Information Urbanism: Parametric urbanism in junction with GIS data processing & fabrication

  • Ming Tang University of Cincinnati
  • Jonathon Anderson University Of North Carolina Greensboro
Keywords: Parametric Urbanism, Geographic Information Model, Digital Fabrication


Parametric Urbanism, pioneered by Zaha Hadid & Patrik Schumacher Architects with support coming from advanced computational technology, has been the interest of architects and urban designers in recent years. This new design thinking has been used in projects ranging from large scale urban development to building façade/surface design. However, the integration of demographics, cultural, and human factors into this computer controlled equation has so far been neglected. The gap between a simplified condition in the parametric design process and the actual complex urban context in the real world raises the questions of the parametric urbanism manifesto. . The authors present a study investigating the information processing of Parametric Urbanism and describe a new procedure coined -Information Urbanism. Unlike parametric urbanism, Information Urbanism considers cultural cues and demographics as input parameters. Information urbanism is defined as a hybrid method which seeks logical urban forms and analyzes its’ importance through urban design education. The authors extended this method by exploring, collecting, analyzing, and visualizing urban information and physically representing the information through digital fabrication technology. The research presented within this paper is intended to realize the potential of quantifying demographic, social, and cultural data into a parametric equation. In these experiments, the integration of non-geometrical parameters within the form seeking and fabrication process resulted in a series of conceptual make-ups of city. The models were developed by manipulating zoning, transportation network, city block and various building types. Ultimately, Information Urbanism looks to build upon the strengths pre-defined in the Parametric Urbanism method and capture the benefits of Geographic Information System (GIS) by seamlessly integrating vital geospatial components in the equation and altering the way people explore the possible design solutions in order to generate the ideal urban forms.
How to Cite
Tang, M., & Anderson, J. (2014). Information Urbanism: Parametric urbanism in junction with GIS data processing & fabrication. ARCC Conference Repository.

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