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Why You Should Use Parametric Design in Your Next Project

What is parametric design and why is it becoming more popular among designers and architects? Discover more about this new trend.


As with many other industries, smart machines have started taking over architecture and property development. 

Does this mean developers and architects will soon become obsolete as the robots start taking on all the work we’ve been doing?

Of course not.

The element of human nature cannot be taken out of designing and developing properties. After all, developments are still designed for, marketed to, and sold to people. 

Still, there exists a huge challenge for industry professionals to keep up with the times and adopt the latest technology in their work. This is the only way architects and property developers can stay ahead of the curve. 

One such example of technology that must be integrated into every industry professional’s strategy is parametric design. 

What is Parametric Design?

The best way to explain parametric design is by first describing what it is not. 

We know traditional design typically features rows and rows of houses that look the same and feature the same elements. Think acute angles, straight lines, and sharp corners.

Well, parametric design is everything but. 

It’s free-form architecture. Think sweeping lines, curves, irregular shapes… Anything that gives a building a unique character – enough for people to call it ‘futuristic’ or even ‘otherworldly.’

The term ‘parametricism’ to refer to free-form architectural concepts was first coined by Patrik Schumacher, who was a partner at Zaha Hadid Architects at the time. 

Schumacher says parametric architecture is often characterised by the following features:

  • ‘Fashionable’ choices in interior design and architecture
  • A mix of complexity and variety — an antithesis to homogenous utilitarianism
  • The idea that design elements are all adaptable and interdependent
  • Drawing inspiration from nature’s complex yet systematic patterns

True to its free-form nature, parametric design cannot be limited to a single definition or design style. That said, there are pros and cons shared by projects that feature parametric design.

Pros and Cons of Using Parametric Design

Here’s an overview of the benefits and drawbacks of using parametric design for your next projects:

The Good

1. Easy Design Modifications

While traditional design methods focus more on the result more than anything else, parametric design focuses more on the relationship between geometries. Because of this focus on the process, it is easier to create design iterations faster. As well as seamlessly integrate those modifications with other project files.

2. Simple Transformations Generate Complexity

One of the most important principles of parametric design is Object Oriented Programming. This allows you to create complex geometries and mind-boggling forms using simple shapes, loops, and repetitions. 

Consider some of the most popular applications of parametric design:

  • The Louvre Abu Dhabi
  • The World Trade Center Transportation Hub
  • The Galaxy SOHO Mall in Beijing

Notice how these extraordinary architectural designs have simple geometries for their base. And yet, they look so much more complex than basic shapes.

That’s the power of Object Oriented Programming in action. 

And using parametric design tools can help you achieve the same effect.

3. Next-Level Automation and Optimization

Imagine making changes to your 3D model and having your 2D drawings, BOQ, and project schedules adjust automatically. Furthermore, imagine making changes in the overall form of your design and automatically getting the best indoor floor plan for it. 

Just how much time will that save you? 

With parametric designing, these features are yours for the taking.

 

The Challenging

That said, there is one glaring challenge to using parametric design for your projects. And that is the steep learning curve you’re about to face as a newbie. 

As mentioned earlier, it differs from traditional design because it doesn’t focus on the 2D plan first. That means it relies heavily on data during the design process. This will require a lot of extensive research on your part, not to mention thousands of hours in practice to get a good grasp of the parametric design process. 

Still, this challenge is a small price to pay for the benefits we have thus mentioned. 

Once you see your parametric design built out in real life, all those hours spent learning and re-learning this design process will all have been worth it.

So now, the question is: 

How can you start integrating parametric design into your projects?

How to Utilise Parametric Design

It pays to know that parametric design plays very well with modern CAD tools. 

With design tools like Archistar, for instance, you could experiment heavily with the design of your planned structure. All while still keeping your design within the key parameters for the project. 

Using algorithms, parametric tools help generate intricate designs by allowing designers to make experimental interactive changes to their parameters. After all, the model updates automatically. This makes easy work out of conceptualising unique designs that are still feasible and realistic. 

CAD tools like Archistar offer many benefits to modern designers looking to venture into more creative, state-of-the-art designs that have never been seen before. The parametric tools available on the platform allows both architect and developer to easily go back and forth with clients until they come up with a unique design that can stand out and leave a unique impression on the world.

Use Archistar to Explore Parametric Design Today

If you’re a property developer who is looking to level up your future designs and developments, parametric design is definitely a concept you want to look into.

It may be intimidating to design something that’s fully novel and does not derive from the common and traditional elements of architecture that already exist. But it’s also fulfilling to come up with something that’s truly your own.

Fortunately, you now have at your fingertips a wide range of AI tools and services that can help you breathe life into your most daring, most unconventional ideas. 

One such tool is Archistar, a design platform that provides services like 3D modelling, project assessment, and algorithmic building design. 

If you’re curious about how Archistar could help you venture out into parametric design, schedule a free demo with us today.

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