Parametric, computational design, BIM modeling, generative, digital, computer-aided, novel applications of scripting ... these are just some of the words we use to talk about new modes of making in architecture.
These terms been the subject of countless exhibitions (like Out of Hand at New York City's Museum of Art and Design), spurned a million jokes about Zaha Hadid's "organic" forms, and inspired countless debates on Architizer about the ethics of making. Yet their value is much more than Tumblr fodder, Pinterest catnip, or "You won't believe this was 3-D Printed!" headlines.
The Internet loved these parametric high heels by Alessio Spinelli
Indeed, their popularity obfuscates the real technology behind each object and the larger technological breakthroughs into which digital fabrication fits. It is often easier to stigmatize these new modes as fads rather than integrate them into our daily practices.
Computational design is not just a digital replication of analog tools—instead, it introduces an entirely new framework for how we work. BIM software, at its most advanced, could one day condense plans, renderings, construction documents, structural analysis, and an open sourced specification library into one editable online 3-D model. Meanwhile, both parametrics and digital fabrication are stretching what architects can pragmatically build. In 2008, Patrik Schumacher, partner at Zaha Hadid Architects, famously stated, “Parametricism is the great new style after modernism. Buildings are developed using problem-solving as the driving force rather than by grouping together architectural objects.”
Compressed Complexity by Zaha Hadid Architects
Computational design has the capability to democratize the entire process of architecture and, perhaps, inch us closer and closer to the one-person architecture firm. However, first, we need to democratize the technology. Even within the architectural community, these modes of making are often esoteric and stubbornly specialized. This is where Skillshare comes in.
With the help of our friends from CASE and Skillshare, Architizer is introducing a class on Grasshopper. Grasshopper is commonly used within the architectural community because it's fairly simple to learn, plugs into Rhino 3-D, and doesn't require prior knowledge of programming or scripting. Essentially, it is a nimble tool that can be used to experiment and test the limits of experimental architecture. Also, it's completely addictive.
Sign up here with the code BRANDNEW and receive 25% off the class!