Parametric Design

Topics: Computer-aided design, Architectural design, Parameter Pages: 16 (4867 words) Published: February 25, 2013

K. KAVI SUMI, email:,

ABSTRACT Contemporary avant-garde architecture is addressing the demand for an increased level of expressed complexity by means of retooling its method on the basis of parametric design. The ground of parametric design is the generation of geometry from the definition of a family of initial parameters and the design of formal relations they keep with each other. The benefit of this process is immediate and is fundamental when minimizing the effort needed to create and test design variants. It is the use of algorithm and advanced computational techniques not for the sake of drawing shapes but creating formal possibilities. Parametric and generative modelling have become increasingly popular in the world of architectural design. This has caused many software developers to release applications that support this kind of modelling. CAD software‘s like ketia, bentley, grasshopper plugin for rhino and many others fall in this category. This paper is aimed at gaining better understanding of the phenomenon of parametric design and the process involved in designing with parameters and the use of parametric modelling software.

KEYWORDS Parametric design, Computational techniques, Generative modelling, CAD, Grasshopper.

SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS This research paper deals with the fundamentals of parametric building information modelling and physical simulation for form finding in contemporary architecture using various freeform surface modeling tools to create complex geometries that challenge construction methods.



Parametric Design is the process of designing in environments where design variations are effortless, thus replacing singularity with multiplicity in the design process. Parametric design is done with the aid of Parametric Models. A parametric model is a computer representation of a design constructed with geometrical entities that have attributes (properties) that are fixed and others that can vary. The variable attributes are also called parameters and the fixed attributes are said to be constrained. The designer changes the parameters in the parametric model to search for different alternative solutions to the problem at hand. The parametric model responds to the changes by adapting or reconfiguring to the new values of the parameters without erasing or redrawing. In parametric design, designers use declared parameters to define a form. This requires rigorous thinking in order to build a sophisticated geometrical structure embedded in a complex model that is flexible enough for doing variations. Therefore, the designer must anticipate which kind of variations he wants to explore in order to determine the kind of transformations the parametric model should do. This is a very difficult task due to the unpredictable nature of the design process. Parametric design has historically evolved from simple models generated from computer scripts that generate design variations (Monedero,2000), every time the script is run with different parametric values, to highly developed structures based on parentchild relations and hierarchical dependencies. Currently, parametric CAD software offers sophisticated three-dimensional interactive interfaces that can perform variations in real time, allowing the designer to have more control and immediate feedback when a parameter is changed. Computer implementations of parametric models include structures that show the historical evolution of the model, allowing the designer to go back to a previous stage of the design and apply changes. These changes will be propagated through a chain of dependencies of the modified parameters, which means that a designer can go to any stage, change the value of the parameters, and reconstruct the model. A parametric model will either propagate the changes through the structure and reconfigure the model to the new values, or...

References:              ,354 AISH, R., WOODBURY, R. (2005) Multi-level interaction in parametric design, in A. Butz, B.Fisher, A. Krüger and P. Oliver (eds.) SmartGraphics, 5th Int. Symp., SG2005, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Springer, Berlin. Thinking parametric design: introducing parametric Gaudi Carlos Roberto Barrios Hernandez, Department of Architecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Room 10-491M, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
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parametric design as a technique of convergence marta malé-alemany and josé pedro sousa SCI-ARC - Southern California Institute of Architecture Email address: Parametric thinking in urban design– a geometric approach Nicolai steinø Aalborg University Department of Architecture, Design and Media Technology Adaptive generative patterns giorgos artopoulos and stanislav roudavski 1 Cambridge University Digital Studios & Moving Image Studio (CUMIS), 1 Bene 't Place, Lensfield Road, Cambridge CB2 1EL, UK Email addresses: FRANÇOIS PENZ Email address:

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