The future of the built world – parametric yet self-reliant!
Architect Bineeta Ghoshal writes about Ant Studio’s quest for sustainable design through parametricism
The era we reside in is witness to massive dynamic changes occurring periodically, within the minimum span of a few days. The world of design too is no stranger to ingenious ideas, concepts and technical advancements. While being environment friendly and self-sustainable is the new chant for any architectural concept of 2020, the paradigm shift that has gained considerable importance and has become an avant-garde approach to generic construction is the term parametric design.
Parametricism or parametric design can be referred to as a process that bridges the difference between design intent and design response, based on algorithmic thinking and encoded parameters. On the other hand, sustainable architecture dictates constructing our built environment with minimal effect on the natural beings and improved quality of life for the inhabitants. Based on the current scenario that global residents are facing, we at Ant Studio believe that both of these ideas have considerable advantages and would prove to be highly effective if they are merged into one unified scheme. This collation could aid in re-inventing the face of national and international design, owing to the plethoric options available and its self-reliant properties.
A galore of resultants
Both the above mentioned ideas have strong individual potentials. Thus, when such concepts are blended, the results that we achieve, shall not only be effective in its functioning but ‘the sky will be the limit’ as per creativity is concerned. At Ant Studio, we are in the process of utilising these principles to create ‘breathing facades’, which is an upgrade from our previously launched ‘Beehive’ – a natural air cooling solution. “Being self-sustainable or reliant is what the world needs right now! When we blend this perspective with a dynamic principle such as parametric design, we can end up creating ideas in any studio that may aid to solve global issues that pose major threats to our lives. Additionally, creativity can be expressed in the most organic, viable and practical ways,” states principal designer Monish Siripurapu.
The need of the hour
The pandemic that slowly took over the world, starting from November 17, 2019, in China, has been an eye opener for all individuals. It has proven, that apart from remodelling our daily hygiene, architects and designers around the globe need to design structures and spaces that are instrumental in not aggravating rather reducing the chance of spread of any harmful scenario in the near future. Siripurapu explains, “The greatest advantage that a structure designed with the principles of both sustainability and parametricism, possesses is the ability to be at par with the contemporary needs while answering to the requirements of the environment and helping us connect the blank space between the two.” The studio believes that, since the concept of parametric is purely based on calculations, designs can be interpreted in the exact manner that is requisite of the current situation. Thus, amalgamating it with sustainable principles is not only easy but rather will aid in bringing out structures and ideas that are ‘near-to-perfection’ and an answer to major global concerns. The Pangolin Pavilion, for instance, executed by us at the School of Planning and Architecture utilises parametric algorithms to narrate a social cause of protecting endangered species against illegal poaching. The design of the structure resembles that of a pangolin, thus inspiring conversations against any exploitation of the animal as a whole or its body parts. Such ideas, when executed by a larger number of designers and on greater scales, will aid to raise awareness among the population and might even prove instrumental in solving imperative concerns.
Adaptable and environment-friendly
For a long time there has been a rift between what constitutes as the progress of technology and as environment-friendly. The merger of the two can finally cause an intersection between the parallel ideas, without causing a detriment of the other. What is even more advanced, is that the outcomes of this can be created for ‘built-to-suit’ situations, owing to its flexibility of design and cater to the changing aspects of the natural environs. Eventually, we may succeed in creating a world where even luxury is ‘green’ yet trending! The Beehive, mentioned previously, has yet another version called the Coral which comes with the benefit of air purification along with cooling. Such a solution, even though today only installed in industrial or public buildings, can be incorporated in our abodes, open spaces like parks and high rise office towers. Supplementary to its adaptability, being made of natural materials like terracotta, it nullifies any negative impact on our environment.
Thus, it is safe to say that being ‘self-reliant yet parametric’ is the way forward and an answer to a number of global issues. More specifically, as Siripurapu puts it, “Ant Studio has always been bent upon creating ideas that help the community at large. The intention of posing an amalgamation of such diverse ideologies is also directed towards the said objective. Additionally, we also desire to implement a few of the thousand inspirations we see in nature, on a daily basis. This conglomeration is the best way to get the most out of both worlds.”
He further concludes with the statement, “Design is about creation; but in order to create we must first have formidable research. It is by such a process that we as architects and designers can have a beneficial impression on the society and contribute to making our ambiance a better space to live in!”