Yesterday I hopped on the TGV Lyria in Bern to head across to Paris for a meeting with a large customer who was interested in learning more about generative design.
It was nice to be heading back across to Paris – especially just before the summer break – as I have very fond memories of my year studying just south of the city. On arrival at Gare de Lyon I decided to walk for a couple of kilometres to stretch my legs after five hours in the train, to see part of the city I didn’t know but also to avoid one additional “correspondence” on my Metro trip to Ivry-sur-Seine.
Very bizarrely I soon ended up stopping and staring at the sky as perhaps 30-40 military helicopters of various shapes and sizes flew overhead. I hoped it was somehow connected with some military display related to planned Bastille Day celebrations, but part of me did wonder whether this was how the “end of days” begins. A clear sign I’ve been overdoing the Sci-Fi series on Netflix.
Shortly after I was walking through the city’s lovely botanical gardens, which certainly soothed my soul a little.
After taking the Metro line 7 south to Kremlin-Bicêtre, I walked to my old friend Jacques’s place, where I’d be staying for the night. I’ve known Jacques since my early days at Autodesk: part of the evening’s fun was working out whether we knew each other from Jacques’s time in Neuchatel (we didn’t) or California (we did, but from when I was still based in Europe back in the late-90s). It’s a nice feeling to spend time with friends you’ve known so long that you don’t fully recall how you met.
Jacques’s kids – who I knew well from our overlapping time in California – are all now in their 20s and 30s, and doing amazing things. Two of them were visiting for dinner, which was a wonderful treat. It was so, so nice to reconnect with this fantastic family.
This morning I spent more time than I’d have liked in an Uber on the peripherique, but it was still a lot less time than I’d have spent on public transport, and I arrived at the customer meeting with 15 minutes to spare. It was very nice to see both Emmanuel di Giacomo and Jean-Baptiste Gruson – in person, for once – as well as to talk GD with a motivated (and capable) customer for a couple of hours.
After this I had some more fun… on the way to Paris I’d realised I had a little gap in today’s schedule and so posted a “wanna meet?” message on both Twitter and LinkedIn. The stars ended up aligning for me to have a couple of additional meetings before taking the train home.
The first was with Jacques Levy-Bencheton from Brunet-Saunier Architecture. I’d met Jacques last year at an event in Basel and later on at AU in Las Vegas: somewhat bizarrely – and yet completely serendipitously – he had a specific GD-related topic he’d wanted to discuss with me, so we were able to do so over a very nice Parisian lunch.
After this I hurried across to Gare de Lyon to meet Mostafa El Ayoubi El Idrissi – who I’d met at the UKDynUG Hackathon in London in April – as I wanted to thank him for helping out with the GD for AEC Intensive Residency in Toronto. During and after the Hackathon, Mostafa developed the super-cool DynaMaps package for Dynamo – which That BIM Girl featured recently in a nice video – and presented it in a remote workshop for the Residents on Wednesday.
Simon Breslav – sharp as ever – threw together a nice combination of DynaMaps with Solar Analysis, which needless to say was also super-cool.
Anyway, I wanted to buy Mostafa a beer to say “Thanks” and to work out when next we might be getting to see each other again. (It turns out the answer is likely to be “lots”, because even if the planets don’t align for a Paris Dynamo User Group meeting in late September I’ll be seeing him for sure at BiLT EUR, AU Las Vegas, and at least one Forge Accelerator before the end of the year. Very cool!)
I was a bit hot and tired – but happy – by the time I boarded my TGV bound for Switzerland (this time via Lausanne rather than Bern). I’ll be glad to be arriving home in the next hour or so.
There’s lots of good stuff that’s happened at the Toronto Residency this week that I haven’t yet had the chance to report… I’ll try to put together a round-up of Week 1 on Monday.