Evolutionary Formfinding: Conceptual Integration of Patterns and Physical Aspects

By Julia Stratil.

Published by The Design Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper explores the adaptability of an evolutionary algorithm for structure modifications. It demonstrates methods how to combine evolution and physical simulation with Finite Element Analysis (FEA). This combination can be used as a parametric design tool. Novel methods enable future designers to create emergent structures combining physical and geometrical design aspects. The design of geometry and structures whether for buildings, constructions or components is mostly based on the discrete process of Computer Aided Design (CAD). Any modifications on these data are challenging and even experts do not entirely succeed in estimating design changes and their physical influence on structures. When we comprehend future design as an interdisciplinary challenge it becomes important that we learn to benefit from evolutionary optimization as an integrative (bottom-up) design strategy. Parametrical design with an FEA application offers additional design parameters beyond the geometrical data on that CAD is based. The FEA gives the opportunity for physical parameters like materiality, deformations or even temperatures to enter a formfinding process as evolutionary design parameters. Professional FEA applications are occasionally equipped with an integrated tool for structural optimization i.e. the modification of geometry. Actually these optimization strategies remain a one-way street leading towards the best mechanical solution. My aim is to demonstrate in a case study how evolutionary optimization could complement geometrical composition and to discuss how this novel strategy would help future design to create emergent structures and shapes.

Keywords: Science, Technology, Emergence, Evolution, Pattern, Structural Design, Design Process, Parametric Design, Generative Design, Nature

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 3, Issue 6, pp.99-114. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.690MB).

Julia Stratil

Assistant Professor, Architektur Stadtplanung Landschaftsplanung , Fachgebiet Tragkonstruktion , (Department of Structural Design), Universität Kassel, Kassel, Germany

Julia Stratil studied civil engineering at Universität Stuttgart and collaborative design projects have always been part of her studies. While being educated she improved her skills as a Student Assistant with Prof. Werner Sobek in Stuttgart and in his office where, after her Diploma, she has worked for 4 years. Then she returned to University in order to concentrate on her PhD and student education. For 2 years she has taught at TU Berlin (University of Technical Sciences) as Assistant Professor in deputyship with Prof. Dr. Klaus Rückert. Now she teaches at Universität Kassel as Assistant Professor for Structural Design with Prof. Manfred Grohmann. She intends to find a common platform for architects and engineers. Her projects unite esthetics and the effectiveness of structural consultancy (consuplan.de). She likes nature, canoeing, skiing and sailing.


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