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Examining the Differences Between Computational, Parametric, and Generative Design


3 min read

August 17, 2023


Table of Contents

In the dynamic realm of architecture and design, innovation knows no bounds. With the rapid advancement of technology, novel methodologies have emerged, reshaping the way we conceive and create our built environment. Among these transformative approaches, three distinct terms stand out: computational design, parametric design, and generative design. By examining these concepts closely, we can unravel their differences and explore the vast potential they hold.

Whether you're a budding architect or a fervent design enthusiast, this video is your gateway to a world where technology and creativity intertwine. It's not just a watch; it's an experience that'll unravel the layers of computational design, parametric design, and generative design. In this video, a seasoned architect serves as a guide on your journey. From the days of being a wide-eyed student, exploring the promises of parametric design, to the real-world intricacies of generative design, the video encapsulates the essence of these concepts. 

Computational Design: The Master Concept

Imagine a realm where creativity collaborates with algorithms. That's computational design for you. It's the overarching umbrella term that encompasses various design approaches, each with its unique flair. In other words, computational design is a revolutionary method that combines innovative thinking with algorithmic procedures. It fosters interaction between designers and computers by incorporating a number of cutting-edge design approaches under one roof. Computational design gives architects and designers the ability to develop, examine, and improve complex shapes and structures by utilising cutting-edge software and algorithms. Imagination and computation work together to provide effective, accurate, and creative solutions that influence the changing face of architecture and design.

Now, let's understand what parametric design is. Parametric Design is like the artist's palette, but instead of colours, you have parameters. Picture this: you're crafting a building's model, and with a simple adjustment, parameters like height, width, and angles seamlessly blend, reshaping the structure in real-time. In other words, this methodology empowers precise control, akin to sculpting with the aid of mathematical tools. It is a breakthrough approach that enables the creation and manipulation of complex shapes using computer parameters. A precise yet adaptable method of sculpting buildings, parametric design gives artists the freedom to strike a balance between aesthetic expression and practical requirements, opening up new vistas for design.