Updated: Oct 27, 2021
The persistent refinement of the design process, fueled by exclusive technological advancements, has been acknowledged by designers, engineers, and architects over the years. This has opened so many multi-sectoral strategies to play with in the world of designing.
Parametric architecture, or some may call it parametric design architecture, is a prototype in the process of designing where the relationship between elements is used to play with complex geometric structures.
Try recalling a few structures, be it interiors or exteriors, where designs are not just simple designs or patterns but are intertwined to produce a 3D composition. Often, we come across designs that are built in a manner that, despite the fluidity of the design, its irregularity surprises us the most. Parametric design is the term majorly used to describe such quirkily designed buildings.
Parametric designs involve computational designing. Computational strategies can be used to alter the spatial parameters of a design, aiming to enhance the process of designing decisions using a computer language.
Benefits of Parametric Architecture
Parametric architecture designs allow you to work beyond the conventional design thinking of architecture.
It is easy to design, re-use, and improve algorithmically in parametric architecture
It helps to increase the functionality of a design.
The parametric architecture enables architects to fill in spaces with the fluidity of construction and make them look extravagant.
The computational design gives feedback during the whole designing process.
Also, using the parametric tools, one can simulate building performances.
Parametric architecture retains efficiency with aesthetics. Nature teaches us to use designs in the most captivating forms with no limitations to shapes, symmetry, and designs. The parametric design tools can be used by feeding in available parameters to conceptualize designs even before they are put into action.
A new approach always gives room for innovation. Common structures or drawings describe geometric patterns, usually in one parameter. When you can use two or more parameters to define a structure, the design depicts unusual characteristics.
Let's take a closer look at the term and process to see what it means for today's architects and what can be the future of parametric architecture in India.
What Is Parametric Architecture?
The term parametricism was coined by Patrik Schumacher. Parametric Architecture may be seen as something old, but its style flourished from the time technology was introduced and is rooted in digital animation techniques. The latest refinements of this technique have been succeeding modernism as a new long wave of systematic innovation.
Straight lines, high-low waveforms, sharp/blunt corners, and acute angles were always a part of architectural marvels, but when it collaborates with sweeping lines, curves, and irregular shapes, they create stunning designs that look futuristic.
Parametric architectural designs follow the rules of asymmetry. The designs have an asymmetrical uniformity that, when put together, look otherworldly.
To understand this, let us take an example of a table in a room. A table comprises measurements such as length, breadth, and height. By changing these parameters, you can get infinite numbers. So by changing the parameters, you would get a new design that may or may not fit the functionality, but it may fit within the space. Therefore, you create a design with improved functionality by increasing the complexity of the parameters of the table.
One of the most phenomenal buildings representing the parametric designs is the Morpheus. This extravagant building serves not only as a hotel but is one of the gigantic eye-catching designs one could ever imagine. The main building is linked with a three-story podium. It holds the City of Dreams resort all under one roof! Space can house a minimum of 1000 guests in its 770 guest rooms at a time. There is a spa and a rooftop swimming pool, additionally with a gaming room for entertainment.
Every year this place attracts hundreds of tourists for its fluid form, dramatic public places, innovative engineering, and state-of-the-art design. At a glance, your eyes will conceive this colossal building as an extrusion of a rectangular footprint, a series of voids emerging through its center to create an urban window connecting the hotel's interior spaces with the city. It is a marvelous creation of well-designed high functionality parametric design.
What Defines Parametric Architecture?
If a design blends complexity and variety and rejects homogenous utilitarianism.
Shares priority involving urbanism, interior design, and is an architectural wonder.
The design has a basic idea of inter-dependable and adaptable elements.
It has a skew towards computerized algorithm design processes.
Despite asymmetry in such designs, these parametric structures are not lawless amalgams. Parametric designs often draw inspiration from nature. Nature has unlimited asymmetry. The earth's ecological structure is built with systematic patterns throughout the biomes. The scales of a fish, the rings of tree bark, connecting climbers in forests, intertwined bird nests are all examples of basic structures but complex parametric designs that enhance stability and functionality.
When a building is designed, many parameters are considered, the environmental feasibility, structural strength, utility, functionality, which are all quantifiable data. As more and more factors get involved, the data is hard to compile. The computation of parameters is an essential part of dealing with complex architectures. This data handling can be done with or without digital processes or running them into algorithms.
When algorithms are used in building a façade system, they can help in controlling parameters such as material behavior, calculations, fabrication data, and much more. Doesn't this sound super exciting? Basic knowledge of computers would sail you through conceptualizing a parametric design as most of the job is done through in-built designing software.
The Parametric architectural designs depend upon interconnected relationships of relevant information. The various parameters help students to understand what impact certain variables may have on a design strategy and the design itself.
Few Examples of Parametrically designed buildings
Louvre Abu Dhabi
A marvelous example of parametric designing is the Louvre Abu Dhabi. It is a calm and complex architecture. The parasol looks like a rain of light protecting the entrance. Though it is the epitome of old Arab designs, it still reflects modernism. There is a double dome around 180 meters in diameter, offering horizontal, consummate radiating geometry aligned with a randomly perforated woven material.
There is an assembly of 55 individual buildings, including 23 galleries. There is a contrasting series of white buildings that draws its inspiration from the Medina and the low-lying Arab settlements. A panel of 3900 panels of ultra-high performance fiber concrete (UHPC) is built up to form the front portion.
The Kridha Greens Farm
This blend of parametric & vernacular architecture in Noida is designed by Equim Designs. The design is an amalgamation of old and new architecture by the use of locally resourced raw materials. The design aimed at identifying key areas of focal point for recreation and usability. That's what makes it a user-friendly space for family and business.
The Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai
The airport features extravagant eccentric pillars, continuing on the ceiling and giving an illusion of molded hemispheres.
When Can You Start Working With Parametric Designs?
All good things have to start somewhere, and if you are an architect, then you already have an advantage. Parametric architecture designing techniques offer an obvious advantage to existing qualified architects, where they can apply these methods to their creations, suggesting changes at the start of the process.
Parametric architecture firms in India are hiring architects to allow deeper comprehension of the design objectives and aid them to find solutions to design in tricky spaces and yet remain aesthetically pleasing.
List of Famous Architects Practicing Parametric Architecture across the globe
Bjarke Ingels Group
The Bjarke Ingels Group or BIG is a Copenhagen and New York-based group of architects, designers, and builders. They operate within the fields of architecture, urbanism, and research. Their unique selling point is the pragmatic and prospective designing ability of utopian architecture not confined to a box.
Zaha Hadid Architects
One of the most accomplished architects of her time and till now remembered for inspiration. She was a British Iraqui architect best remembered in the era of the 20th century. She liberated the architectural geometry & gave it a whole new identity. Her most renowned work includes the London aquatics center, the Broad Art Museum, and the Guangzhou opera house.
Norman Foster Architects
He is a British designer and architect, adopting the energy conservation technique and developing high-tech architecture. He has been recognized as the key in adopting modern British architecture. He is currently the President of the Norman Foster Foundation. This is created to 'promote interdisciplinary thinking and research in the field of architecture to help budding architects.
Sanjay Puri Architects
The Sanjay Puri Architects firm has specialized in conceptualizing architectural designs in the context of residential spaces, hospitality, and office areas. Their designs have revolutionized spaces in both urban and suburban areas.
Career as a Parametric Architect in India
Parametric Architecture in India is a booming career for architects. The captivating designs are finding a place in India's topmost firms, retail businesses, the hospitality industry, temples, and public areas. One needs to have a futuristic vision to know if they have the capability to pull off Parametric designs. Your vision and the digitization of designs can be a breakthrough in making the most complex structure with high functionality.
Most of such designs are in high demand as they encourage the attention of prospective clients or customers. An eye-catching 3D design attracts more people. So if you have the right panache and can be built convincingly spatial designs with ease, then you are thinking on the right path.
Parametric Architecture Designing Courses in India
Parametric architecture designing courses are available as online courses. Currently, very few courses are available in India, but here we have managed to list a few of them. Let's look at some most popular online courses made for learning parametric architecture:
Digital Fabrication and Execution of Parametric Projects
This designing course offers an introduction and in-depth information on Rhino and Grasshopper. You will explore data structure in Architecture and computation. Plus an additional lesson into plugins like Kangaroo, weave bird, and mesh+.
Harnessing AI in Architecture
This is an extensive 4-day workshop on parametric designing and artificial Intelligence - urbanized. Use the link to watch now.
Some essential software for computational designing
One of the most time-honored computational design tools is the generative component. It was first introduced in the year 2003 and then finally launched for commercial use in 2007. It works well with MicroStation software.
One of the most popular computational design tools, it is an algorithmic modeling tool for the Rhino software. This software has been worked upon for the last 8 years, and it still has a fanatical following.
This software has the ability to share data on a web-based platform enabling easy editing options. It is convenient, and all the data shared or edited is constantly being saved on the web interface.
How is Parametric Architecture different from conventional architectures?
By using parametric architecture, one creates an infinite number of similar objects. Conventional designs are based on using common techniques and designs of traditional architecture.
Is Parametric Architecture the future of architecture in India?
The new era of architecture demands not just structures with fixed solutions but an exploration of infinite possibilities and potential. It creates room for ideas that can be put into reality. With fewer spaces and high demand for interior fittings, it's essential that parametric designing be used for interior designing. It is the need of the hour that we use Parametric Architecture for the benefit of society.
Is parametric architecture only for the exteriors?
Though parametric designs are extravagant and elaborate, they are not bound to be only for exteriors. Parametric interior architecture is gaining popularity as much as exterior parametric designs. For the sheer reason, they are flowy, and there is effective utilization of space.
Can anybody study Parametric Architecture designing?
Parametric architecture designing is complex, as the designs are computed on a digital platform. You have to be prior qualified to be eligible enough to understand the basics of designing.
Can a bachelor's degree in architecture help with Parametric designing?
Every parametric architectural design was first a basic architecture, which was later given spatial complexity through the interlinking of various parameters of that design. A bachelor's degree in architecture will be the most essential requirement for this job.
Is parametric architecture designing gaining popularity in India?
Although parametric architecture was more popular in western countries, its popularity is undeniably picking up in India. There is a surge in 3D facades and designing in India, such as structures placed at international airports in India.
Are parametric architecture designing courses available online?
Yes, most of the parametric architecture designing courses are short courses. As these courses involve a lot of computer software, these can be done online.
Is parametric designing taught during the bachelor's course in Architecture?
Parametric architecture is an evolving entity. There are innovations, new software, and new concepts added every day to this field. Therefore, even though there is an introduction given about this entity during the course, it would be much better if you can enroll in the latest workshop where you can update your knowledge as you practice.
In India, you can find parametric architecture at crossroads, outside malls, and even in parks. The designs are intricate and subdued. They attract attention and add to the beauty of the city. Parametric designs are preferred as they are unique and quirky. To learn more about Parametric & Computational design, visit Equim Education.