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TOPIC: Successful Design through Technology Integration, Interoperability, Parametric Design Data, and Custom Toolsets

The design, engineering, fabrication, and construction of modern day buildings require the integration of multiple systems, some more specialized then others. In order to achieve a successful design, these systems must interact harmoniously with one another. A major aspect that must be taken into consideration is the transfer of the proper information to and from the different systems. In order to make this transfer efficient and streamlined many custom interoperablity tools are developed to effectively create a streamlined exchange of information and geometry. The ability to customize these tools and make them flexible to the designers needs help preserve the design intent of the project and its main objectives. Controlling how the information transfers across one platform to another reassures project delivery in a holistic manner. The design of buildings becomes a harmonious blend of aesthetics and metrics which inform one another. At early stages of a project there are many variables, some of which fluctuate drastically. Through a series of iterations an appropriate design solidifies and a building begins to take shape. All throughout this time there is a dynamic link between a 3-dimensional model and information. As information is fed into the model, the form updates and more information is output as a result. In order to keep up with the various iterations at the early stages of design there needs to exist a lightweight environment that is agile and robust. Developing means of easily transferring information and geometry between platforms is an important factor in the evolution of a building information model. There are many architectural design systems available on the market which have specific uses throughout the design process. Most have their strengths and weaknesses. Being able to combine the strengths of the systems and mitigate the weaknesses is another key aspect to digitally designing buildings today.


The lecture will cover the use of developing interoperability toolsets to assist in the design process of a building for the seamless integration of design, documentation and planning.

Design Data:

The lecture will demonstration through case studies how design aesthetics are translated into parameters that drive a three-dimensional parametric information model (PIM).


The lecture will cover the use of parametric models from the early start of a project to develop an agile informed model that provides the necessary metrics for analysis and documentation.

Custom toolset:

The lecture will show examples of how custom toolsets allow for holistic integration of planning information as well as design parameters to create a well-informed building information model.


Charles Portelli joined KPF in 2007 as part of the Computational Design Group, which he currently heads up as a firm wide effort. The Computational Design Group looks at the seamless integration of design, sustainability, documentation, fabrication and interactive environments. Charlie is an active member of the firm’s applied research efforts and KPF’s technology committee. He is a registered architect. Charlie earned a Bachelor’s of Architecture from NJIT and a Master’s degree from the Product Architecture Lab at Stevens. He has taught at Pratt and currently teaches at City Tech.

KPF Offices
11 West 42nd Street
New York, NY 10036
United States

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