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Re: Any one into Generative Design ?

PostPosted: May 14th, 2010, 7:59 pm
by IDiot
Electroflux wrote:In some ways the idea of using the computer to determine a best-fit solution given constraints is hardly anything new - it's the main strength of using the computer for any particular process!


exactly

Re: Any one into Generative Design ?

PostPosted: May 14th, 2010, 8:56 pm
by SK
exactly.

The understanding of design as a management of constrains is not new. The understanding that nature's designs are based on generative designs are not new. The understanding that computers can devise strategies that beat the best human players is not new. The use of computers as intelligent design tools is not new.

But for most IDe'rs the concept that the computer is more than a 3d drawing tool seems to be very new and hard to digest.

So to answer the question, what is generative design ? its about using the computers for design exploration.

Re: Any one into Generative Design ?

PostPosted: May 14th, 2010, 11:44 pm
by Cameron
I know I've had happy accidents in modeling programs before. Does that count? =)

Re: Any one into Generative Design ?

PostPosted: May 15th, 2010, 5:21 am
by SK
Cameron wrote:I know I've had happy accidents in modeling programs before. Does that count? =)


Just imagine if you can choose from 1000's of accidents. That is how nature designs.

Re: Any one into Generative Design ?

PostPosted: May 15th, 2010, 5:20 pm
by cg
SK wrote:
Cameron wrote:I know I've had happy accidents in modeling programs before. Does that count? =)


Just imagine if you can choose from 1000's of accidents. That is how nature designs.


That's not really a fair comparison, because nature designs by incorporating subtle mutations and relying on natural-selection over many generations to pass on the strongest attributes.

I don't understand why you'd want a computer to generate meaningless design for a designer to choose from. As a designer, I want more meaning to go into form-giving, not less.

Again, can you provide a case study?

Re: Any one into Generative Design ?

PostPosted: May 15th, 2010, 7:29 pm
by Brook
SK, this is brilliant! Thanks for sharing. I have seen loads of these architecture concepts around and I use it for recent project inspiration.

I' m jumpin' on.

Grasshopper, right?

Re: Any one into Generative Design ?

PostPosted: May 15th, 2010, 8:06 pm
by SK
cg wrote:That's not really a fair comparison, because nature designs by incorporating subtle mutations and relying on natural-selection over many generations to pass on the strongest attributes.


Why not Chris, this is easily done using computers. They have been doing this over many decades now, using what is called Evolutionary Algorithms. There is an excellent book by Peter J Bently "Evolutionary Design by Computers" it has many examples of applications in engineering. Most engineering applications use what is called fitness functions to select the strongest attribute. This is problematic when the numerical evaluation of the attribute becomes uncomputable - as in design. So this process has to be modified for seeking the designers judgment and it has been.

cg wrote:I don't understand why you'd want a computer to generate meaningless design for a designer to choose from. As a designer, I want more meaning to go into form-giving, not less.


...for simple reasons. It can do a far better job, faster and cheaper. It can extend human imagination. This is what architects are using generative design for.

Wonder if you will find a cheap turbocharded CAD monkey, that can work by itself - of some assistance to you ?
You don't have to pay this monkey, but need to guide it (but too much).

cg wrote:Again, can you provide a case study?


As I have said - the ship has left the harbor quite some time ago. You will find about 300,000 references in google now, and about 100,000 images if you search for "generative design"

Re: Any one into Generative Design ?

PostPosted: May 15th, 2010, 8:26 pm
by SK
Brook wrote:SK, this is brilliant! Thanks for sharing. I have seen loads of these architecture concepts around and I use it for recent project inspiration.
I would like to be able to model this as well, so, how is it done? I am not a programmer, so give it to me as a layman but give it to me so I can do it.


Yes, almost all architecture students all over the world are using generative design . You don't need to be a programmer to be able to do generative design. Rhino has introduced grasshopper that makes it possible for people with no programming experience to rig out generative schemes and it has been wildly successful.

Brook, there are many views and many approaches for generative design and many definitions too. For a long time engineers have been using what is called parametric design - to be able to model "properly" in a way that variations can be created using design tables. They use this approach a lot at the optimization stage of the design. You can invert this same method and use if for generating designs. But most people who currently do generative design have not got to this stage yet. Architects have embraced parametric design with "proper" modeling techniques. This allows them to explore 100's of design variations. They often call this generative design. I don't. But from here true generative design is only a simple step a way. Once you have a properly structured CAD model, you can use random numbers within limits to create design variations. That's all there is to generative design.

But then, this changes the game - entirely, opens up so many other issues, that you will discover for yourself.

Brook wrote:SK, this is brilliant! Thanks for sharing. I have seen loads of these architecture concepts around and I use I would love to know these basics:
1. What software to make up the parameters?
2. How do I get that into Rhino?
3. How do I get Rhino to pump it out for me?

Thanks SK, I hope this is not too much trouble for you. But I think you are absolutely right on this movement and I want to jump on the bandwagon.


You may look up http://www.opengenerativedesign.com an open design initiative I have launched with some Rhino and SolidWorks examples, which may be of interest to you. Hope you will enjoy playing with those models and hope it will open up a new world of possibilities.

Re: Any one into Generative Design ?

PostPosted: May 16th, 2010, 1:30 am
by Electroflux
Maybe the problem with ID users not picking up on this en masse is that as-is, it doesn't contribute much to the design process. A "Randomize Parameters" tool is a rather different beast than "Fill in this space with stuff, make it strong, and use as little material as possible."

Architects seem to be using the latter approach in your given Beijing Olympics examples. While ID and Architecture share many aspects (Both are designing things ultimately for the benefit, comfort, and safety of people, taking materials and space/shape in consideration) there's a big difference in scale. Simply making random designs is nice, but what if you could teach the computer styling and form? The architects weren't just getting random width and height walls and windows on a concrete rectangle, and until the tools for ID can move past that stage I see this being rather hit or miss for benefits.

Perhaps if you could teach the computer about form and style, give it a parts library it can work from or build off of.

Re: Any one into Generative Design ?

PostPosted: May 16th, 2010, 6:08 am
by SK
In generative design, the designer is very much is control of style. Generated designs in most cases apear to belong to a design family, very often with strong stylistic commonalty.

The big difference between those who use generative design and those who remain skeptical is that the first sector focuses on what it can do and the second in what it cannot - for now.

Re: Any one into Generative Design ?

PostPosted: May 16th, 2010, 11:39 am
by Brook
I am disappointed by the responses you are getting from this topic SK. If so called designers cannot think of a use for this tool, then what is the state of our design thinking? Man ppl, you need to up the ante big time in your creative levels and progressive thinking.

Now the cat is out of the bag might as well throw out a few uses for this tool: footwear design, speakers and grills, micro textures, textures in general, button layouts, grills in general, wheels, tread patterns, accessories, bags & cases, clothing and the list is infinite to the power of dope. Only limit is that which is lacking in imagination.

Not to mention furniture and the most obvious, graphics. Oh I forgot, thats not in the id realm.

Re: Any one into Generative Design ?

PostPosted: May 16th, 2010, 11:58 am
by SK
Brook wrote:I am disappointed by the responses you are getting from this topic SK. If so called designers cannot think of a use for this tool, then what is the state of our design thinking? Man ppl, you need to up the ante big time in your creative levels and progressive thinking.


Don't be. This is typical. Its wrong to assume that designers are creative thinkers and open minded. I have not found them to be. Many are extremely focused on creating meaningless variations - which is infact, what inspired my interest in generative design. Generative Design is for those who are unfamiliar - is threatening. Designers spend a life time honing their work process. Naturally they are reluctant to entertain disruptive thinking. So I do not blame them.

Its was the same in architecture. Only the younger generation has embraced this technology. The older guys can't deal with it. It is just too much. But for long, they sensed that there is something in the technology for optimization and for marketing some form of hi-tech design approaches. The main difference in architecture was that there were many dedicated academics who had worked unrecognized for decades on futuristic design technology. However, what made it fly was the availability of easy to use tools like rhino and the sheer enthusiasm of designs students who are now busy out competing each other in generating designs.

I have floated some product designs generated some 5 years ago.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/genoform/

but again like in that u-tube video, we need to be prepared to be entertained by what it cannot do. I have compiled about 200 reasons, it will be good to add a few more.

Re: Any one into Generative Design ?

PostPosted: May 16th, 2010, 12:06 pm
by Brook
Nice link SK. The point has undisputedly been made.

Re: Any one into Generative Design ?

PostPosted: May 16th, 2010, 12:11 pm
by Brook
Damn, I need to get Windows on my mac instantly.

Re: Any one into Generative Design ?

PostPosted: May 16th, 2010, 1:32 pm
by cg
SK wrote:Its wrong to assume that designers are creative thinkers and open minded. I have not found them to be. Many are extremely focused on creating meaningless variations - which is infact, what inspired my interest in generative design.


When I look at all those renderings of differently proportioned MP3 players, I just see "meaningless variations" so I guess you've succeeded.