Where to start with parametric design
If in doubt, draw it out.
What? I thought this was a blog about parametric design.
Well, it is, but it’s important not to forget this ‘golden rule of engineering’. It’s a great starting point for lots of things, including parametric design or thinking about any complex workflow.
Recently we’ve been trialling something called the ‘Five-Fifty-Five’ challenge. This means setting a challenge to part-solve a problem and doing the following:
Spending five minutes doing nothing but thinking and sketching how you’ll go about it
Spending 50 minutes having a go
Spending five minutes summarising where you go next so you can hand over to someone else to critique or complete
We’ve found this format works well for small to medium sized parametric tasks. The first five minutes are valuable because they create the opportunity to think and sketch out a workflow or approach.
The last five minutes can be used to tidy up and label things for others to easily understand. It’s good to see nowadays that more people are using process like this. It creates organised scripts with defined groups and naming from the outset.
Whatever the problem you’re trying to solve, I’d recommend taking some time to do the following:
This process is a bit like flow-based programming.
Figure 1 - Clockwise from left - 1) Morpheus City of Dreams parametric exoskeleton, 2) Kai Tak Sports Park parametric stadium model, 3) Buro Happold's Computational Collective wheel of connectivity, 4) Budapest Athletics Stadium cablenet roof touching the ground lightly