Parametricism - Conceptual definition

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Parametricism demands the plasticity of all architectural elements. An ontological shift takes place, moving away from the rigid, non-sensitive Platonic solids to a new kind of basic building blocks: Splines, metaballs, particles, and scripts that are capable of reso-nance and interdependence. In the place of the ruler-drawn dead line, there are navigable, complex, and dynamic systems appropriate for modern societies. Parametric buildings are no longer stationary objects; instead, they perceive their environment. They are reactive, malleable, and can accumulate information. They are deformed by information and their deformation becomes information. They are open to external influences of their environment - social influences (streams of visitors, its kind of usage) or local conditions (sun exposure, neighboring buildings, traffic) - and lets them be associated in a wider context.33 In “Morpho-Ecologies,” Hensel and Menges summarize: “Parametric design enables the recognition of patterns of geometric behaviour and related performative capacities and tendencies of the system. In continued feedback with the external environment, these behavioural tendencies can then inform the ontogenetic development of one specific subsystem through the parametric differentiation of its sub-locations.“34


33 Cf.: Schumacher, P.: Parametricism. A new global style for architecture and urban design. In : Architectural Design Band 4, Nr. 79, July/August 2009. 34 Hensel, M., Menges, A.: Morpho-Ecologies: Towards a Discourse of Heterogeneous Space in Architecture. London 2006. Page 32.