Symposium + Ladybug Tool Workshops

3rd - 10th (Melbourne) + 12th - 17th (Sydney), Nov, 2018
Symposium Ladybug Workshops

Para Guru 2018

Hosted and supported by Swinburne University and the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Para Guru is a 1 day Symposium + Ladybug Tool Workshop in November 2018.

Our aim is simple, to bring together local and International Para Guru’s to advance the adoption of parametric design in academia and among professional architectural and engineering communities. And of course, to keep the Ladybug Flyiiiiing!

What is a Para Guru?

Often a lone wolf or solitary warrior committed to geometric enlightenment, a Para Guru is a practitioner of exploration, using parametric tools and optimised workflows to advance urban and built environment designs outcomes.

The 1 Day Symposium – Melb (Nov 5)

Driven by the need for a greater uptake of urban, sustainable, facade, structural, acoustic or other parametric modelling in Australia, we want to get as many Para Guru’s into the same space to geek it out, share their experiences and challenges.

This 1 day symposium (Swinburne University – Hawthorn) will focus on parametric design for architects, engineers, consultants, simulation experts and academics alike, providing a unique platform for learning, sharing and the discussion of advanced design applications and workflows.

Tickets (professionals @ $550, students @ $180-200) are available until November the 3rd 2018.


The Para Guru Symposium is in the Swinburne University of Technology, Advanced Manufacturing and Design Centre (AMDC). Head up the stairs as you walk in the main entrance!!

Para Guru Symposium 2018

The Para Guru Symposium is in the Swinburne University of Technology, Advanced Manufacturing and Design Centre (AMDC). Head up the stairs as you walk in the main entrance!!

Keynote (08.50 – 9.05am): Opening + Welcome

Introducing your Master of Ceremonies, Jessica Hogg.

Here to keep the presenters on their toes and the day on track, Jessica is known for her mad geekiness and is a qualified mechanical engineer with a background in building services, dynamic thermal modelling, passivhaus design, thermal comfort assessments, sustainability rating tools and feasibility studies for low and zero carbon buildings and technologies

Jessica Hogg – Lady Cool of Building Physics + Sustainable Design

Keynote (09.05 – 9.50am): Ups and downs of using parametric environmental modelling in the design process

Most building performance analysis programs are designed to support a linear design process which segregate one’s thoughts in discontinuous steps. In reality, building design is similar to any other creative thought process and requires exploration, discovery and inherent unpredictability. The flexibility of parametric modelling promises a large step towards enabling this creative process. However, several misconceptions about parametric modelling have hindered the practice from utilizing it to its full potential.

Mostapha and Chris will address several challenges about taking advantage of parametric environmental modelling and discuss its true potentials and applications to support an iterative design process by presenting a number of case-studies and sharing the lessons that they have learned from developing Ladybug Tools.

Mostapha Sadeghipour Roudsari + Chris Mackey – Co-founders of Ladybug Tools LLC

9.50 – 10.25am: Simulations and Simulacra: Integrating Computational Design Thinking and Practice

Previously limited to academics and larger practices, today all practitioners can design projects via freely available, open source software. Does this mark the evolution of architectural knowledge or does it remain a post facto rationalisation of design decisions made with little response to the wealth of data available through analysis?

Tristan will present from a philosophical standpoint, framing a discussion on design technology integration strategies gleaned from academia and professional practice experiences.



Tristan Morgan – National Computational Design Coordinator at Cox

10.25- 11.00am: Q & A + Coffee, Chai and Chocolate

With such a packed day, a quick 10 minute Q + A session will be held before we go into the morning break. We will use to collect your questions as they come up if you cannot get the right moment to ask. Download Android and Apple Apps here. Alternatively, you can chase a presenter down and buy them a coffee. Bring a KeepCup!

11.00 – 11.10am: IBPSA – Future directions

Looking for a community of like-minded modelling mavens, simulation supporters, parametric pundits or building physics buffs?  We can help!

Priya will give a brief presentation about the Australasia branch of IBPSA, an international organisation dedicated to furthering building performance through simulation and fostering connections within the modelling community.

Priya Gandhi – Events Committee Chair at IBPSA

11.10 – 11.35am: Practical workflows for Architects designing large projects: Responsiveness and performance

Design workflows used in medium and large-scale projects that strive for simplifying, organising and optimisation, while managing time and building performance can be a challenge for all design team members.

Jacek will share his experience and goals to create feedback-driven responsive parametric design workflows that make the architectural intent more buildable, economically viable and informative for other consultants.

Jacek Urbanowicz – Computational BIM Designer at Bates Smart

11.35 – 12.00pm: You and GNU: Intellectual property, architectural practice and Ladybug

Many new design mediums in architecture and design practice, are only made possible using free computational tools in our design workflows. How do the awesome open-source intentions match with their implementation in commercial practice? Are they producing profits by informing design decisions? How do you create and manage intellectual property and what are the ethics of creating a business model around this?

Farbod and Mitch will seed a conversation about the ethical implications of using open-source tools in commercial architectural practices, focusing on the use of Ladybug, intellectual property and ethics of digital practice.


Farbod Fathalipouri + Mitch Page – Senior Computational Designers at BVN

12.00 – 12.25pm: Multi-dimensional Façade Design: Balancing Light, Comfort, and Energy

How do we design façades to balance daylight, overheating and energy consumption? This is a common problem, and parametric modelling is the answer. Or, answers. Multi-dimensional problem-solving can often lead to several compliant solutions, which allows flexibility in design and construction.

Lachlan will present on project case studies, how we got into parametric modelling, and our perspective on how it aids the design process.

Lachlan Finn – Environmental Designer at Atelier Ten

12.25 – 1.40pm: Q & A + Lunch

A quick 15 minute Q + A session will be held before we go into lunch.We will use to collect your questions as they come up if you cannot get the right moment to ask. Download Android and Apple Apps here. Alternatively, you can chase a presenter down and join them for lunch!


1.40 – 2.05pm: Client focused ‘Total Design’ using whole building parametric workflows

Richard will be showcasing a parametric process that take concept architectural designs and a client brief to undertake preliminary multi-discipline calculations (including vertical transport, MEP) in order to generate 3d spatials for exploring different design options.

The outputs are focused on what the client wants to know including the Green Star rating, PCA Grade and net lettable area to best understand the building’s value proposition and the impact of options.



Richard Stokes – Senior Sustainable Buildings Consultant at Arup

2.05 – 2.30pm: Physically entwined parametrics?

The physical environment is challenging to understand only through digital simulations. However, digital sensor data from the physical environment with more direct interactions with designers can seed experiential insights and intrigue. This approach enriches our understanding of parametric workflows, by understanding them not just in a virtual sphere – but in a physical one as well.

Mehrnoush Latifi and Daniel Prohasky will present a case for parametricism being a physical, as well as digital space that can lead to deeper understanding of the interface between built form and environmental forces.


Mehrnoush Latifi + Daniel Prohasky – Lecturers in Architecture at Swinburne University

2.30 – 2.55pm: Microclimate studies combining wind and solar to assess thermal comfort

The knowledge obtained from microclimate studies for daylight access are well understood in planning and design. But how do we expand upon these to create more valuable workflows that also include a better understanding of external thermal comfort? As new external thermal comfort metrics become available, are they useful and can CFD be used to increase the reliability of results?

Tom will be talking on behalf of the team at Aurecon, taking us through the idiosyncrasies of pushing best practice via the development of in-house grasshopper workflows and CFD assessments.


Ben Malin – Building Sciences Engineer at Aurecon

2.55 – 3.20pm: Q & A + Coffee

A quick 10 minute  Q + A session will be held before we hit that afternoon caffeine binge. We will use to collect your questions as they come up if you cannot get the right moment to ask. Download Android and Apple Apps here. Alternatively, you can chase a presenter down and buy them a coffee!


3.20 – 3.25pm: Announcement – Free grasshopper scripts

As many of you will know, Hydra is fantastic shared resource for example Grasshopper and Dynamo files. But what if we also shared compliance scripts in the same fashion to get on with environmental design earlier and more collaboratively?

In the background leading up to this event, Ladybug Tools and Fabric First have been working on finalising free Australian compliance scripts. What are they and when will they be available? You will have to come and found out!


3.25 – 3.50pm: Development feasibility tools for high density living

As parametric software and plugins gain wider popularity, so does the understanding of their practical applications throughout the planning, design and construction of buildings. As a result, specialist companies are popping up to support new services in this space that could change the architectural and engineering status quo.

Ben will showcase ArchiStar, an exciting new tool to rapidly evaluate the development potential of residential lot against local area government planning controls.


Dr. Benjamin Coorey – CEO and Founder at Archistar

3.50 – 4.15pm: Hypar: generative architectural and structural concept design

As anyone who has benefited from integrated design knows, great design team collaborations can lead to fantastic architectural outcomes. As our buildings become more complex, great collaboration is increasingly needed to deliver in constrained timescales!

Adam will bring us an example of collaboration, using the generative design platform Hypar. The review will illustrate how architects can submit designs and get instant feedback on structural constraints (column location, floor thicknesses, etc), allowing 1000’s of iterations without any complex information exchanges.

Adam Sheather – Bad Monkey at Bad Monkeys

4.15 – 4.40pm: Solar access planning: Building quantitative performance design solutions for multi-residential developments

Recently imposed guidelines developed to improve the quality of apartments, such as the State Environmental Planning Policy No. 65 (SEPP65) in New South Wales, have forced a change in how we design apartments. What role does parametric optimisation have in improving design outcomes driven from compliance objectives?

Paul, founder of Parametric Monkey, will introduce us to a computational design method developed with Ladybug to quantitatively assess solar access in order to measure planning compliance.

Paul Wintour – Founder at Parametric Monkey

4.40 – 7.00pm: Q & A + Drinks

After another final Q + A session, the day will be wrapped up. But don’t go too far as we will be serving drinks and light snacks to keep the conversation joining a little longer.

The Ladybug Tool Workshops – Melb (Nov 3 – 10), Syd (Nov 12 – 17), 2018

As any Para Guru knows, Ladybug Tools are an awesome collection of free apps that support environmental design and education.

Validated, open source and community supported, Ladybug Tools are used by architects, engineers, consultants, simulation experts and academics alike.

In November this year, the talented developers of the Ladybug Tools, including Ladybug, Honeybee, Butterfly and Dragonfly, will be delivering dedicated full day and half day workshops for a wide variety of subjects.

With a strong focus on supporting academia, we expect this event to be both of great interest to students but also affordable. Students will receive awesome concessions but places will be limited so please register early.

Tickets (professionals @ $550, students @ $180-200) are available until November the 3rd 2018.

#1 Parametric Environmental Modeling with Ladybug (Full Day) - Sat, Nov 03 (Melb) Mon, Nov 12 (Syd)

The one-day Ladybug workshop will provide attendees with the ability to explore the relationship between weather data and environmental design decisions. We will address a number of environmental design questions for a hypothetical project using Ladybug. The focus of the workshops is to teach attendees best practices in using Ladybug for iterative design and simulation. If you have not used Rhino, Grasshopper or Ladybug and planning to attend any of the other workshops we strongly recommend taking this workshop. In this workshop you will learn how to:

  • Import and visualize weather data

  • Calculate outdoor thermal comfort

  • Draw interactive diagrams and apply conditional statements

  • Run radiation and solar access analysis

  • Generate customized result visualizations

  • Use environmental simulation output to evaluate and generate design options

Prerequisite, Curriculum and Registrations

#2 Parametric Daylight Modelling with Honeybee (Full Day) - Sun, Nov 04 (Melb) Fri, Nov 13 (Syd)

This workshop covers essential material for effective daylighting simulation with Honeybee including daylight factor, point-in-time grid-based and image-based daylight and basic introduction to climate-based annual daylight simulation. We will cover fundamentals of daylight modeling for designing a well daylit space. We will use Honeybee legacy plugin in the morning and Honeybee[+] plugin closer to the end of the workshop. In this workshop, you will learn how to:

  • Prepare geometry for daylight simulation

  • Create Radiance materials

  • Generate different Radiance skies

  • Run grid-based and view-based daylight studies

  • Generate customized result visualization

  • Run a daylight coefficient study

  • Add dynamic shading and blind controls to your model

Prerequisite, Curriculum and Registrations

#3 Energy Modeling for Passive Design with Honeybee (Full Day) - Wed, Nov 07 (Melb) Thur, Nov 15 (Sydney)

We’ll cover the fundamentals of energy modeling with Honyebee including different workflows for processing geometry, constructions, schedules, loads, and a range of passive design strategies. We will work toward the goal of removing all heating/cooling systems from a house, using adaptive thermal comfort models to evaluate the performance of our design. In this workshop, you will learn how to:

  • Prepare geometry for energy modeling

  • Customize EnergyPlus materials and constructions

  • Visualize and edit zone properties, including loads and schedules

  • Run an energy simulation

  • Interpret results using flood plots, adaptive comfort charts, and geometry colored with simulation data

Prerequisite, Curriculum and Registrations

#4 Energy Modeling for Heating/Cooling Systems with Honeybee (Full Day) - Thurs, Nov 08 2018 (Melb) Sun, Nov 16 (Sydney)

Building off of the previous day’s workshop, we will add detailed HVAC systems into Honeybee energy models. It is highly recommended that participants attend the previous day’s workshop unless they are already very familiar with Honeybee energy modeling workflows. In this workshop, you will learn how to:

  • Assemble an energy model using surface-by-surface workflows

  • Understand and visualize energy balances

  • Edit and visualize a range of HVAC templates

  • Calculate energy use intensity for different design options

  • Estimate the size/ cost of HVAC systems from peak load simulations./li>

  • Use energy model results to build detailed microclimate maps of building interiors

  • Bring everything we have learned together by parametrically changing glazing ratio and evaluating the impact on energy use, HVAC size, and thermal comfort

Prerequisite, Curriculum and Registrations

#5 Automated Iterative Modeling and Analysis (Full Day) - Fri, Nov 09 (Melb) Sat, Nov 17 (Syd)

This workshop covers the best practices for automating parametric iterative studies. We will cover best practices for automating parametric iterative studies and utilize several visualizations to make informed design decisions from these studies. This workshop brings all of the content of the previous workshops together and, while attendance of previous workshops is not necessary, participants will get the most out of this workshop if they have attended the previous ones. In this workshop, you will lean how to:

  • Select design criteria

  • Build a parametric energy model that represents these criteria

  • Automatically run through the design space of all possible combinations of these criteria

  • Visualize your results using Design Explorer + Design Explorer Lite

Prerequisite, Curriculum and Registrations

#6 Airflow Modeling with Butterfly (Full Day) - Sat Nov 10 (Melb Only)

This workshop will introduces essential workflows for airflow simulation with Butterfly and OpenFOAM. Butterfly allows one to set-up and run Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations from inside Grasshopper to model indoor and outdoor airflow. This workshop will focus on the workflows of setting up models, executing simulation and visualizing the outputs. Material related to the physics of CFD will be limited to essentials. In this workshop, you will:

  • Receive an overview of CFD essentials

  • Learn how to create a FOAM case

  • Create a case folder

  • Prepare meshing for geometry

  • Run the case through OpenFOAM

  • Visualize the results in Grasshopper and ParaView

Prerequisite, Curriculum and Registrations

Melbourne Ladybug Tools Workshops

Ladybug Tools Melbourne Workshops

The Ladybug Tools workshops will be held in labs: AMDC603 and AMDC604.

Sydney Ladybug Tools Workshops

Ladybug Tools Sydney Workshops

The Ladybug Tools workshops will be held in labs: K-H13-2034 – Red Centre West 2034 and K-H13-2033 – Red Centre West 2033. More details:

Keep the Ladybugs Flyiiiiing!

With the help of some awesome people from around the globe Ladybug Tools has not only survived but has flourished to become an industry standard toolkit used by both professionals and professors alike.

If you love Ladybugs and Honeybees, and would like to help sustain the project over the long run, Ladybug tools have started a Patreon page to collect funding. To keep them flyiiiiing, become a member today!