Latest Revamp of Revit Adds Generative Design Capabilities

17 Apr, 2020 By: Cadalyst Staff

Autodesk has announced the new Generative Design in Revit feature, which can create design alternatives based on user-defined goals and constraints.

Autodesk Revit 2021 includes a new generative design feature — appropriately named Generative Design in Revit — intended to help users generate and evaluate more design possibilities within Revit.

According to a Revit Blog post by Lilli Smith, Zachary Kron, Lainie Ransom, and David Smolker. “Generative Design in Revit helps project teams quickly devise, test, adjust, and iterate design studies. It is a powerful technique, as it produces many options; it is also precise in that it provides the ability to filter out noise and focus only on those alternatives that best meet the design goals. To explore results, the generative design capability offers scatter and point coordinate results managers, so you can adjust parameters with the simplicity of sliders or compare different clusters of results. Dial in on balance across all design factors, or optimize for a single factor, and bring to your team and client meetings the depth, breadth, and rigor of data well done.”

To help users get started with the new functionality, Revit 2021 ships with three sample design studies — three-box massing, workspace layout, and optimize window views — they can customize, launch directly from their models, and run in the background while they continue working. Users can define goals for each study, assign weights to relevant variables, specify and constrain the number of design alternatives, and tell Revit how the alternatives should be ranked. The resulting options can be visualized via 2D lists and interactive 3D thumbnails, and charted in a scatterplot to identify clusters of options with common characteristics.

“Use Generative Design in Revit to smartly dial-in approaches that find a happy medium between all the factors you try to balance, or choose the option that best optimizes a single factor — like the most daylight or the slimmest building profile,” the post continued. “Use Generative Design in Revit as a design assistant, a way to gather data quickly to help you make more informed decisions.”

Users of the Dynamo visual programming environment can connect different elements of a Revit model, and create custom design studies to meet their own needs and goals. An Autodesk feature overview video highlighted the following study examples:

  • Optimizing rentable space in a new building wing while minimizing cost;
  • Maximizing the number of desks in a new office, while minimizing the distance to exits (pictured below);
  • Optimizing placement of office furniture to maximize window exposure.


Generative Design in Revit is available in Revit 2021 to all users with a subscription to Autodesk’s AEC Collection, as well as enterprise business account (EBA) customers. (Without the AEC Collection subscription, users can access similar functionality using Dynamo for Revit.) To see what else is new in Revit 2021, visit this summary on the Revit Blog.


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