This studio presents a study investigating the performance driven design using parametric computation.  The studio emphasizes environmental, structural, cultural cues as input parameters, and seek logical architecture and urban forms through computer simulation and physical prototyping. Students are required to implement this method by exploring, collecting, analyzing, and visualizing various information and physically representing the information through computational technologies.

Research Methods: Performance Based Design

Theory: Supported by the modeling and simulations, Performance Based Design (PBD) uses evidence and data as the essential design driver, rather than architect’s intuition. It is a process to create a system of parameters which can be verified, validated and evaluated with facts. Oxman described it as design informed by internal evaluation.  (Oxman, 2009) The studio investigation is intended to realize the potential of simulation data into a parametric equation. In the experiments, the integration of structural and environmental parameters within the form seeking and performance evaluation process resulted in a series of conceptual make-ups of building. Here, the performance simulation is no longer just a phase to evaluate the form, but rather the engine of form generation.

Oxman, R., 2009. “Performance-based Design: Current Practices and Research Issues”, International Journal of Architectural Computing, Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 1-17.

Tools: The studio will promote parametric modeling as the process to seek the innovative form generated out of a network of parameters. The goal is to simulate the possible form fabric structure. The complex structure relies on how individual building’s parameters respond to the contextual features such as climate, solar, and view shed. Student will explore how to use non-linear procedural modeling such as Maya Ncloth, Kangaroo,  Ecotect,  Grasshopper, and Fluid Simulation to generate parametrically negotiable solutions across various design professions.

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Research Outcome

This studio will investigate how to use the both simulation and physical prototyping to optimize building forms with respect to ecological performance criteria. 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).

Different from traditional design process, the performance driven process provides us a range of abstracted building form, rather than a particular design solution. In another word, the outcome of computational fabric is the consistently morphing forms driven by the changing relationship of information, which can be interpolated into physical landscape features. As Kokkugia team has claimed ‘Our urban design methodology does not seek to find a single optimum solution but rather a dynamically stable state that feeds off the instabilities of the relations that comprise it.” (Leach 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 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 buildable 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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