Generative Design

The future of CAD

Why Generative Design needs to be Open & CAD Independent

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Many designers see Generative Design as an advanced CAD technique.  They should not. Generative design is not about CAD. It is about using CAD to generate designs. It is about embedding intelligence into CAD and using CAD intelligently, making the best use of its inherent capabilities.

Generative Design is a method of design that operates on top of CAD.

Why should it then not depend on CAD ?  For generative design to succeed, it has to be built on modeling knowledge – which is in short supply.   The range of problems that need to be tackled and modeled  in architecture are in most cases beyond the scope of individual designers. Models need to be created communally based on agreed standards.

Generative Design requires the embedding of knowledge and constraints into design models. It requires domain knowledge. A generative scheme for creating truss designs requires structural understanding and a generative scheme used for site planning requires an understanding of embedding building regulations into the generative scheme. Desing is often a joint effort between  experts  working within  their own domain of expertise. The design community will have to work on collectively on this.  It needs to happen out side CAD packages so that it is not limited to particular CAD communities.

In comparison to building generative models, Generating designs is  easy. In fact it  is ridiculous simple. All it requires is a single line of code that throws out a random number between two fixed limits. This is well within the reach of any amateur programmer and something that can be implemented on almost all parametric CAD programs – this  is something that will soon be embedded in most CAD packages.

By implementing generative design outside CAD packages designers can:

1) Use common generative schemes

2) Transition designs from one package to another – from early to late stage design

3) Use a wide range of analytical packages to analyze the generated schemes.

4) Involve a larger community in building generative schemes.

5) Connect different specialized generative schemes to work on a single design

Creating genetic models is the hard part. It is difficult to build generative models, that does not spew out millions of nonsensical designs. For now only a few know how to do  this. If  this knowledge  is shared,  it will help build a firmer future for generative design.

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Written by Sivam Krish

April 8, 2010 at 4:39 pm

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