Generative Design

The future of CAD

Is Form Design Animation ?

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Architects and Designers may not see it this way. The evolution of design is no longer in their hands, it used to be.  They are no longer in control of the tools of their trade. A bunch of nerds have taken it over. They own it now. They are a passionate lot.

SIGGRAPH Conference

This bunch :  Special Interest Group on GRAPHics and Interactive Techniques, have more to do with the evolution of design than any other group (SIGGRAPH) on earth. They have collectively helped move the technology behind animation design at breathtaking speed. This group mainly computer scientist, meeting in their thousands ,  year after year from 1974 in many cities around the world have shaped the way design technology has evolved. Their impact on design practice is monumental. The world of design owes much to them. They deserve to be thanked. The technology they have helped developed is badly needed, not for architecture, not for product design but form more important needs.

The world needs to be entertained. Our kids cannot live without computer games.The  PC business will crash without it. Films cannot be made without it. Millions of hours of human attention cannot be engaged with out it. We are addicted to this digital opium.

Designers are now heavily reliant on digital technology. The next generation of designers will not be able to design without it, neither will they see the distinction between design and animation. The tools that are used are converging. Many popular animation tools  are also used for design and many CAD tools are  used for animation. The distinction between them is getting thinner by the day. But are they the same ?

Animation is about movement choreographed it time. It’s about allowing some portions or the bodies to move within limits. But is that not generative design ? .  Generative Design is about creating form variations within limits.

Generated Forms


Generative Design as we know it, works on the domain of form, texture and color –  it ignores for now, the domain of time.There is no reason why movie sequences – which are now programs, cannot be generated. They can be, and I am sure are to some extent. But let us turn our attention to Generative Design;  the generation of form, texture and color. Design is nothing, but the exploration of these. Digital tools are now used for this, but the exploration is manual – the guarded domain of the designer. Generative Design is set to change this. It will soon provide designers with the most powerful tools of exploration. So what has animation got to do with it ?

Animation is about the movement of form. Its based on rules of physics. It is about engaging human emotions. It is about simulate reality. It is about rules and constrains – that binds movements within acceptable limits. So is Generative Design.

Is not form design the animation of  form ?



Written by Sivam Krish

April 17, 2010 at 5:16 pm

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