Parametricism: A Style or A Method?


DAKAM'S ArchTheo '17 / XI. Theory and History of Architecture Conference, İstanbul, Turkey, 3 - 04 November 2017, pp.66-74

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • City: İstanbul
  • Country: Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.66-74



In today’s architectural design process, digital design tools, such as CAD and 3D design software, have become ordinary like pen and paper. Parametric design emerged as a result of digital design and it has been changing architecture within the context of design processes, design tools, construction techniques. This period of change can be likened to occurrence of Modernism. In those days, a very intense technological development and mechanization process affected to architecture and those changes reflected architecture as Modernism.
Today, on the other hand digital technology is affecting and changing architecture. It is foreseen that a new architectural style could occur as a result of this process. It can be said that Modern architecture doctrines fail to satisfy to explain the parametric design products. Architecture should generate new theoretical ideas specific to parametric design. Thus, Parametricism notion is a precious idea because it is directly related to parametric design and forms an updated th eoretical base. Apart from all these this Manifesto receives a number of negative criticism and it shows that the Manifesto has some weaknesses. Parametricism concept was firstly presented in “Parametricism Manifesto” written by Patrik Schumacher in 2008. It was asserted in this presentation that Parametricism would be the great new style after Modernism. Schumacher published three texts on this subject in 2008, 2009 and 2011. In these texts, he introduced some paths to pursue and some paths to avoid in the parametric design process. This study aims to discuss if Parametricism, which is asserted to be the great new style after Modernism, a style or a design method. Within the context of this aim, Patrik Schumacher’s texts on Parametricism will be analyzed. Parametricism theory will be questioned through the selected parametric design samples and the relation between theory and architectural products will be discussed.