A pedagogical approach to integrate parametric thinking in early design studios

Chaham Alalouch*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Parametric design has been perceived as a highly sophisticated set of procedures requiring complex specialized softwares, making its introduction as part of undergraduate architectural education difficult. The aim of this study is to explore the possibility of introducing parametric thinking to novice architectural design students, using a purposedesigned non-CAD method. After a detailed lecture, students were asked to use the method to perform a design task based on parametric design principles and inspired by elements from vernacular architecture. Students' feedback was obtained in regard to three learning domains: Intellectual Skills, Cognitive Strategies, and Affective; and the effects of previous knowledge of CAD and gender were explored. The data was analysed statistically. Results showed that the method has managed to successfully address the three learning domains, with most of the students expressing a strong intention to learn more about Parametricism. Both genders were found to be equally prepared to receive and accept information about parametric design through our method. Students with previous CAD training showed better control over the method, whereas the other group showed better appreciation of the concept. It is concluded that when parametric thinking is seen as a pedagogic intention and not as a design tool, it can be effectively introduced to novice design students, in order to prepare them to meet the demand in practice for graduates who are aware of the recent trends in architectural design and form generation processes, and who are prepared to use the latest digital tools efficiently.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-181
Number of pages20
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Architectural design
  • Design education
  • Design method(s)
  • Learning domains
  • Oman
  • Parametric design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • Urban Studies


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