If anyone in the Vancouver office has a question about computational design, they know architectural designer Dennis Goff is their guy. He specializes in creating digital tools that allow for real-time analysis and design solutions early in a project. Dennis can be found outside the office playing hockey when he is not busy designing facades or reviewing building performances. We sat down with Dennis to talk early influences, computational design, and Chewbacca.
When did you realize you wanted to work in architecture? I went on a family trip to Italy when I was about 13 and I remember being blown away by the Duomo in Florence. The building was such a dominating feature of the city that it felt like it followed you wherever you went. It was the first building that made me realize that people interact with architecture all the time, even when they aren’t inside it. I returned to Florence to study aboard for my fourth year at college. I walked past that building each day and admired its glory from every angle.
What got you interested in computational design? My interest began in my fifth-year thesis studio when I attended the Emergent Technologies and Design program at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London. This focus led me to work on a variety of design solutions using these tools at ZGF, but specifically the façade. For example, one project uses a façade that is tuned to the solar exposure on the site while maximizing the surrounding views.
How does living in Vancouver inspire you? I enjoy being near the mountains. After my last five years living in New York, Vancouver feels like a much-welcomed decompression. Nature surrounds me even in the center of the city.
If you could design for a fictional character, who would it be? Chewbacca.
Coffee or tea? Iced Coffee, the cheaper the better.
Favorite tool of the trade? Headphones.
Are you reading a book you just can’t put down? I’m reading A Feast for Crows from the Game of Thrones books to try and stay hyped for the final season.
Do you have any hobbies outside of the office? I love to play hockey. It was a no-brainer to move to Canada. Hockey has been my favorite thing to do since childhood.