Collaborating with Generative Design to Redefine CAD

Pardis Mirmalek shares her thinking on the power of generative design and algorithmic problem solving for architecture

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These videos were recorded on-site at Autodesk University.


The first CAD programs were really just computer-aided drafting—they helped people to document their own design ideas. With generative design, we can use the term 'computer-aided design' in its true sense for the first time, according to architect and programmer Pardis Mirmalek. She sat down with us at AU Las Vegas 2018 to share her thoughts on generative design, now included as a feature of Revit and Fusion 360, and what it means for the AEC industry. For Mirmalek, generative design creates a new kind of the partnership between humans and machines that allows each to exercise their strengths. Computers can generate design options faster, and then present all possible options. Humans can set the vision and requirements and then select the design that works best from the greatest range of options. Working collaboratively, human and computer can achieve levels of quality, performance, and efficiency that were previously impossible.

About the speaker

Pardis Mirmalek is an architect, computer programmer, and founder of Desanoia, a design and analytics agency for physical space. She has previously held positions at WeWork and Woods Bagot as a design technology leader. Her work leverages computational design, generative design, design rationalization, and workflow optimization to solve challenges in architecture. She holds a master’s degree in Architecture from Princeton University and a Certificate of Artificial Intelligence from MIT.

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Ready to learn more about the possibilities for generative design? Check out this related content:

Generative Design: What Is It and How Will It Transform Our Industry?

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