Architecture Program


Date of this Version

Spring 5-4-2012

Document Type



Architects have integrated computers into firms to streamline the documentation process and which has allowed for the integration of rapid prototyping and digitally driven technologies and tools. Although this has increased the efficiency of the traditional approach to architecture, an alternative methodology has the potential to adapt the computer’s role in architecture, making it a more integrated part of the design process. Within a traditional process, software allows a designer to build the documentation of his designs around the relationships between elements. Instead, new methodologies can be used to imbed the nature of an architectural design within a system of internal parametric representations. (Yessios) This allows for the creation of computationally designed systems where an interactive framework could be used to aid in the design process. This paper discusses parametric design method being used to generate housing based on site constraints, typological features, and pragmatic housing functions and details.

The current home-building market is led by developers who consider custom residential architecture to be a list of interior finishes from which a home buyer can choose. As a result, four or five floor plans populate a neighborhood. Architects currently account for a negligible portion of the residential architecture industry, being limited primarily to the design of rare, expensive custom homes. Although these homes often push the typology of a residential architecture, they are not an economical solution for home design. In the paper “Towards a Fully Associative Architecture,” Bernard Cache showcases the Philibert De L’Orme Pavilion and his fully associative design and manufacturing process which allowed him to produce everything from the initial form of the pavilion to the 100percent CNC custom kit of parts. Cache’s projects elaborate on the traditional design methodology and production methods. The parametric methods he employs are used to define greater complexity within his designs. Like most custom homes designed by architects, these methods are not widely affordable, and so the power of parametric methods cannot be captured for average people. By implementing new methodologies these underutilized parametric systems can be leveraged to generate custom home solutions to both fully engage computers within an architectural design process and raise the quality of current housing practices.

Included in

Architecture Commons