In my undergraduate thesis (BArch Victoria University, Wellington) I developed a novel method for designing with genetic algorithms. Rather than using a genetic algorithm to seek a single ‘optimal’ design, I invented a method for identifying a range of Pareto-optimal designs. Using Java I created an application that evolved a population of design outcomes using a genetic algorithm. These outcomes were sorted into multi-dimensional Pareto-fronts that the designer could then explore using a set of sliders (video). Using this application, the designer and the computer worked synergistically to explore potentials in the design space of genetic algorithms.
I applied my Pareto-optimal genetic algorithm design method to the conversion of a warehouse in Wellington, New Zealand. Working at a range of scales, I demonstrated the method being applied to space planning, structural analysis, and the design of various stairs and chairs. My thesis was selected as one of four projects from Victoria University to attend the New Zealand Institute of Architects student design awards.