Buildings today are conceived and constructed in much the same way as they were hundreds, if not thousands, of years ago. A design team envisions what can be and draws this up conferring with a builder on how to get it done, the builder sets out to build the design and confers with the design team about intent, there is much conflict and camaraderie and moments of exhaustion and exhilaration, and then one day the building is finished and put to use.
This could describe a process today or in the time of Queen Hatshepsut, perhaps the most prolific of all the Egyptian Pharaohs. It could describe how we designed and built Hagia Sophia in Constantinople in 525, Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris in 1250, The Empire State Building in 1930 or The Burj Khalifa in 2010. We’ve cleaned things up a bit, leveraged research findings, brought more people into the mix, utilized the power of technology and generally put a 21st century spin on things, but it could be argued that the basic relationships and processes have evolved at a snail’s pace over the last two or three thousand years.
We believe we are on the cusp of a quantum leap in the design and construction industry; that the basic fundamental core relationships, the end product of design and the processes of imagining and building the places we inhabit are in the midst of a monumental sea change.
If you can shape it, you can build it. Parametricism, the science of advanced computational design and digital animation in the creation of fluid forms, envisions a new aesthetic, claiming relevance on all scales from architecture and interior spatial design to large-scale urban design projects. Through the use of parametric design we can input prescribed variables that determine space efficiencies, overall sustainability attributes, building skin performance, and virtually anything you can measure. We can then develop a prototypical virtual model of the design and predict how a building will perform before it is erected. (more…)