Thoughts from a Playground

I’m sitting in my home office, watching the melting snow outside and thinking about playgrounds. No, there’s no playground on our backyard (yet), but I’ve seen a blog post recently that started me having a kind of nostalgia…

The story is that my very first “real” job was in the ArchiCAD team at Graphisoft. As soon as I joined in 1999, I’ve got to be a member of the GDL Team (Geometrical Description Language), and my first task was to learn this language in depth, obviously. Imagine a code editor, where your code describes geometrical elements, like shapes, positions, materials, colors, etc., and when you run this, these geometric elements get drawn on your screen. It’s a kind of awesome experience (as every kind of coding…)!

Of course, it’s more than drawing circles and rectangles. It’s not a toy, it’s a serious and powerful tool in architects’ hands. For example, my job was to create the models of the bridges of Budapest. Each of them took weeks, and had hundreds of thousands if not millions lines of GDL code, describing every small detail of the bridges.

But my main task and next challenge was to get involved to the development of the GDL language. Yes, developing a programming language is a nice challenge! I LOVED it, had to solve nice problems, had to figure out new algorithms, and had to learn new things every day, and was so good to see the results of my job whenever a new version has been released…

Then I left Graphisoft, my ship turned to a different direction (actually, this change drove me to start working with SharePoint, but this is a different story ;-)) and I never touched GDL anymore. I still follow the product, certainly it has had several new versions released.

For example, it was a kind of fun when I had a chance to see the plans of our new house getting created by ArchiCAD two years ago… J

And a few days ago, I had a kind of nostalgia again when got a nice article.

“Playground design, play equipment design and landscaping are not areas of the industry you would normally associate with ArchiCAD. However if you put your mind to it you would be surprised what can be achieved using a BIM programme of which the intentions were focused upon architecture and interior design.”

In a nutshell, there’s a guy named Danny Mattock, who creates models of playgrounds by using GDL in ArchiCAD. First time I read this, I’ve got to be so excited! I can imagine his feelings as the models of playgrounds grow up on his screen. I can also imagine his feelings as his plans become real playgrounds somewhere, and as he can see children starting to play there…

But also, I’ve got excited to see something that has been created by something that has been created by a team I used to be a member. So good to see this in work! And so good to recognize the parts I’ve been involved into, the features having my fingerprint… Thank you Danny Mattock!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *