The "X" Variable

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There's a belief that good design, especially in 3D, can only be achieved after months (or years) of constant practice. That anyone wanting to showcase their talent needs to go through a specific training and have (buy) the latest equipment and software. I believe that in 2017 this is not the case anymore, at least partially.

I created this Grasshopper definition embedded below to demonstrate that Parametric Design is the shortest bridge between design and users that have never experienced any type of design software

Without a doubt, this opens new possibilities for both brands and end users to communicate and interact with each other in ways that were not possible before. In a sense, the original designer is no longer dictating on his own how the model should look like, and that's completely fine.


For this experiment, a small group of 10 people interacted with this definition via ShapeDiver and a normal computer. This group didn't have any type of CAD or CAM software knowledge and the only tools they had were the definition itself and a normal web browser.

The main idea was to manipulate the coordinates of 5 points of this definition to create a polyline, which will be the contour for a lamp built by ribs. The user was able to control the shape of the curve, the fillet of the vertex, the rotation of the ribs, the height, the radius, the thickness of the ribs and even the material.

There was only one instruction given to the users: the "Y" values of the 5 points had to decrease in order to get a correct geometry.

Even thought the ages of this group ranged from 4 to 53 years old, everyone figured out how the different sliders affected the final design without a problem. As a result, each of them created a unique lamp that fulfilled their particular tastes and personalities.

What I can conclude after this experiment is that the right tool can enable humans to express themselves in ways they never thought they could before. In these types of "free-for-all" designs, the "X Variable" is every single person that interacts with the definition, allowing endless interpretations influenced by the human factor. Isn't this exciting?

Here are the rest of the images created during this experiment:

Do you think Parametric Design can help to better connect brands with end users/clients? Which industries do you believe will be the first ones the benefit from this? Leave your comments down below and let's start a conversation!

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Ezequiel Lopez Agreed! Prosthetic solutions can immensely benefit humanity.
deanhewson Healthcare. Personalised solutions there can have a huge impact I think.