Software: Rhino, Grasshopper, Keyshot, Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign
Tools: 3D printer, Metal and Wood Workshop, 

 

Parametrics and the Masculine


This research examines the potential of parametric design and the contemporary design practice according to the following question: “How might parametric design be utilised to express qualities of contemporary masculinity in men’s products?” The goal of the research is to suggest a strategy that may be applied to contemporary design practice in order to more effectively support male consumer’s identities, needs, and desires. This is addressed through a case study that prioritises the expression of contemporary masculinity and related qualities in the consideration of the employed materials, form and design details. In developing this research, participant interviews, and a series of questionnaires were utilised to gather responses leading to the construction of material photo studies and data visualizations. Based on the data collected, a parametric definition was developed that supports the customisation of product containers in addressing the expression of contemporary masculine qualities. The parametric definition was applied in the design of a series of initial product prototypes that expressed the contemporary masculine qualities as identified by participants. The prototypes were subsequently assessed through participant interviews alongside a series of material swatches of varying surface qualities. Feedback from the interviews led to refinements in the product container designs within the parametric interface and the generation of a series of higher fidelity digital prototypes. These prototypes sought to effectively reflect the participant’s interpretations regarding the expression of contemporary masculinity.

Parametric design is an aspect of CAD software that provides the designer with variable control of the digital model at any stage of the design process. Parametric design plays an important role in the flexibility afforded by computer aided design (CAD) technologies, as it enables product design and development to be simultaneously addressed in the generation of complex, unique and personalised objects. Parameters govern the model within a parametric definition, and can be defined by dimension, geometry, or algebra driven constraints. Through parametric design, the designer is able to quickly iterate while still producing an accurate, modifiable, digitally controlled model. A major benefit of this approach is that alterations and customisation of the design can be made right up to the point of manufacture. Parametric design is no longer solely used within the architecture and design practise, and has been made available online through web interfaces for consumer customisation and the tailoring of products. Through the development of parametrically optimised web-based interfaces, consumers are able to customize and tailor products more easily.

This thesis explores the potential of parametric design tools and interfaces in enabling the customisation of material, form, and design detail considerations, addressed through a case study that prioritises the expression of contemporary masculinity and the effective expression of related qualities and attributes. The goal of this research is to suggest a strategy that may be applied to contemporary design practice in more effectively supporting consumer’s identities, needs, and desires.