Designs iterate over time. Architecture designed and built in 1921 won't look the same as a building from 1971 or from 2021. Trends change, materials evolve, and issues like sustainability gain importance, among other factors. But what if this evolution wasn't just about the types of buildings architects design, but was, in fact, key to how they design? That's the promise of evolutionary algorithms as a design tool. While designers have long since used tools like Computer Aided Design (CAD) to help conceptualize projects, proponents of generative design want to go several steps further. They want to use algorithms that mimic evolutionary processes inside a computer to help design buildings from the ground up. And, at least when it comes to houses, the results are pretty darn interesting. Generative design Celestino Soddu has been working with evolutionary algorithms for longer than most people working today have been using computers. A contemporary Italian architect and designer now in his mid-70s, Soddu became interested in the technology's potential impact on design back in the days of the Apple II. What interested him was the potential for endlessly riffing on a theme. Or as Soddu, who is also professor of generative design at… Read full this story
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