Parametric Computer Aided Design systems facilitate complex design activities through generating, representing, and storing parametric relations and variations in design. The systems' increasing complexity impedes the ability of designers to explore and develop their work. Pattern, as a rhetorical structure, is a generic solution to a well-described problem. I hypothesize that a designer's learning and working process in parametric modeling applications can be well modeled by patterns, and making such patterns explicit can result in improved expert work practices, better learning material and support for collaborative design in parametric design environments. To achieve these goals, I designed and conducted a series of qualitative studies to search, gather, elicit, author, and communicate patterns in the context of a parametric modeling system - Bentley's GenerativeComponents™. Applying a cognitive framework of design activities, the evaluation studies show evidence of how parametric design patterns can augment and support design practice.
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