Algorithmic Design and PARAM-O

Algorithmic Design enables the modelling complex geometries that would otherwise be quite a challenge using manual design tools. Using sets of instructions, algorithmic design has the ability to execute these challenging tasks, meaning the design can be manipulated through variable parameters.

Algorithmic Design in Building Design

Algorithmic Design is not simply the use of computer to design architecture and objects. Algorithms allow designers to overcome the limitations of traditional CAD software and 3D modelers, reaching a level of complexity and control which is beyond the human manual ability.

Algorithmic design is especially convenient for architectural designs that are non-conventional and that can be created from repeatable elements. It makes the use of non-conventional forms practical and cost-efficient to build, and also gives users the ability to test numerous solutions, which would typically be extremely time-consuming.


PARAM-O is one of the many additions to Archicad 24, which employs algorithmic design. Essentially, it is a new node-based interface for creating parametric GDL objects without scripting. The addition is a valuable feature for the users of Archicad, offering the ability to easily create custom content.

In addition, Archicad’s Predictive Design Technology provides a stair tool, simplifying and accelerating the stair design process using sophisticated algorithms.

PARAM-O and Algorithmic Design

Archicad users can create their own custom parametric objects easily without the need for GDL programming. PARAM-O provides a node-based graphical interface and a live 3D preview during creation. The end result is a fully functional parametric object, which is saved as a regular Archicad object in the embedded library. The created objects will work in every Archicad, even if PARAM-O is not installed.

This easy-to-use object creator utilises node-based editing. Build the geometry and functional behaviour of your parametric objects by connecting atomic blocks of ready-made GDL code – Lego style.

PARAM-O is available as a downloadable add-on together with Archicad 24, available on both PC and Mac. It can be accessed from the Graphisoft downloads page.

Grasshopper – Archicad connection

For designers who are exploring new shapes using generative algorithms, Grasshopper is a graphical algorithm editor integrated with Rhino’s 3D modelling tools.

Grasshopper Archicad Live Connection

Grasshopper requires no knowledge of programming or scripting, but still allows designers to build form generators from the simple to the most complex of shapes.

The Grasshopper-Archicad Live Connection for PC and Mac offers a unique, algorithm-based workflow, which helps you explore a large number of design variations and create and fine-tune building details and structures.