Parametric Design in Current Architecture
April 27, 2018As a concept, the practice of Computational Design has the potential to change the structure of architecture and construction industry. The innovative tendency of computational design produces the dynamic convergence of designers, creative minds, thinkers, scientists, visionaries; who are investing in a future based on the collective intelligence applied to our environment, transcending the boundaries of grounded and virtual realities. Currently, we test the computational capacity and our creative skills in the face of the challenges imposed by the complexity and the new business.
In the parametric conception of design, parameters and the relationship between them are established as principles of design. Nowadays, technology and tools used for data management are based on logic, mathematics and of course the computational science. These programmatic practices allow designers to use the computational resources to lever their creativity, based on the algorithmic design and data management.
Parametric Design OriginIn 1939, Luigi Moretti, an Italian architect, created the term Parametric Design, within the framework of the research that he was developing on the relationship between dimensions dependent of several parameters, to design soccer fields, tennis courts and swimming pools for the 12th Milan Triennial in 1960.Traditionally, architects have used drawing as a mean to develop their designs, to organize their ideas and to project constructive results. Representation methods have been evolving as long as techniques and tools have changed. In this process, the creative act allows communicating the idea through the gesture drawn, using paper, pencils and geometric drawing tools available.
Initially, the implementation of the computer-aided design (CAD) allowed making more efficient the processes of representation, affecting the design process with the translation of traditional logic into the digital domain.These dynamic processes of design are based on experimental practices for form finding, founded on real models such as soap films to find minimum surfaces, or suspended textiles to find the compression vaults. Little by little, drawing was replaced by physic models, and in the last decades, the technological development and the increase of computational potential allow the management of the multi-parametric handling of calculation and the looking for the form, based on geometric data, dynamic, environmental, economic, and social forces among others.
From the 80's onward, research on computational sciences, the development of new technologies and the transcendence of computational thinking into other areas of knowledge like design, have allowed designers to acquire the ability to program and make design algorithms, through which complex problems can be easily solved step by step.
A parameter is a variable that permits the discrete manipulation of relations between elements in a design. These variables refer to relationships of consequence and work step by step through algorithmic design to generate solutions to complex realities. Other authors, like Roberts Stiles (2006), refers to the parameter in architectonic terms, as data or a numerical variable that the designer defines to generate a dynamic geometry from an algorithmic system capable of being modified according to the design value demanded by its executor.
Applications of the Parametric DesignDesign is an attitude towards the solution of problems based on processes and methods specific to their disciplinary field. It is a creative expression that can be applied in many fields, the reason why architecture and design are interchangeable terms. Often, in architectural practice, it is necessary to transcend disciplinary limits to solve the most complex problems.
Compared with the traditional practice of design, the computational designer is immersed in a process of critical thinking based on abstraction and automatization. Nowadays, disciplinary limits among architecture, design, mathematics, and engineering are blurred in defiance of the laws of nature and demanding accurate professional responses for the solution of complex problems, this is the field of application of the computational design.
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