Updated: Jul 23
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