Asymmetric and Variable Cell (AVC) geometry Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF) occupy an increasing portion of the DPFs currently offered by various DPF manufacturers, aiming at providing higher filtration area in the same filter volume to meet demanding emission control applications for passenger cars but also for heavy duty vehicles. In the present work we present an approach for designing and optimizing such DPFs by providing a quantitative description of the flow and deposition of soot in these structures. Soot deposit growth dynamics in AVC DPFs is studied computationally, primary and secondary flows over the inlet channels cross-sectional perimeters are analyzed and their interactions are elucidated. The result is a rational description of the observed growth of soot deposits, as the flow readjusts to transport the soot particles along the path of least resistance (which is not necessarily the shortest geometric path between the inlet and outlet channel, i.e. the wall thickness). The theoretical description is in excellent agreement with experimental data obtained with two different families of AVC DPFs operated in the exhaust of a diesel engine and can be employed to design new DPF configurations with substantially lower pressure drop than existing designs.