Metrics, Meaning, Mumbai

David Benjamin (Columbia University)

In the field of architecture, parametric modeling software can produce infinite variations of a building design. But how do we choose between them? Newly-accessible simulation software allows architects to model and measure the performance of buildings—in relation to environmental systems, safety, structure, and flows of air and water. But now what? How do we improve the numbers? When do we stop tuning them? How do we negotiate between competing objectives? What aspects of architecture should be optimized in the first place?

This is the territory of Proof Three, a design studio based on performance evaluation and the process of testing. In this studio, we will explore a new methodology: creating architecture through design of experiments rather than design of complete solutions.

In our experiments, we will use advanced computational methods (evolutionary computing) and new multi-objective optimization software (modeFRONTIER). We will test with computer simulations (finite element analysis and computational fluid dynamics) and we will test with physical prototypes (digital fabrication and wind tunnel experiments).