Generative Components

Martin, A., Yau, A., Berglund, J. and Hardy, S. 2006. Generative Components. Bentley Microstation.

TitleGenerative Components
CreatorsMartin, A., Yau, A., Berglund, J. and Hardy, S.

Generative Components is the name given to a new kind of computer-aided-design software being pioneered by Bentley Microstation, and which is currently being beta-tested by leading international architectural practices such as Foster and Partners or Kohn Pedersen Fox, as well as in educational institutions like the University of Westminster or the Architectural Association’s Design Research Laboratory. In basic terms, the aim of Generative Components is to switch architects away from previous types of digital design software – which have relied on points and vectors, and thus simulate analogue drawing techniques – and replace this with the algorithm-based, parametric modelling of more advanced software which can quickly generate a number of alternative design proposals once it is fed a set of defined input parameters. It constitutes a sea-change in the way that digital design can be conceived and executed in architecture.

Urban Future Organization (UFO) is heavily involved in the research and development of Generative Components, both through their practice’s design projects and their postgraduate teaching at the University of Westminster and elsewhere. UFO’s work in terms of developing Generative Components was given special prominence in their exhibition stand in the 2006 Beijing Biennale, and some of their work was included in the catalogue for that show. In addition, this work – in which both Martin and Yau are closely connected – has been displayed publicly in various other exhibitions in Europe, USA and Britain. The innovative digitally-generated design work of UFO was specially selected by Zaha Hadid as a guest critic for inclusion in 10 x 10_2: 100 Architects, 10 Critics, (Phaidon, 2005, pp. 380-3), this book representing a survey of the world’s most promising architectural practices.

Date26 Sep 2006
Publication dates
Completed26 Sep 2006
Output mediaComputer-aided-design software

Related outputs

PLP Architecture Accessing the Future
Martin, A., Hesselgren, L. and Medjdoub, B. 2016. PLP Architecture Accessing the Future. in: Hensel, M. and Nilsson, F. (ed.) The Changing Shape of Practice: Integrating Research and Design in Architecture Routledge. pp. 61-73

Lemon Factory Extension
Martin, A., Yau, A., Berglund, J. and Hardy, S. 2007. Lemon Factory Extension. Messina, Sicily, Italy.

Mulini Valley Water Power Project
Martin, A., Yau, A., Berglund, J. and Hardy, S. 2005. Mulini Valley Water Power Project. Amalfi, Italy.

Urban future organisation
Martin, A. 2005. Urban future organisation. in: 10 x 10-2: 100 architects, 10 critics London, UK Phaidon Press.

Sarajevo Concert Hall
Martin, A., Yau, A., Berglund, J. and Hardy, S. 2004. Sarajevo Concert Hall. Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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