Parametric Architecture and Generative Design System

Generative design for architecture

Autodesk’s new Toronto office is the first example of a generatively designed office space. We started with high-level goals and constraints, and using the power of computation, generated thousands of design options. The concepts evolved to create a highly functional and novel space.

In parametric design, designers use declared parameters to define a form. Generative design mimics nature’s evolutionary approach to design. Designers or engineers input design goals into generative design software, along with parameters such as materials, manufacturing methods, and cost constraints. Unlike topology optimization, the software explores all the possible permutations of a solution, quickly generating design alternatives. It tests and learns from each iteration what works and what doesn’t.

generative-architecture-christoph-hermann-06Mark Burry is an example of an independent consultant that has been working on the continued construction of the unfinished design of Sagrada Família in Barcelona. Burry has been involved in parameterizing the geometric methods of Antonio Gaudi. The models are used to find solutions, by exploring and adjusting parameters, to find configurations that fit partially completed elements (Hudson, 2012). The model is then used to produce information to drive Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) machines for fabrication.

The inverted model of the Sagrada Familia created by Gaudi

Computational strategies for defining design spaces:

  • Morphological control through continuous variables
  • State-change control through discrete variables
  • Recursive control through functions and rule sets
  • Behavioral control through object-oriented programming

(Sources: andº%2058759.pdf)

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