What Good Design Looks Like

28 August 2020All


What Good Design Looks Like

3 min read

In a recent Bridging the Gap podcast episode, Todd Weyandt and Christopher Riddell of Applied Software discussed some of the facets of generative design and the emerging partnership between robots and people.

Many new discoveries are being made about generative design as more technology becomes necessitated for projects, and Dynamo generative design is one huge example of this. It appears that generative design is the future of architecture, but what exactly does that mean? What are the details, and what precisely does this software do?

As a past article by Rabi Sidawi and Carol Dunn mentions, there are different forms of Dynamo Generative Design; one of these is Refinery. Refinery “combines artificial intelligence (AI) with human creativity to create design solutions that otherwise would not be possible. Instead of starting the design process with the form of the building, [it] starts with defining the goals and constraints of the design problem.” Essentially, Refinery starts with first things first. Many of us have been witness to a software program that thinks too far ahead and tries to lead us into a disaster of a project. With Refinery, there are safeguards in place to ensure this doesn’t happen.

Specifically, Refinery is “a Dynamo Generative Design package that works with Dynamo version 2.02 and is mainly used with Revit 2019 and Revit 2020.” Around the time that it came out, Refinery caused some buzz around the question: would it replace the job of architects? The good news is that that’s not likely. Generative design “is objective, not biased,” which allows it to open new possibilities for the human component—the designer—on a project.

The designer or architect in question will “navigate the large set of design options and weigh the features and trade-offs,” whereas Dynamo generative design will use “a genetic algorithm – similar to breeding, natural selection and mutation – where only the best solution is considered by AI for the next generation.” Human beings do not become obsolete through the use of generative design, but rather collaborative through their work. Our knowledge is used and replicated across many different projects, specifically those which may not have access to a direct designer.

Christopher echoed this sentiment: “If we can get these algorithms that think like a human, we can start to replicate that same behavior. What I love about designers is that they sit down and talk through their thought process… but not everyone gets the benefit of having that type of relationship. Hopefully we can replicate that.” Christopher added that, of course, we can never replace people, but we can certainly make their expert knowledge more accessible.

If you’d like a demo of Dynamo, contact Applied Software today and discover how you can add a new level of creativity to your design solutions. For more information about downloading and installing Refinery, please refer to the video links below.

Is GENERATIVE DESIGN the future of architecture?

Generative Design with DYNAMO – Refinery tutorial

Generative Design in Architecture | In the Innovation Zone at AU

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