Acoustic Performance as a Design Driver: Sound Simulation and Parametric Modeling using SmartGeometry

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    Acoustic performance is an inevitable part of architectural design. Our sonic experience is modified by the geometry and material choices of the designer. Acoustic performance must be understood both on the level of material performance and also at the level of the entire composition. With new parametric and scripting tools performance driven design is possible. Parametric design and scripting tools can be used to explore not only singular objectives, but gradient conditions. Acoustic performance is often thought of in terms of singular performance criteria. This research suggested acoustic design can be understood in terms of gradients and multiple performance parameters. Simulation and modeling techniques for computational acoustic prediction now allow architects to more fully engage with the phenomenon of sound and digital models can be studied to produce data, visualizations, animations, and auralizations of acoustic performance.

    SmartGeometry has promoted design methods and educational potentials of a performance-driven approach to architectural design through parametric modeling and scripting. The SmartGeometry workshops have provided links between engineering and architecture, analysis and design; they have provided parametric and scripting tools that can provide both a common platform, links between platforms, but importantly an intellectual platform where these ideas can mix. These workshops and conferences have inspired two projects that both used acoustic performance as a design driver. The Smithsonian Institution Courtyard Enclosure and the Manufacturing Parametric Acoustic Surfaces (MPAS) installation at SmartGeometry 2010 are presented as examples of projects that used sound simulation parametric modeling to create acoustically performance driven architecture.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalInternational Journal of Architectual Computing
    Issue number3
    Pages (from-to)337-358
    Number of pages22
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2010


    • acoustics
    • parametric design
    • simulation
    • performance driven
    • Digital design
    • digital fabrication

    Artistic research

    • No

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