https://en.energinet.dk/Infrastructure-Projects/Projektliste/Viking-Link.

  • My perspective: the existing building industry is a catastrophe of disposable buildings (design life of 25 years sound familiar?), unmodifiable proprietary systems, forms that suit a purely extractive economy (spreadsheet architecture) and sheer ugliness. In a sense, I don't really care that these buildings are designed in non-free software - I don't want them to be built at all.

    Existing proprietary BIM software has been developed to enable a system that is eating the planet, (and I know we are all embedded in this system, it pays for my daughters' violin lessons etc.) just switching this system to free software is not just really hard - proprietary software generates money that funds a vast marketing machine that will be used to turn users away, not to mention the patent system that will kill any free alternative if it ever becomes a genuine threat - but even if we win, the world still loses because the system has only become a little bit more efficient.

    If the existing system is prepared to fund our free alternatives, that is great and we should jump at the chance, and maybe that is all that we can achieve, keeping the door open even if it is only a little bit, but we must keep in mind that there is so much more to be done.

    We need an understanding of what is wrong with the industry, and what people need from architecture to lead fulfilling, non-destructive lives. We should create the tools that are needed to do this because the AEC industry won't.

    So the Opening Design model of doing architecture in the open, entirely in a public git repository, has to be part of this, as it lowers barriers to entry and shares knowledge about how buildings are actually built.

    But we also need a vision of what we want from 21st century architecture: Who builds it? Who designs it? Who owns it? How do we make it last for centuries while still being adaptable for uses we have never thought of? What does it need to be made of so as not to eat the planet? How big is it? Is it cities or rural? What does it look like? And if this vision is different from that of the industry we find our selves in, what tools do we need to create to change it?

  • @brunopostle I agree 100% with everything you are saying. The hardest problem about design is prioritising the right problems for the design to solve. Right now if we ask someone what the world needs, the answer is most certainly not "more buildings, faster".

    Part of the solution is an open design process. Transparency throughout. Calculations that can be independently verified. Design priorities and intentions that are embedded into the BIM model (BlenderBIM Add-on is perhaps one of two software which implements the IFC Design Objective entities). Figuring out how to get more people to design in the open and embrace that culture is something we need.

    I think another part of the solution is the ability to make more informed choices - our BIM objects should make us realise the sheer indirect environmental impacts of everything we design. Linking BIM to GIS datasets may help make more informed social decisions. Access to data doesn't mean you'll make the right choice, but it can help inform you.

    I don't know the answer, but I'd like to be on the journey to find out.

  • Have you heard about "Integrated Digital Delivery (IDD)"?

    Do you know today's problems? Needs?

    Do you know the future of the industry?

    First of all you have to find which path you want to go?

  • IDD!? Wow. Sound catchy.. fresh new moda.

  • I'm an old-fashioned capitalist still interested in the ownership of the means of production... lol

    And I love to hack them since when I was a child :)

  • Today all commercial companies like Autodesk and Bentley Systems and some bSI admins work on IDD projects

    Me too

  • Structural engineer with software development skills, currently working on the Ifc-To-Code_Aster (IFC2CA) project, which is now part of IfcOpenShell. Coming from Greece, my focus has always been on earthquake engineering and seismic analysis and design of structures and I have significant experience in the design of timber structures and especially Cross Laminated Timber (CLT).

    My interest and my goals from this group are to:

    • contribute to the development of open-source software for structural engineering, with the aim to create workflows and procedures that allow engineers do more with less; more detailed models; more accurate results; less time and resources needed. I think there is much room for improvement in the way we perform the design of a structure, but there is a lot of work still needed to be able to achieve this result.
    • learn more about BIM in general and about collaboration workflows between the actors of the design procedure of a structure. From my experience and especially for small-to-medium projects, a considerable amount of architects and civil engineers still communicate via dwg files with 2D plan views or if not a structural engineer still has to create his 3D analytical model from scratch... then when the architect inevitably makes some modifications, there is where the mess starts...
    • meet alike people, forward thinkers, and make the best out of it

  • @Jesusbill My experience in structural engineering is weak, however, maybe I can understand what you point out.

    Are you interested about "including or integrating TOPOLOGY OPTIMIZATION" with IFC or in general architectural and structural design?

  • @ReD_CoDE Topology optimization is an interesting topic and a quite complex one to deal with at a structure level.

    Yet, my main focus first is the analysis procedures that lead to the design choices and the performance assessment of the structure, a bit less, maybe, for design under gravity loads and a bit more so for design under non-deterministic loads like earthquake and wind and especially for extreme loads where there is an implicit assumption and acceptance of structural damage in a building.

    I mean in order to optimize a design you need to calculate a "score" (evaluate the performance) of any given solution and find ways to maximize this score. But if the way you do this calculation/evaluation has major drawbacks or is based on too simplified assumptions you can optimize all that you want but the gain will be in relative and not absolute terms. That's why my actual focus is on the calculation/evaluation part right now.

  • For me some goals for this OSArch is to establish a vibrant community...:

    -where architects, engineers, designers can meet and work side by side with digital tool developers.

    -where designers can work with digital tools developers on new Innovative, agnostic, collaborative and open source tools for everyone, everywhere; with workflows independent of big companies or mandatory software versions.

    -where people create their own tools and services, for an industry without compromise their private data.

  • OSArch: A hacking community dedicated to developing roundtrip BIM standards born from the pain of actually working together while using the tool of our choice--ultimately realizing a building industry where our content is not reliant on the tool that created it.

  • You all don't want to solve actual issues, you just want show off, otherwise all of you could realize "IfcXtreme" is the solution you all are looking for

    And I have no rush, because today my goal is not disrupt the BIM/VDC industry.

    BIM/VDC industry is small in scale to me when I work on smart cities (a city/a country/ a world scale)

  • Come on mate don't be silly... nobody wants to show off and even you don't believe this, otherwise you wouldn't be here.

    To be honest, I would root for a more "human" (simplified?) version of IFC, sometimes I have a feeling that it was made by people not meant to implement it (more theory-based and less practice-based).

  • What we all need is a "DATA MODELER INSIDE THE SOFTWARE"

    bSI APIs are just part of the whole picture and won't cover the whole picture, so again "WE NEED A DATA MODELER INSIDE THE SOFTWARE"

  • Data is harvested, not modelled..

  • If I think with my own view, we need a "INFORMATION SYSTEM MODELER" but UNFORTUNATELY BIM/VDC and in general the built environment industry doesn't think SYSTEMATIC

    We need think in terms of modeling and simulation-based systems engineering (M&SBSE)

  • Data is harvested through an "INFORMATION SYSTEM" but which kinds of system?

    Any of us can have different ideas about what Information System is? And how should it work?

  • Yes, fully agree. It is a wide topic. For me, the most inportant system to harvast information is http, internet and search engine alogaritm. Getting a little off topic.

  • I'm having a hard time placing Information and data in the same sentence. Especially when it comes to B.I.M. i have always found it rather amazing people throw up the word *INFORMATION* so easily. Mostly it is bunch of [ some geometry data ] in some container with so even more loose ends, status unknown.

  • I think I chose a wrong word, our industry is less systemic

    I think language and its limitation can explain what I try to build?

    There're many countries that their official language is English, but all of them talk same? For sure not, but all of them can understand each other

    So, my view is that for decades some software companies give us a black box and said this is a software and you have to do based on what this software allow. BUT I'm going to build a WHITE box that anyone be able to build her/his own software (Information system)

    How? Through a domain-specific modeling tool, something like (not exactly) these tools (for now called IfcXtreme):


  • For me osarch is a community to share ideas about open source workflows within architecture & design, BIM or non-BIM, and to create visibility accessible to a wider audience that may be curious about what's possible.

    Personally, I work more on the more experimental side of architecture (experimental in an arch practice, so actually nowhere near as experimental as in academia) and luckily, there is plenty of open source design exploration paths in that corner. The next step would be connecting those tools to means of representing production to either traditional construction documentation and or digital construction documentation (GCODE, 4D assembly, CNC instructions, etc, etc). That's where my interest in where Freecad lies.

    Also, the really experimental workflows (that can be the typical workflows of the future), extending beyond a single tool (or the tool's web forum) should have a nice home to display the process. So, hopefully, part of osarch can become this much needed home.

  • @dimitar in some parts we share similar interests

    especial when it comes to digital design and fabrication

    It's over two years I work on a new framework called "Building as a Circular Product" and I think a year is needed we complete the whole lifecycle

    So, here can be a good point to start: DfMALab https://github.com/DfMALab

  • Hi people, i'm looking at boiling the text down to something manageable we can discuss. Does anyone have a specific collaboration tool they think is well suited to collaborating on a small text with big ideas? Please let me know.

  • Dion and I always have different views

    I suggested a forum like buildingSMART forum on Discourse (https://www.discourse.org) but he said it's not well

    I suggested some public Trello (https://trello.com) boards, but he never built

    Even we can have a Telegram (https://telegram.org) group, but Dion prefers FreeNode (https://webchat.freenode.net) which I think it's good

    Wiki page is good, but is good for documentation, not collaboration, or even personal pages for people (however, there're lot of ways people have their own pages in the internet and share their insights

  • @duncan For real time collaboration I would suggest Etherpad : https://framapad.org/fr/, we could also use note on my nextcloud instance : https://courantlibre.biminsight.ch/s/xTns4cEt4W7Nb8P.

    For long term I would suggest to use git. This way we can vote proposed modifications before applying it.

Sign In or Register to comment.