13 Rapid practice expansion through strategic design computation
Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) is a London-based architecture practice operating internationally with projects under development and construction worldwide. The firm has grown almost tenfold over the past decade in response to market demand. This success presents a very serious challenge in terms of project design and delivery methods, design quality and control, and project management. Together with the ever-increasing demand for extensive and precise information by clients, this has further increased the need for a powerful and versatile computational foundation. ZHA engages in different types of projects, including design competitions, bids and feasibility studies and direct commissions, as well as computational design research, the latter interplaying with actual projects to provide new tools and design methods, which are described in this chapter.
The context of contemporary global architectural practice
Contemporary architectural practice is affected by a number of major factors, which have a combined influence not just on the design practices of architectural offices, but on the allied professions and the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry as a whole. The result is an increasingly complex intersection of economic feasibility, environmental sustainability, physical constructability and (finally) artistic creativity that demands an ever-widening range of solutions, immediate ...