Computational Research + Design

Computational Research + Design (CRD) is a collective initiative of employees with strong technical skills and backgrounds who share an enthusiasm to push the limits of available technology and implement into everyday tasks.

In a field where software and fabrication technologies are constantly evolving, Rafael Viñoly Architects always seeks to be ahead. Founded in 1983, this has been an ongoing effort in the firm’s core. One of the milestones came in 1991, when the firm was one of the first architectural offices to acquire the state-of-the-art Silicon Graphics Crimson and Indigo computers. Pairing these machines with new software from Wavefront Technologies, Rafael Viñoly Architects was able to produce a 15-minute long walk-through animation of the Tokyo International Forum project. This, at the time, was an extremely unique experience. Since then, early adoption of paradigm-shift technologies has always been a critical outlook of Rafael Viñoly Architects’ workflow and design.

To ensure new technologies were always being explored, a collective initiative called Computational Research + Design (CRD) was founded in 2013. The group is comprised of Rafael Viñoly Architects employees with strong technical skills and backgrounds who share an enthusiasm to push the limits of available technology and implement into everyday tasks.  While such a group existed informally within Rafael Viñoly Architects’ culture, officially creating one solidified the firm’s commitment to quickly evolving technologies, bringing together various skills and resources within our office.

CRD has been an essential resource for various projects within the office, including the automatic generation and documentation of an international airport terminal whose 3,809-foot-long expanse included a 6,512 unique roof panels and 85,574 unique ceiling panels. Similarly, a performing arts theater designed for a world class international campus of one of the leading universities in the United States, included hundreds of unique acoustic ceiling panels. In recent years, the team helped to optimize the design of vertical fins and glass curtain walls for the double curved form of 20 Fenchurch Street. CRD ensured that the most effective and efficient work flow between various software platforms and professions was always being utilized.

CRD is currently a development partner for a tech start-up which aims to change the way architects collaborate. Rafael Viñoly Architects is not only one of the first firms to implement such a software, but also the biggest development partner working to push the product to new levels. From a fabrication stand point, the office has recently purchased a 3D Systems Projet 660 Pro CJP, and a 3D Systems Projet 7000 HD SLA – which are the most state of the art 3D printers available for production at scale.

The objective of CRD is to support the office and project teams in anyway needed, using already adapted and future technologies. From optimizing workflow between disciplines and software platforms to researching new technologies, CRD continues to support Rafael Viñoly Architects’ projects of various scales and programs at an international level.