An Introduction into design computation
Design computation ranks among the terms with the most meanings in the contemporary world. To put it briefly, it refers to the application of modern computing principles to the world of design. But such a definition is general enough to cover a number of diverse areas. Among these fields are:
Automated design and design support systems
These subdivisions will be talked about more deeply within this article. Courses in design computation are offered by institutes of higher education throughout the world, with experts in the field coming together every other year for the International Conference on Design Computing & Cognition. The Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture also holds meetings annually.
In other parts of the world, it must be remembered, the discipline is known by other names. Design and computation and design computing are a few of them. The same applies to the subfields listed above-for instance, computer-aided design can also be referred to as computer-aided drafting. To prevent confusion, I have used the same terminology throughout.
Because design computation is a new development in the computer world, it is not surprising that a large number of people-and that includes even engineers and architects themselves-do not completely understand what it means. Indeed, the professors who are experts in the field-among the most prominent of them are Tristan Al-Haddad, Athanassios Economou, Lar Spuybroek, Daniel Baerlacken, Gernot Riether and Chuck Eastman-have a tendency to focus on certain area. For instance, some speak in terms of biological counterparts to newly-developed structural systems, while others place more emphasis on the "parametric" aspects of building.
It is therefore of great importance that those who work in design computing form a consensus on what the label actually means. Such a definition should commence with the logical aspects of design-the form and structure of the objects that are being designed, and the experience of designing them.
Every work of architecture is, strictly speaking, generative. But when we speak of generative architecture, we are referring to a field of research that combines architectural design with computation. One objective of generative architecture is to make algorithms that will make possible the automation of many aspects of architectural design. Variations in various architectural structures can also be generated through automation as a result of process.
Computer-aided design is one of the foremost areas of design computation. It entails the use of computer systems, not only to create and modify designs, but to analyze and improve upon them. Besides geometric figures, such programs also consider such factors as the materials from which something is to be constructed, the processes by which construction is to be performed, the dimensions of the figure and a property known as tolerance, which is the amount of permissible deviation.
CAD is often used to design curves and shapes in either two or three dimensions. Applications of CAD include creating designs for airplanes, ships, boats, cars, prosthetics and computer animated cartoons. Even such simple things like shampoo and perfume bottles can be analyzed through CAD. The concept can be traced as early as 1963, when computer scientist Ivan Sutherland, at MIT, perfected the SKETCHPAD, which enabled the user to interact graphically with the computer.