For those tasked with overseeing the architectural destiny of corporate giants, the landscape is evolving through the formidable capabilities of generative design. Think of it as an exclusive toolkit empowering today’s architect with evolutionary algorithms, sparking an unparalleled revolution in the industry.
This innovative approach transcends conventional design methods, providing architects with a turbocharged design assistant for creative and technical breakthroughs. But what does this mean for major corporations eyeing monumental projects, like constructing expansive headquarters?
For one, it forges a smarter, more efficient path forward, particularly when it comes to elements like parking bays for example. At BPAS Architects, a renowned multidisciplinary architecture and interior design firm, they’ve harnessed this magic tool with the help of Autodesk’s computational design software, Dynamo. This allowed the team, as well as Archithera – A BPAS (Pty) Ltd. Division, to automate parking layouts for one of their projects, making their design process seamless and providing the team with the freedom to explore an abundance of other design options.
“This revolutionary approach has streamlined our design process and allowed for multiple changes, offering our clients flexibility to tackle projects with various constraints and budget limitations,” says Landseer Collen, Principal Director, and Founder of BPAS Architects.
The team is taking it even further by exploring the automation of apartment unit mixes, for instance, designing two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartments simultaneously). Imagine being able to customise the perfect mix of apartment units like choosing ingredients for a recipe, leading to higher-quality projects, designed faster, and having even happier clients.
Huge plusses all round
Generative design has turned traditional architectural processes on its head. Architects no longer need to spend weeks or months on finding a suitable design solution. Instead, they can focus on feasibility metrics, freeing up time and energy for the artistic side of the project. The result? More innovative and engaging designs that perfectly capture the essence of a client’s vision. In simpler terms, architects now have more time to focus on the creative aspects, resulting in designs that truly bring a client’s dream to life.
Generative design also offers extensive environmental and safety benefits in the architectural sector. Its application can indeed be used to optimise buildings for greater resilience against natural disasters like earthquakes.
However, Collen points out that South Africa is lagging behind the global curve. “Many local architects still adhere to manual design processes and exhibit hesitation towards new technological tools. Yet, the architectural ecosystem, from educational institutions to industry bodies should rather embrace this technology,” he says.
To foster long-term innovation, it’s essential for architectural students to gain exposure to these tools while pursuing their studies and not only be exposed to it when they enter the workplace.
Like any revolutionary technology, generative design also comes with its set of risks and Collen emphasises that the responsibility lies with the designer to meticulously evaluate and implement thorough quality control.
So, while the magic of generative design is undeniable, it also demands responsibility and attention to detail. Just like any powerful tool, generative design should be wielded with care and precision. Mistakes or oversights can lead to less-than-ideal results, so architects need to be vigilant and detail-oriented.
As the world embraces this transformative tool, it’s clear that the future of architecture is more dynamic, creative, and sustainable than ever before.