Visualizing the Expressive Use of Technology in the Design of Parametrically Generated Ecoenvelopes.

Authors: Aaron Paul Brakke, Rodrigo Velasco.

The development of the digital discourse in architecture has been a principle concern at the beginning of the 21st century. Attempts at defining the juncture of analogue and digital in architecture have been present for decades, during which, the digital paradigm has shifted. Software and computing still do expedite processes, however the robustness of tools now facilitates an iterative systems approach to design in which the simulation of performance and visualization provide important information in the design process.
One such area of the discourse is known as parametric modeling. Intending to solidify and increase coherence for this new movement, Patrik Schumacher states, “Contemporary avant-garde architecture is addressing the demand for an increased level of articulated complexity by means of retooling its methods on the basis of parametric design systems.” He goes on to say that a style is evolving which he calls Parametricism. Despite these efforts in the aesthetic articulation of a new style, critics of this movement can easily argue that the wastefulness in virtuous form making has no place amidst the environmental crisis now being actively confronted. John Chris Jones states, “The new terminologies and procedures of designing and planning lose both their realism and their validity as soon as they cease to reflect the personal issues which matter most to the people who take decisions or are affected by them.&rdquo.
Yet, approaching parametric design through an environmentally sensitive framework could be meaningful as it considers multiple design needs. In our research we have posed the question: How might digital aptitude aid architects participate in an iterative design process in which the simulation and visualization of building performance becomes an integral tool to find solutions that mitigate negative environmental impact and strive to achieve maximum performance? This paper will illustrate how the authors are engaging in research inside and outside of the classroom in which an integrated post-digital parametric design methodology is employed in the design of brise soleil systems.

Our results suggest that the architectural discourse has the potential to become of greater value if able expand upon the current focus of design theory and aesthetics to an agenda which includes other narratives that incorporate criteria of use and environmental performance. “Constructing narratives of utility provides an escape from tautological parametric solipsism without forsaking formalism by providing an instrumentality of form, which could include pragmatic performance, the visceral, as well as the intellectual, discursive, or meaningful.