Parametric Urbanism, pioneered by Zaha Hadid & Patrik Schumacher Architects with support coming from advanced computational technology, has been the interest of architects and urban designers in recent years. This new design thinking has been used in projects ranging from large scale urban development to building façade/surface design.

The studio presents a study investigating the data processing of Parametric Urbanism. The studio emphasis simulated human behavior cues and site information as input parameters. The research is defined as a hybrid method which seeks logical architecture/urban forms and analyzes its’ performance. The studio project extends urban mobility study by exploring, collecting, analyzing, and visualizing urban information and physically representing the information through various computational technologies.

Tang & Yang Architects. Silicon Valley of China. 2014.


1. Global Schindler Award – Competition

For the inaugural 2014/2015 Global Schindler Award competition, students are asked to present original design concepts that engage the specific spatial conditions of Shenzhen, China, in response to a defined task. The task of the competition is to create an urban design-based response to a specific brief about mobility related to Shenzhen and its local and regional relationships in the Pearl River Delta. The interface of mobility networks with the built environment of the city and region must be considered in a global context. Students are asked to address the social, economic and environmental challenges presented by globalization and urbanization. Analytical design proposals should use mobility as both a catalyst and conduit for urban change.

2. Learn the process of information urbanism.

The studio investigation is intended to realize the potential of quantifying demographic, social, and behavior data into a parametric equation. In the experiments, the integration of non-geometrical parameters within the form seeking and performance evaluation process resulted in a series of conceptual model to represent the movement and access. The projects will be developed by optimizing transportation network, analyzing path finding and human behavior. Ultimately, the studio looks to build upon the strengths pre-defined in the Parametric Urbanism method and capture the benefits of Space Syntax and Geographic Information System (GIS) by seamlessly integrating vital geo-spatial components in the equation and altering the way people explore the possible design solutions in order to generate the ideal urban and building forms.

Research Methods: Parametric Modeling and Performance Based Design

Theory:The studio will promote parametric modeling as the process to seek the urban form generated out of a network of parameters. The goal is to simulate the possible form of urban fabric, a “wet grid” described by Frei Otto, a Rhizome by Deleuze, a diagram city, which grows from a complex social pattern, rather than following an imposing neutral gridiron pattern. The complex urban fabric relies on how individual building’s parameters, such as massing, spatial layout, circulation, respond to the urban features such as contour, transportation network, and environmental factors.

Tools: Student will explore how to use non-linear procedural modeling such as Revit, Ecotect, Grasshopper in Rhino, and Autodesk Maya to generate parametrically negotiable solutions across various design professions.

Tang & Yang Architects’ proposal for Milan 2030. exhibited in Milan 17-30 June 2010. With international design firms including MAD ( China), Guglielmo Mozzoni Architetto, Degli Esposti Architetti, AZ studio di, Rojkind Arcquitectos, BplusU, Ian + , Congoritme, NuMi Studio, Michele Moreno Architetto, Studio Shift, Void_7, Fraschini-Melgrati-Tonoli, Mystic Brain Region were invited to join this great design team organized by AUFO and PGT 2010.

Research Outcome

This studio will investigate how to use the geospatial database to provide a rich resource and optimize urban forms with respect to ecological performance criteria. The demographic, traffic, economic data from GIS provides the trace of activity and event parameters of the urban life process. As Schumacher described in the parametric city, “parametricist continuation is always possible in myriad, unpredictable, and qualitatively diverse ways, but it is never random” (Schumacher, 2010).

Using a real urban site in Cincinnati, student will learn the architecture / urban design logic and generative processes, as well as the potential of parametric thinking as a resourceful tool for achieving diversity and complexity in urban form generation. With a minimum input and knowledge of details of all the individual professions, the parametric model becomes one that allows an individual to seek novel and build-able designs. It is the seamless transition between the human brain and the computer processes that allows the design field to reach new innovations. By utilizing parametric thinking and none-linear design pipeline, an individual is realizing the marriage of the dynamic digital and static physical world through an interdisciplinary collaboration that emerges in the design field.


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