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Genr8 is a surface design tool developed by Martin Hemberg with advisory services provided by Una-May O'Reilly and Peter Testa. The concepts and tool are part of the work by the Emergent Design Group at MIT. The goal was to provide architects with access to creative surface design by giving them influence over generative processes. A generative process is the activity of iteratively executing some encoding that creates and then modifies an artifact. In the generative process we chose, what was most intriguing and of use to architects is a model of cellular growth interacting with an environment.
The technical power beneath GENR8 is twofold: evolutionary search and HEMLS (Hemberg Extended Map L-Systems). A HEMLS, the generative process, is interpreted by GENR8 to generate a surface. GENR8 uses evolutionary search to discover its own HEMLS that adaptively evolve towards surfaces with features the user has specified.