What is it about?

Through a combination of arguments from the literature and examples from the real practice in a case study, the research identifies the different levels in which parametric design supports sustainability, and how the reusability of parametric definitions enables designers to recycle the design process, where a parametric definition acts as a building seed that can be ‘planted’ in different projects to automatically generate different forms. Furthermore, the potential of developing a ‘seed library’ on a global scale is discussed as opposed to some apparent issues such as validity of seeds, motivation for sharing, and copyright.

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Why is it important?

This research focuses on the overlooked potential of parametric design in supporting sustainability leading to a more holistic understanding of sustainability by shifting the focus from sustainable buildings to sustainable processes. The research demonstrates that parametric design is the only design methodology that can exemplify the ‘building seed’ approach, and based on this, the research suggests the development of ‘seed library’ that can enable architects and designers from all over the world to empower, automate, and enhance the environmental values of their process. This will help practitioners and researchers to rethink sustainability, and explore new horizons in collaborative work by importing innovative methods from other industries.


The use of parametric design is not suggested in this research as a replacement for the traditional methods we have in hand, but as a way to augment those traditional methods with smart methods to enhance efficiency in the design process. Therefore, this research presents parametric design as a flexible design approach that can fit itself within a traditional or CAD-driven design process in order to automate some of the activities and repetitive tasks and hence to accelerate the pace of the design process without disturbing the whole process.

Adonis Haidar

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Smart processes for smart buildings: ‘sustainable processes’, ‘recyclable processes’ and ‘building seeds’ in parametric design, Architectural Engineering and Design Management, February 2019, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.1080/17452007.2018.1564645.
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