Parametric design… parametric design, parametric design. Parametric design, more than anything else in today’s world, begs the issue of how we design buildings today.

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The idea of using some higher intelligence in design is one that is certainly not new- but for that higher intelligence to be algorithmic and not cerebral- that is new. Now there certainly is the argument that a human brain designed and wrote the algorithm- but what about the building the algorithm designs? Who/what designed that?

Arch2o-Parametrically Gothic-0RN8 (29)

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The above should not be taken as a critique or judgement of the pros or cons of parametric design. Lots of architecture has become stale- the worst architecture that has ever existed is probably located somewhere in Kentucky or Southern Florida- perhaps some external input would do us all some good.

Arch2o-Parametrically Gothic-0RN8 (31)

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This thesis takes one of the most iconic architectures, the Gothic motif, and offers a parametric reinterpretation. Designed by the 0RN8 studio of the AA in 2010 [composed of Gerry Cruz (Mexico), Spyridon Kaprinis (Greece), Natalie Popik (Kazakhstan/USA), Maria Tsironi (Greece)], the project is compelling and worth further study. Below is a description provided by the architects.

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The aim of the project is to critically evaluate and rigorously reinterpret the basic rules, the structural and constructional logic of the Gothic tectonic system through the application of contemporary parametric tools and techniques, in order to create a series of autogenous interiorities.

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This unique and protogeometric medieval system is perceived as one of force transmission and pure construction. The research design process commences from basic parametric experimentations which are based on the apprehension of the rib as a proto_design element.

Arch2o-Parametrically Gothic-0RN8 (30)

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Further experimentation with the concepts of the parameterization of the Gothic vault bay, of field component organizations, of globally affected field and mesh geometries, as well as coloration induced structural patterns, inform the current system deployment tactics.

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The kaleidoscopic effect of the Gothic colored window panels became the inspiration for the application of color, which was used as the main generator of an autogenous and parametrically evolving parabolic vault bay system, leading to the creation of an urban club, featuring filigree interiorities of multi_layered complexity and richness, articulation and differentiation. These are generated in_situ in Vienna and constructed according to contemporary prototypical design and fabrication protocols.

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