Algorithmic Design Approach (ADA) and Iranian Daylighting Techniques: How a Contemporary Transparent Façade Could Be Evolved From a Previous Solution

Document Type : Original Article


1 Assistant Professor at IUST, Department of Architecture and Urban design.

2 PhD. Student at IUST, Department of Architecture and Urban design.


This paper proposes a synthetic method in façade design; composition of Algorithmic Design Approach (ADA) and Iranian vernacular day lighting techniques to integrate art and technology in architecture evolutionary. Geometric patterns which make up the formal and ornamental structure of the vernacular Iranian day lighting devices could be merged with spirit of the age towards the integrated performance oriented façade design and engineering. ADA implies an algorithmic observing system to control the formal and spatial structures in architecture. This façade design method -composition of vernacular techniques and Algorithmic knowledge- not only provides acceptable responses to the environmental concerns but also comprises aesthetic features, well-proportioned with the contemporary streams and desires. In the other world, using contemporary modes of computation and geometric modelling with special regards to parametric design allows us to depart from the conventional typologies of Iranian-Islamic art and architecture in order to extend the existing boundaries and lead to the new possibilities to accommodate building’s faces with the new era demands for nonlinear, heterogeneous, complex skins while -in this case- they saved their climatic performance potentials. Because of combining attributes of both appearance and performance in a way unlike any other building parts, the architecture facade has been a focal point for building scientists and designers. From the article’s perspective to achieve the best result in façade design, integration between art and technology is needed. This integration could be established through innovation or via metamorphosis. In the present article, innovation based design is called revolutionary design approach while the metamorphosis based one is called evolutionary design approach. True architecture innovations must necessarily respect past achievements but architecture is connected to the place and time, it is connected to actions in time, qualifying temporal conditions and affecting our own passage of time. So the proper type of architecture changes through the time and place while it respects the old architectural lessons. Using vernacular design concepts and ideas in architecture, we may take advantages of examined solutions for the future architecture. That’s what we call metamorphosis in this
paper. As it was described; Metamorphosis is the basic concept of evolutionary design approach in architecture. In the case of the article the main concept of contemporary façade design could be extracted from a previous solution.
whereas architecture needs to be connected to the culture, its materiality changes via capturing forces from the current social demands and urban setting while it should be responsive to the environmental regulation and energy saving problems. Concerns about the global energy uses have increased the architects’ motivation to replace day lighting  techniques and solar heat instead of electric lighting and regular heating and cooling systems. Iran as a hot-arid region has more than 280 sunny days. In one hand this amount of solar radiation provide a unique condition to use this environmental potential in different sustainable strategies for energy saving, on the other hand this issue makes it inevitable to control the undesirable effects of sun exposure and radiation through different shading devices. Using different design ideas in architecture, we may take advantage of natural lighting for the interior. Studies revealed different window concepts used in Iranian traditional architecture that will make clear the principles of the former, still rich in nature, which can give valuable lessons to modern architecture. The paper proposes an evolutionary approach in contemporary transparent façade design by means of evolving forms from previous Iranian vernacular architectural solutions the same as Orosis and its components. To this end, converting a vernacular- traditional day lighting device with ornamental definitions into a high-performance contemporary one could be achieved by parametric analysing coupled with geometrical practices as the main research method. Based on the above mentioned principles, it is expected that the evolutionary design approach which is rooted more deeply in the old experienced concepts, makes strong connection with the spirit of the age and social demands the same as identity issues while its climatic performance previously proved from the empirical field examinations. In conclusion, a specific case study using “Orosi” is presented as an example which is constructed from a lattice work (Moshabaks) and stained glass used in that lattice patterns. This different device and its parameters are also discussed regarding to the algorithmic design approach. The article used ADA on mentioned vernacular manner to combine attributes of both appearance and climatic performance to contemporize it.


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