Developed by CORE studio, Asterisk is a web application for rapid structural optioneering in early conceptual design. Simply upload a mass and core model from the Rhino client, adjust a few parameters, and Asterisk returns a concept-level wireframe in a matter of seconds. Users can create iterations, explore and filter design spaces, and compare the performance metrics of select sets. Asterisk is a collaborative platform in which project teams can create, review and present design spaces across multiple mediums.

With Asterisk, You Can

  • Iterate
    Iterate through a series of user-defined parameters such as program, bay spacing, and material to build up a design space. Upload masses from Rhino, iterate and download wireframes back into a modeling workflow. Learn about the structural implications of design decisions by investigating individual properties of objects, from floor thicknesses to beam sections. Review overall metrics, including average cost, weight and embodied energy, to understand how a particular iteration stacks up against the larger design space. Navigate around the wireframe model and change analysis types to visualize and better understand the attributes and results.
  • Explore
    Explore multiple structural iterations in a filterable design space with the integrated Design Explorer interface. Set limits of results, like weight and cost or bay spacing and floor-to-floor height inputs, and get back the iterations that meet project criteria as they evolve.
  • Compare
    Compare user-selected sets of iterations to better understand their relative performance. See trade-offs between options in a comparative matrix that visually highlights the top-performing metrics in each category.

Our Approach

Asterisk achieves its speed by leveraging CORE studio’s predictive models. These models have been trained on data generated to Thornton Tomasetti design standards and pulled from the expertise of our engineers and from their workflows. Asterisk doesn’t just consume these models; its continued use widens the field of conditions, imparting data that inform future training sets. Asterisk is the first platform to apply the ongoing research at Thornton Tomasetti into machine learning and its implementation in AEC.

Asterisk is built from a foundation of CORE platforms, including Spectacles and Design Explorer, CORE studio’s web application suite. It is part of a larger goal to develop a technology ecosystem that fosters collaboration and is the pilot application for cross-discipline collaboration on a single platform open to users outside of Thornton Tomasetti.

Collaborative Development

Since it is a collaborative platform for architects and engineers, it is critical that Asterisk is integrated into the processes of both industries. To better steer the application’s development, Thornton Tomasetti has partnered with several architectural offices, opening access to our alpha testing program. Each of these offices has participated in discussions and provided insights that will assist in creating a roadmap for the future of Asterisk.

Are You Interested?

Check out to learn more about the ideas behind Asterisk, where it came from and where it might be going.

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