Layout Design of Two-dimensional Cutting Components in Architecture Based on the Parametric Design Approach


Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

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Awarding Institution
Award date19 Jul 2022


As an essential building component, the two-dimensional cutting components, such as glass, floor tiles, and wood veneer, are widely used in the Architectural, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry. Such building components not only variety, and the annual consumption is considerable. At present, under the background of realizing the high-quality development of the AEC industry, the layout design of two-dimensional cutting components led by architects has become the focus of attention. The high-quality development requires the design-aided approach of two-dimensional cutting components to be precise, automatic, and intelligent. Its purpose is to reduce materials and labor waste, provide design support for related engineering links, and develop new AEC industry technology. However, to date, there is still a lack of a proper design-aided approach to aid architects in achieving precise two-dimensional cutting components’ layout design, resulting in the layout design of such components is still based on estimation rather than accurate calculation, thus, its automatic and intelligent design is further difficult to achieve. In response to the high-quality development requirements of the AEC industry, this study explores an approach that can assist architects in realizing the precision, automation, and intelligence in the layout design of two-dimensional cutting components in architectural design.

Following the research process of putting forward, analyzing, solving problems, and verifying the proposed approach, this study develops and deepens the research on the layout design of two-dimensional cutting components from four aspects: (1) analyzing needs, (2) exploring theories, (3) establishing methods, and (4) empirical study. Firstly, the literature is systematically reviewed to clarify the status quo of design-aided approaches for the two-dimensional cutting components, and meanwhile, the design-aided requirements of the components in architectural design are analyzed. Following this, the basic elements and flow frame for realizing the precision, automation, and intelligence of two-dimensional cutting components layout design in the architectural design are put forward. Afterward, the research path of the design algorithm, goal-oriented optimization (GOO), and multi-objective optimization (MOO) is proposed, and the research tool's requirements are simultaneously clarified. Based on the research path and tool’s requirements, this study excavates the parametric design (PD) approach and PD-based tool systems, then select the proper PD tool to explore the logic of integration with the research path. By combining the parameterized design module and evolutionary algorithm (EA), following the design requirements, the workflow of assisting architects in obtaining the layout design of two-dimensional cutting components is established. Finally, based on the proposed workflow, a prototype system is established in a parametric platform (i.e., Grasshopper), and an empirical calculation, taking the floor tile planning design of an irregular flat apartment as the case, is carried out to verify the feasibility and reliability of the proposed design-aided approach.

In this study, the design algorithm, GOO, and MOO method are critical to realizing the proposed design-aided approach's precision, automation, and intelligence. The design algorithm formalizes the cutting and planning rules of trades know-how of two-dimensional cutting components. The innovation is that the design algorithm pays attention to the cutting components’ reuse, enabling the proposed design-aided approach to output accurate and comprehensive component layout design results, including graphics and numerical aspects. In addition, the design algorithm is also the basis of GOO and MOO. GOO enables the proposed design-aided approach to realize automatic and intelligent layout design in two-dimensional cutting components. By establishing workflow and coupling the proposed design algorithm and EA, the results obtained can be optimized automatically and intelligently according to the architects’ intention in architectural design. The proposed MOO establishes workflow in parametric design tools to develop optimized objectives from single to multiple to meet the needs of simultaneous MOO. It is worth mentioning that the proposed MOO workflow combines a method that can efficiently select the optimal trade-off solution to assist architects in making design decisions. By combining this method, the proposed MOO workflow solves the problem that lacks decision-making aid approaches when using MOO methods in architectural design, providing an insight to improve the applicability of MOO methods in the architectural design field.

The proposed design-aided approach of two-dimensional cutting components meets the demand for high-quality development in the AEC industry. It provides architects with a precise, automatic, and intelligent design-aided approach to two-dimensional cutting components; meanwhile, it also provides architects with a new bottom-up design thinking. Changing perspective, taking the layout design and optimization of building components as the core of architectural design, and adjusting architectural design from local to global, may help architects promote the efficiency of building materials and human resources in the architectural design stage. In addition, the proposed design-aided approach of two-dimensional components may provide adequate design support for developing new technologies, such as IoT, construction robots, and prefabricated buildings. It can provide more detailed and comprehensive graphic and numerical results of the layout design of two-dimensional cutting components; furthermore, it enables architects to make corresponding design adjustments according to the actual needs of the project. Moreover, the proposed approach realizes the management of the components through the whole engineering process and improves architects’ quality control degree. The realization of this study provides an insightful vision for the layout design of two-dimensional cutting components in architectural design, and also provides a reference for exploring the methods of realizing precision, automation, and intelligence of other types of architectural components in architectural design.

    Research areas

  • Architectural design, Parametric design, Two-dimensional cutting components, Goal-oriented optimization, Multi-objective optimization