Generator X : Coding and Architecture

Generator X is a term that isn’t very popular in the present scenario. Coding, however, is. It is a phrase that has been used over and over again – and has been a part of the design process of many architects. Coding has become a priority for many architecture students and firms around the world. For people who have never been exposed to the world of coding, this seems like quite a daunting task. The software that has come up, to bridge this gap between a user who isn’t familiar with coding and the designing platform, has tried to make this easier.

Generator X is a platform which looks at generative strategies and software processes in the world of digital art, architecture and design. It explores the methods, processes and designing schemes of artists and designers who use coding as a method to express their creativity. Such designing schemes – where a design solution is given which is dynamic and modifies based on the change in needs – makes for an interesting design process, especially when it has to be translated into something that the computer understands. This programmable language must also be such that it allows for the computer to make the change, when you change certain parameters. The outcome, however, remains along the same language as what the designer had intended.

Courtesy of Bennet3D

Courtesy of Bennet3D

Such kinds of designing processes bring forth an approach to design that is fully computational. It turns static items into dynamic and constantly developing processes. It is being used by musicians and visual performers to create instruments, which are able to perform like a physical one, that play music during live performances.

Courtesy of SCI-Arc ESTm Post-Graduate Program, Coding Form Seminar

Courtesy of SCI-Arc ESTm Post-Graduate Program, Coding Form Seminar

It isn’t surprising that architecture has been influenced immensely with such software, or that firms and architects are creating their own software which have functions not covered my conventional coding. It is also not shocking when one hears that not many designers have jumped the bandwagon. It could be attributed to the fact that this started comparatively recently. Its implications in the world of architecture, although, is quite well known. Coding, being a way of rewiring the system to meet your needs, solves the minor obstacles one encounters in certain softwares – obstacles that change as per the design and the designer. It helps designers explore their imaginations and can also be used to understand what can and cannot be brought to life (sometimes). In other occasions, however, the designs produced by coding are completely different from what the designer thinks of.

This new method of designing spaces is not accepted by everyone around the world. There are as many people opposing this process as there are those who praise it. People believe that this idea of designing is not very accurate, as the human factor is not a part of the design process. They stick to the thought that, only when a person designs a space, does one think of the small factors that make it habitable. The idea of a computer designing a space leaves them flabbergasted and quite wary of the designs that the machine comes up with.

It is not surprising that coding, comes with its own set of problems – as does every new development in any field. But coding is a tool that can help us see the innumerable design schemes that one concept can evolve into. It helps us understand the possibilities of structure and architecture based on one parameter thought of. Coding is used by numerous people all around the world. Whether one likes it or not, as of now, it is here to stay.

 By Aishwarya Pai

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