Parametric Design

My research into Planet data brought me back to my Field work in 1st year which explored data visualization and how it can be used to generate form. I am interested in how I might be able to relate data to geometry and how data might build or define the form of an object. This could be even more interesting if this data related to the function of the object that I create.

This idea of using data or parameters to define form is an area of design know as parametric design. It uses a computer to build a form based on various different parameters and commands. It builds forms that a human would be unlikely to be able to conceive of out of the air, with each area of the form defined by a set of parameters. Additionally, it lets one change and develop the surfaces as one goes along by changing the input parameters until the desired form is created. This medium of design is popular in contemporary architecture. Zaha Hadid was one of the pioneers who used this type of design to create some incredible organic sweeping forms in her architecture, which is something she is now know for. Her studio also have developed their own software for developing these forms. Parametricism is now a style within contemporary architecture.

I find this medium of design very interesting; I, as the designer, has very little control over the form that is built; it is all but entirely defined by the data from nature and the computer. The only part the human mind has to play is in the design of the function into which the data is then enter into, which the computer then builds. That is were one can use creativity to come up with a function which give the desired aesthetic. I could in theory 3D print this form and cast it, allowing me to reproduce the form in different materials. This will create an dialogue between nature computer, machine, hand and mind which I think is an really interesting relationship to explore.

This is also an interesting topic as in first year constellation I explored the relationship of man to his tool and how computers affect our creative nature as makers. Here the computer is used as a mode of design that otherwise may have been impossible or extremely difficult to achieve. One may initially think that computers and nature are completely opposing mediums and whilst in most areas they are, the form produced through parametric design are incredible organic. Taking this further and actually use nature to create a form makes the two not exclusive but rather inclusive and even reflective of each other.

 

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