CumInCAD is a Cumulative Index about publications in Computer Aided Architectural Design
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id ascaad2010_179
authors Jones, Charles; Kevin Sweet
year 2010
title Over Constrained
source CAAD - Cities - Sustainability [5th International Conference Proceedings of the Arab Society for Computer Aided Architectural Design (ASCAAD 2010 / ISBN 978-1-907349-02-7], Fez (Morocco), 19-21 October 2010, pp. 179-188
summary Parametric software has fundamentally changed the way in which architecture is conceptualized, developed and even constructed. The ability to assign parameters or numeric variables to specific portions of a project has allowed designers the potential to test variations of their design. Small changes to a single parameter can have an exponential effect on the designed object and alter its appearance beyond original preconceptions in both positive and negative ways. Parametric software also has the ability to constrain or restrict geometry to set values, parameters or conditions. This has the benefit of allowing portions of a form to remain constant or unchanged while simultaneously allowing for a great degree of flexibility in response to a design intent. Constraining portions of a design allows architects to respond to existing or unalterable conditions by ""locking down"" information within a project and then explore those portions that can change more freely. This programmed relationship between the parameter and the form, once established, can give the illusion of minimal effort for maximum output. The ease in which geometrical form can be altered and shaped by a single variable can mislead beginning designers into thinking that the software makes these relationships for them. What is hidden, is the programming or connections needed between the parameters and the geometry in order to produce such dramatic change. Finally, thinking parametrically about design reintroduces the concept of a rigorous, intent driven, fabrication oriented practice; a practice lost in a digital era where the novelty of new tools was sufficient to produce new form. Because parametric models must have established relationships to all parts of the design, each component must have a purpose, be well thought out, and have a direct relationship to a real world object. The introduction of parametric design methodologies into an architectural pedagogy reestablishes architectural praxis in an academic setting. Students are taught to design based on creating relationships to connected components; just as they would do in a professional architectural practice. This paper outlines how Digital Project a parametric based software was introduced into an academic setting in an attempt reconnect the ideologies of academia with the practicalities of professional practice. In order to take full advantage of Digital Project as a parameter based software, a project that creates modular, flexible geometries was devised. Produced over one semester, the project set out to find ways of controlling designed geometry through variable parameters that allowed the initial module to be instantiated or replicated into a wall condition: maintaining a unified whole of discrete components. This paper outlines this process, the results and how the outcomes demonstrates the parametric ideologies described above.
series ASCAAD
email cjones@aus.edu
full text file.pdf (562,642 bytes)
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