One symptom of being at the ‘peak of inflated expectations’ on Gartner’s famed hype cycle is the often relaxed use of terminology used in discussion about highly publicized technology. In some cases, this ‘relaxation’ is due to unfamiliar vocabulary for new technology that will take time to synthesize around a clear set of definitions. In other cases, marketing narratives may introduce oversimplifications or even intentional conflations of terminology for the sake of getting the attention of a wider audience. This symptom is very present in today’s discussion about digital design modeling techniques employed by architects and engineers.
Terms such as “parametric”, or “computational”, or “generative” are now frequently used within the design and construction industry. Often we find these terms used interchangeably to describe modeling activities where popular design software is involved. Many of these terms have been well established within the building sciences for decades before becoming more popularized – and many times commoditized – within practice. We believe it is an important matter of technical and intellectual rigor to promote dialog that considers and debates the definitions of this now popular terminology.
To that end, David Stasiuk has recently prepared a new paper that engages the discourse surrounding different types of modeling approaches and focuses on the distinct characteristics of parametric, computational, and generative modeling approaches. We have published this work as part of our ongoing research and development efforts at Proving Ground. Give it a read!