Parametric or computational design software, the use of variables and algorithms to generate a hierarchy of mathematical and geometric relations that allow users to generate a certain design, has been in use for several years in the field of architecture. At an academic level, many architecture faculties worldwide have computational design labs and conduct research on design optimization and automation of repeating drafting tasks. In practice, well-known architects like Zaha Hadid and Frank Gehry have created complex buildings using computational design tools like Grasshopper or Autodesk's Dynamo. Although these types of design software have been available for over a decade, generative design is a newer approach that uses constrained nonlinear programming that can solve more complex design optimization problems. In the past few years, both well-established software firms like Autodesk and young startups like Xenia have showcased the applicability of generative design in simple spatial planning projects.
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