Today architectural design processes are more and more influenced
by parametric methods. As these allow for a multiplicity of alternatives, the design process can be enriched by computational
optimization. Extensive research has shown the efficiency of optimization in engineering and design disciplines. Though, optimization
is hereby rather a technical than a design task; it is limited to different autonomous specialist areas and does not enable
a comprehensive approach.
Advanced optimization methods facilitate the generation of complex systems, but these procedures
are directed and do not provide turnoffs, multiple solutions or altering circumstances. These however are things that are
essential for architectural design processes, which mostly do not have clearly defined starting and end points. This practice
subdivides the workflow into two independent and recurring tasks: the generation of a parametric model followed by optimization
of its driving parameters. The result is then assessed with respect to its actual qualities. The design either is kept, or
modifications on the parametric model, its auxiliary conditions and parameters are made and the optimization process starts
again from scratch.
Our aim is the development of a flexible generation and optimization framework for practical use
in the sense of a continuously accompanying design explorer, in which parameterization is adaptable and objective functions
are changeable at any time during the design process. The user is supported in his/her understanding of correlations by identifying
a multiplicity of optimal solutions utilizing state-of-the-art multi-objective search algorithms within the core of the framework.
Considering the tool as an interactive design aid, an intuitive interface allowing for extensive manual guidance and verification
of the search process is featured. Zooming, filtering and weighting within the genotypic, phenotypic and objective space comply
with an extensive support of man-machine-dialogue and incorporation of non- or not-yet quantifiable measures. A reusable search
history aids examination of design alternatives and the redefinition of constraints maintaining the continuity of the search
process and traceability of results in the sense of a rational design verification. Within this work it is not planned to
focus on specific optimization targets, but to build an open framework to allow for all kinds of objective functions and in
particular the mediation between conflicting targets.
An open and intuitive process should be established, applicable
in real-world modes of operation that satisfies increasingly complex correlations of modern architecture's requirements as
a powerful extension of classical design methods.