25th Anniversary Series Issue #4
In this, the fourth installment of our 25th anniversary series, we explore what is arguably one of the most disruptive and innovative forces in design and manufacturing history: Parametrics. Parametric design uses computer algorythms to create, engineer and build shapes and structures that were simply not possible, even a few years ago. The reason is simple: unaided human minds are simply not able to envision and calculate the incredibly complex interweavings of elements that make parametric designs so fresh and inspiring. Engineering at this level of complexity requires raw computing power and lots of it. With parametrics, artificial intelligence boldly finds its place in the architect’s office.
The applications can be relatively straightforward. In the exterior wall panels we designed for a local professional office (see the attached image), parametric algorythms were used to determine the size and placement of perforations in the metal cladding. The randomness of the holes’ placement and size was guided by pre-set “rules” we programmed into the software and created a simple, dramatic effect.
At the opposite end of the complexity scale, we used parametrics to create a lattice of interlaced steel beams that formed an undulating glass canopy for an open urban mall setting. (Other familiar examples are the “nest” stadium of the 2008 Beijing Olympics) The results are dramatic and often breathtaking. The applications are varied and endless – everything from built-environment components such as furniture and decorative wall structures, to entire buildings and large-scale architectural elements. In all of these examples, parametrics allows us to radically rethink the possibilities of every project. And by developing our own engineering and manufacturing capabilities, we’re bringing the excitement and promise of parametrics to more of our client proposals every week.
Parametric design is one more way in which we’re building intelligence into everything we do. By combining advanced technology with the insights of our experience, we’ve positioned ourselves and our firm for another 25 years of dynamic growth and development.
Concept bench developed for Barrie Medical Centre