Generative Design

The future of CAD

Can Architects learn from Generative Music ?

with one comment

Unraveling the mathematical magic of music seem to have been the pet pre-occupation of many great scientists including Euclid who wrote “elements of music” and Sir Issac Newton who felt obliged to divide the naturally occurring spectrum into seven colors, one for each note of a musical scale.

Our current understanding of music is different. It is based on emergence and complexity. Hence, to generate music or any aesthetic experience we need to base generative schemes on these and not on older Euclidean ideas of  geometric grammar, golden rations and other constructs  that ruled the Renaissance  world locking the aesthetic frame-work of the Western world  with the concept of “rational order” for a few more centuries.

The understanding of complexity is of recent origin – made possible by the advent of computers. The study of evolution and ecology has also contributed greatly to our new understanding of order – which is based on complexity. Historically, architects have always had a philosophical frame-work for design.

Perhaps this originated in their early role of legitimizing the divinity of kings through divinely ordered proportions and geometric logic.  This clarity is thankfully now lost. Few contemporary  architects, succeed in providing any kind of coherent theoretical explanation for their designs.

Generative Music  has succeeded in creating aesthetic artifacts

We are yet to see the fruits of Generative Design in architecture. May be, it will grow out to the mind numbing complexity that Generative Design is mis-associated with. Perhaps this juvenile reaction to the Euclidean order will pass by us or mature into something that is more engaging. May be, generative music can teach us how to create constructs that are complex yet pleasing. Generative music is now fairly close to human generated music in its richness, complexity and capacity to influence human emotions. Perhaps generative music has a better grasp of generative frame works.

Generative music frameworks are currently classified as :

  • Linguistic/Structural
  • Interactive/Behavioral
  • Creative/Procedural
  • Biological/Emergent

More on this on the Generative Music Wiki .  Wonder if these frameworks apply to generative architecture ?

The quest for a unified aesthetic frame tends to bind  from, color and music together.  They  influence each other as this video on generative music by form+format illustrates.

http://vimeo.com/8525901

Another excellent example, where the generative program is continuously improvising which I found is in Arturs Blog.

If musicions and computers can jive, why cannot designers do the same ?

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Written by Sivam Krish

January 17, 2010 at 1:19 pm

One Response

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  1. […] 2010. Brown, Keith. [View Link] Krish, Sivam – Can Architects learn from Generative Music?. [View Link] Eno, Brian. [View Link] Pollock, Jackson. [View […]


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