Design Space Exploration (DSE) is a suite of open-source Grasshopper tools developed by Digital Structures at MIT. These tools aim to support visual, performance-based design space exploration and interactive multi-objective optimization (MOO) for conceptual design. Rather than one single component or user interface, these tools can be used flexibly with other Grasshopper components or plug-ins to take a variety of approaches to DSE and MOO, including a priori, a posteriori, and interactive articulation of performance priorities. Various DSE components allow the user to sample a parametric design space made from sliders, automatically iterate and capture images and numerical properties, reconstruct previous designs, cluster designs into families, analyze the importance of design variables, approximate computationally-intensive performance evaluations, and find Pareto fronts for multi-objective problems. Although the components are intended to link together for simple, automated workflows for performance-based design of buildings and other structures, they can be used for any applications that require these functionalities within Grasshopper.
The download for DSE also comes with Stormcloud, which allows any parametric model to be explored using an interactive evolutionary framework, combining quantitative performance analysis with qualitative designer input. Stormcloud can work with any model and geometry type that can be represented and analyzed in Grasshopper. The quantitative analysis is also flexible: it can use structural weight, like structureFIT, but users are also free to input their own objective functions computed using other plugins or user-defined expressions.