Evolutionary Computation is a branch of computation that is quite unique.  For one, it is not specific to any problem or task.  It is a framework for solving generic problems.   This offers interesting capacities for the design process where we are usually the ones iterating over a design decision in order to evaluate its effectiveness.  If we could abstract the forces which guide a design decision, then we could potentially utilize Evolutionary computation, and specifically Genetic Algorithms, to assist us in finding optimal solutions given a number of design criteria. For this to work, we must know the design task very well.  It’s parameters must be well defined into a ‘solution space’ bound by the ranges of our parameters.  This is a space where good and bad solutions exist, and the Evolutionary Solver will search through it to find the best solutions.

In this case a 3d geometry of Barcelona Urban Grid is analysis for solar shade using the relative geographical coordinates for the area and the the climatic year between winter and summer as the parameters for the optimum positioning of solar shade sails.

3d Geometry of Barcelona Ensanche 

Shade 47

The following is a fitness model. Containing two variables A+B which are allowed to change. In evolutionary computing these variables are referred to as genes.

Shade 2

Its the job of the solver to find the best fit for the given genes A + B.

Shade 1

Within the confinements of the selected surface area the multi-colored area shown. Following relative stability in the solvers results the user can choose there preferred shade.

Shade 5

The user will see the selected oscillate between the boundary conditions prior to settling on a optimum position.

Shade 25

Shade 33

Following this the surfaces are baked in the set place to act as ideal shaders for the built up area.

Sun Shade Baked 8

Sun Shade Baked 18

Sun Shade Baked 20



The resultant shading devices in the urban space provide the foundation to create a geometry suitable for shading the urban space.

Genetic Workflows: Evolving Solutions is a project of IAAC, Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia developed by at Masters of Advanced Architecture program 2015/2016. All rights reserved.  

Student: Robert Staples 

Faculty: Luis Fraguada