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Last edited 28 Apr 2020
Generative design (or algorithmic design) is a design technique that takes a predetermined concept and quickly applies repetition to generate numerous possible solutions. Akin to traditional methods such as brainstorming or ‘napkin doodling’, generative design does not necessarily require technology, but in recent years, computers have often been used to speed the application of algorithms and refine the process.
The demand for innovative solutions to design challenges has accelerated its adoption in architecture and construction. Improvements in affordable technology have also contributed to the growth of this design approach that can explore numerous possibilities in a relatively short period of time.
Generative design typically uses computer aided design (CAD) software to build on a basic concept and output a stream of (possibly unconventional) alternatives. The designer then inputs predetermined requirements and parameters into the program to improve the set of possible results and generate different designs more in line with feasible approaches. These results are then evaluated in a way that allows the designer to discard concepts that don’t work and generate an optimal solution.
The process includes the following steps:
With CAD-based version of generative design, the application of algorithms is automated, but it is up to the designer to evaluate the computer generated results and decide on the most precise option.
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