What Is Optioneering?

Optioneering involves creating design options that are not guided by outcomes while they are being created. Optioneering methods can be used to explore a design space quickly when you might not know what metrics you want to optimize for yet. After performing optioneering, the designer can sort and filter design variants to identify options that are particularly aligned with her design objectives.

The example above illustrates a possible simplified use of optioneering. Imagine you want to mix a cocktail drink. You can gather some possible ingredients and mix them in different measures. A visual way of representing and exploring alternatives is an optioneering graph. You can allign all ingredients (variables) and by varying their amount show possible outputs.


  • Gives you a direct relation between variables (input) and design results (output)

  • Easy to create constrains limiting the design span that you want to explore.

  • Enables changing variables manually.

Going Back to Architecture

In the AEC industry instead of ingredients you have variables and instead of cocktail drinks you have design options but the concept remains the same.