MaRs Innovation District of Toronto

To design the new office and research space in the MaRs Innovation District of Toronto, Autodesk used generative design processes.

Starting with high-level goals and constraints, the design team used the power of computation to generate, evaluate and evolve thousands of design alternatives. The result was a high-performing and novel work environment that would not have been possible without this approach.


Above: Design goals - Mars Innovation District - The Living

The designers created a geometric system that meant the computer could explore multiple configurations of work neighborhoods, amenity spaces and circulation zones. This work represents the define step of the generate phase.

Using this algorithm, the computer varied the parameters to produce thousands of design options.


Above: Design option evaluated and selected- Mars Innovation District - The Living

For this stage, information was collected from employees and managers about work styles and location preferences. Based on this data, six primary and measurable goals were defined:

  • work style preference

  • adjacency preference

  • low distraction

  • interconnectivity

  • daylight

  • views to the outside

The designers then created an algorithm to measure how any given floor plan could be measured against each of the goals above. Known as evaluators, these algorithms represent the analyse and rank stages of the generative process.

After the algorithms were formulated, the computer used them to evaluate each of the designs generated in the previous stage against the defined goals.


Above: Design Options - Mars Innovation District - The Living

After the designs were evaluated, the designers looked at the solution space to explore the generated designs together with their evaluation results.

Taking into account each defined goal, they identified the design that best achieved the goals overall.

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