Parametrics and the masculine: Exploring contemporary masculine qualities through a parametric design approach
This research examines the potential of parametric design and contemporary design practice according to the following question: “How might parametric design be utilised to express qualities of contemporary masculinity in men’s products?” The goal of the research is to suggest a strategy that may be applied to contemporary design practise in order to more effectively support male consumer’s identities, needs, and desires. This is addressed through a case study that prioritises the expression of contemporary masculinity and related qualities in the consideration of the employed materials, form and design details. In developing this research, participant interviews, and a series of questionnaires were utilised to gather responses leading to the construction of material photo studies and data visualizations. Based on the data collected, a parametric definition was developed that supports the customisation of product containers in addressing the expression of contemporary masculine qualities. The parametric definition was applied in the design of a series of initial product prototypes that expressed the contemporary masculine qualities as identified by participants. The prototypes were subsequently assessed through participant interviews alongside a series of material swatches of varying surface qualities. Feedback from the interviews led to refinements in the product container designs within the parametric interface and the generation of a series of higher fidelity digital prototypes. These prototypes sought to effectively reflect the participant’s interpretations regarding the expression of contemporary masculinity.