The Art of Algorithm

Have you ever wondered how architects, engineers, and contractors create such fascinating shaped structures? Think of the Music City Center by TVS Design and local firm Tuck-Hinton. Most complex structures, like the Music City Center, are created through algorithms using “Algorithmic Modeling.”

Generative Algorithmic Modeling is a process of creating computer algorithms tied to geometry in software like “Grasshopper” and “Dynamo.” Said software uses tools and graphic interfaces to help simplify the process for designers. Creating direct links between geometry and math allows for quick iterations of complex shapes by moving, increasing, or decreasing variables within the model.


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To understand how this works, think of the model to the left as a product of an equation. From how large the curves are to the size of the hexagons within the skin. All of this geometry is tied to an equation. All of this geometry can change instantly by changing the numbers within the algorithm. Imagine changing the radius of the hexagons, or the length of the overall shape. How does that impact the shape, or the cost? Changing these variables allows us to explore endless solutions quickly and easily. Many architects today are creating complex algorithms and using them to create thousands of iterations to determine which shapes work best. We can determine which shapes are more energy-efficient, which shapes offer greater structural stability, and more.

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The above image is a building design by Zaha Hadid Architects. Their firm is world-famous for creating such incredible shapes.

Taking the next step into reality requires these algorithms to be used in conjunction with Building Information Models (BIM) to produce the information necessary to construct such complex structures. BIM helps us gather information like size, shape, area, and quantity of components. The BIM models are then shared with the engineering team, the fabricators, and the contractors to execute the construction. To learn more about BIM check out our blog at


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