Previously, individual, three-dimensional free-form façades entailed numerous special constructions. Introduced at BAU two years ago as a prototype, the Parametric System presented by Schüco this year is ready for series production. From planning and fabrication through to installation, this solution offers an end-to-end, digital data chain.
Kory Bieg - OTA+ The University of Texas, Austin/USA
Parametric design has transformed the way we conceptualise and construct buildings. Using computational design tools, we are able to translate ideas into a language that can be understood across disciplines and shared between project constituents.
Each discipline is integrated from the outset, allowing all parties to share information, best practices and knowledge at each stage of the design, resulting in more opportunities and increased productivity whilst limiting potential conflict and errors. By building a better network between designers, clients, builders and manufacturers, each can contribute to the design process in a way that would previously have been inconceivable. Parametric design has allowed architects to take advantage of the accuracy afforded by computational design tools to introduce more complexity into a project and participate in more of the building process. As opposed to standardisation – where the advantages stem from mass manufacturing of similar parts and repetitive assemblies – parametric design offers the possibility of mass customisation. Every building component can be designed and fabricated individually, to best meet the performative, aesthetic and tectonic requirements at a particular location in a building, alleviating redundancy and saving time and money through material and energy efficiencies. Furthermore, parametric design software has allowed designers to better manage large amounts of project data. Through computer simulation and real-time feedback, we can analyse a building’s performance better, increasing the sophistication and complexity of a design. The design advantages afforded to architects have also benefited the building industry. Builders feel more confident using new construction practices that at one time would have been too risky. Manufacturers have begun to work directly with designers on the fabrication and delivery of one-off products, opening up new markets and delivering products that better serve their consumers. Though parametric design is still in its infancy, there is already greater collaboration. Over the next decade and beyond, it will become more pervasive and have an even greater impact on building design and construction. Parametric design will be understood not only as a tool, but as a way of thinking.