Shapes of Parametric Architecture

Parametricism as an epochal phenomenon in the history of architecture has defined many rules for the current designers and for the future practitioners to follow. One of the strongest aspect that is prominent from this style is ‘geometry’. Arguably, there is nothing new about geometry and aesthetics forming the most prominent aspect of any style or era. The language of any style in the long history of architecture is visually defined by the geometry or the shape, beyond the principles that define the core of the style. In the distinguishable style of parametric architecture (or parametricism, as defined as a distinct style, by Patrik Schumacher), geometry has played and is continuing to play an integral role. And with this fairly young style, there are many strings of myths and false notions associated. There is an abuse of geometries that mimic natural forms and patterns, and are articulated asarchitectural form in an irrational manner. Geometries defined by hexa-grids, voronoi patterns, unnecessary double curved forms, and irrationally triangulated shapes are some of the many symbolic geometries that continue to emerge in architectural designs today.

A lot can be blamed on (or credited to) the currently available tools and the open-source nature of many parametric tools within the wide openness of internet and data sharing. Tools have, however, continued to define the principles of architecture of an era since the beginning. In the current scenario, the geometric operations in architectural tools have moved far beyond a T-square or parallel bar, to algorithmic and generative modeling, moving ahead of simple CAD operations such as scaling or rotation. Such operations have continued to define architecture to a large extent, changing the domain of architectural geometry from orthogonal Cartesian grids to non-Euclidean forms, and moving into the domain of algorithmic space now, where new rules are defined by algorithms.

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