I’ve been thinking about publishing a lot lately. What it means, why we do it, and where it is going.

uncompressed_Page_010_Image_0001

I introduce the central issue of my thesis: parametric flexibility. I outline the research method and the structure of the thesis.

I expand upon the challenges associated with parametric modelling that I have outlined in this introduction. I first examine the various definitions of parametric modelling and consider how these frame an understanding of what a parametric model is. I go on to reveal the numerous challenges architects have faced when using parametric models in practice. Aggregated together, these accounts reveal an array of problems that tend to be overlooked in many of the discussions around parametric modelling.

I contrast the challenges of parametric modelling to the challenges associated with software engineering. I introduce the body of knowledge associated with software engineering and hypothesise about which knowledge areas may also help the practice of parametric modelling.

There is a close relationship between software engineering and parametric modelling. This relationship has implications for how parametric modelling is taught, for how parametric modelling is integrated in practice, and for how we discuss parametric modelling.

In many ways the conclusion to this thesis is simple: software engineers creating computer programs and architects designing with parametric models share similar challenges, which can often be addressed with similar research methods and similar design practices.

dana_banner

A long and incomplete history of parametric modelling. Starting in the nineteenth century with James Dana’s crystal drawings, and ending up in twenty-first century by way of Gaudí, Moretti, Ivan Sutherland’s Sketchpad, and other more recent technological innovations.

An interview with Andrea Graziano, better known as Digitag, about the shifting of architectural discourse into new media.

A review of Antoine Picon’s new book, Digital Culture in Architecture, which in my opinion focuses too much on the superficial cultural outcomes of digital architecture without digging into the technical causes.

Parametric modelling is hard

13 December 2011

Six quotes that begin to expose some of the rarely discussed problems with parametric modelling.

A summary of Mark Burry’s latest book, Scripting Cultures.

work_graph

MacLeamy’s curve implies that designers are most effective when they shift their effort forwards on a project. In this post I draw upon software engineering to suggest how MacLeamy’s curve can be manipulated to prevent this shift in effort.

evolute_banner

Evolute’s recent patenting of freeform planar surfaces and what it means for architecture. Evolute respond, as do many others, in a long debate in the comments section.

caadfutures_banner_small

A summary of a few papers and workshop at CAADFutures 2011.

Eminent computer scientist Fred Brooks’s latest book, The Design of Design, reframes programming as a design discipline. In this post I consider what architects can learn from this relationship and from this book.

lars2

A fairly unfavourable review of Lars Spuybroek’s book, The Architecture of Continuity.

schuv5

Patrik Schumacher’s comments on my previous blog entry were worthy of a post in and of themselves. So in this post I summarise what they mean for the name of parametricism, for the lack of context to parametricism, for Zaha Hadid being parametric, and other arguments leveled at Schumacher.

the_logic

William Mitchell’s The Logic of Architecture is considered seminal to computational design. In this post I put forward the argument that it was actually far from perfect and that the holes in this book can tell us much about the discourse pertaining to computational design.

A brief summary (with pictures) of Jane Burry and Mark Burry’s latest book The New Mathematics of Architecture.

Patrik Schumacher recently claimed that parametric design is the successor to modernism. He named the movement parametricism. In this post I explain why Schumacher is wrong and explain how Zaha Hadid Architects are just jumping on the bandwagon. Schumacher responds to this criticism in the comments — his points are well worth reading.

A review of Robert Woodbury’s latest book Elements of Parametric Design. The result of twenty years research into parametric design, it is probably the most significant book on the subject.

A discussion of the favourite computational design problem of the 1960s: the distance occupants walked. Why this problem captured the interest of so many researchers, and the non-orthogonal way it was eventually solved.

Neil Leach is one of my most beloved authors. This is a guide to his work and where to find it.

manuel-de-landa

Videos from the Intensive Fields conference held at the University of Southern California. Neil Leach and Manuel Delanda discussing parametric urbanism.

Idle speculation that the global financial crisis was somehow caused by digital simulation in the same ways architects often deceived by digital simulations.

Manuel Delanda

18 January 2010

One of my favourite lectures, Manuel DeLand’s talking about Deleuze and the Use of the Genetic Algorithm in Architecture – no Powerpoint just an hour long rant without any cues.

frame_01

A brief look at the birth of CAD. Ivan Sutherland’s 1962 Sketchpad was the first interactive CAD system, which laid the groundwork for much of what we do today, fifty years later.

3_books

A brief review of three important computational books: An Evolutionary Architecture; Algorithmic Architecture; and Tooling.