What do you think of this? Manipulation of a product’s “genes” to make a zillion of little products and little little products… or clones, or whatever.

Sounds like a pretty interesting concept to me, not sure if it really works though.

all that the program it is doing is stepping thru the parametric range for each element and then spitting out all the permutations. if you cann’t design good, everyone knows good design when they see it.

Isn’t this pretty much what transportation designers have been doing with cars for the last 30 years? Seriously, we get excited over a new car that has a slightly different headlight and grill shape. There is no innovation in car design. None. The shapes might change a little, but the overall package is still a 2-3 box on wheels. Then they slap on a mean-looking headlamp assembly and large gaping vent for a mouth.

And then they do it again, and again, and again.

I’d agree 6ix that a lot of designs are simply based on restyling a few parameters - like car headlights etc. While I doubt that this method of design can result very much in any form of problem-solving, spotting a hidden need - the front (and imo, the important) end of the design process, a lot of design work done today is simply that - pure styling.

Are there any potential applications in there - say I make 1000 headlights by playing around with the parameters. I don’t expect any innovation - I just want all sorts of pure styling permutations? Let this monkey do the mundane part of the design?

Well, in short, would this work for pure-styling-and-no-innovation-required monkeyworks?

[quote=“Deez”]Pure garbage.

No meat, no meaning, just fluff. Back in school, i thought about making a book, a “dictionary” of design features. It would be tabbed along the side like a regular dictionary, but instead of each alphabet, it would be categorized into like “buttons,” “grills,” “vents,” etc. You would look up say “buttons,” and you’ll find every variation of every over-played stereotypically “designed” button shapes. You know, the ovular elliptoidal bubbly button.

Then what you do is, put together all different features, and call it a designed product. Frankenstein products. We won’t need any cocky whiny IDers anymore in the world.

Deez - I think your response is very revealing of your lack of confidence in your own talents. You present a straw man argument: here is a (frankly ridiculous) idea for a ‘dictionary’ you had in school, then you use the fact that it is ridiculous to support your opinion regarding the Genometri technology.

Do I need to point out that the potential of what they are proposing goes way beyond a dictionary? No dictionary ever written has words which haven’t yet been spoken. Genetic engineering doesn’t propose to take features from different organisms and create Frankenstein products, and no-one is suggesting it would be a good idea to take the humps of a camel and combine them with the legs of a cheetah. It’s about traits - what if you could take the stamina of a camel and combine it with the sprint speed of a cheetah?

Actually this isn’t a new idea, Kevin Kelly was proposing something almost exactly the same in ‘Out of Control’ in 1994. These are just the first faltering steps in a potentially revolutionary technology. I admit that the examples shown on the website aren’t particularly inspiring, but look at any technology in its infancy. The first mobile phones were jokes in terms of mobility, but people of vision were able to see beyond shallow first impressions. As far as product genes are concerned, what if you could ‘breed’ two dissimilar products, and then observe their offspring? And what if you could breed the children, and the children of the children, for a thousand generations? And then introduce random mutations, and see which are ‘fittest’ for their purpose?

Of course, the first reactions of many designers (or rather, stylists) is fear that this could make them redundant. And maybe it will. But geneticists don’t try millions and millions of combinations and then choose the best one. Their skill lies first in identifying which traits might combine successfully to produce fundamentally new qualities, and then in knowing how to effect those combinations. This could become a tool which allows designers to work in a similar fashion, in which case successful designers will be those who can recognise the inherent, rather than just the superficial.

BTW, for what it’s worth, I’m no fan of the commercial exploits of many companies involved in genetic engineering or GM food. But I still think it’s fascinating.

Genometrics. Cool name. The idea… well…

That just looks like someone is branding the “design table” feature in Solidworks (and likely many other CAD programs)

Essentially - a design table allows you to use an excel file full of numerical values as substitutes for model dimensions to create variation on a part.

I’m sure there are times where this may be useful in design although I can’t think of any

it’s like color variation in PS.


I want the desigers dictionary. It will save me load of time looking through piles and piles of design magazine and books to see what I can rip off. Man if I had the dictionary, I think I could shave 50% of my design time and spend more time on core77. One thing the dictionary will need to be at least 1000 pages if not 2000. Can’t slack on the slackers tool. Slack design rocks.


You’re reading WAY too deep into "GENOMETRICS.’ It;'s not 4001 Space Odessey transcombobumutating plastic product DNAs. … you send them a CAD FILE and they post up parametric variations… its monkey work.

Live long and prosper

This reminds me of a story from an old school designer. It was in the early days of CAD and he was working on a housewares project, a simple container if I recall correctly. A computer or software company told him that they could give him a print out of all the design possibilities for the project, all they needed was the volume of the container.

So, a week later the company comes back with a big stack of paper. Drawn on them are cylinders that range from a metre wide and 1 mm tall to 1 mm wide and 2 metres tall! Needless to say, the designer realized what a complete and utter waste of time that exercise was!

It would be so much cooler to give a bunch of chimps pencil and paper and let them at it for a while.

speaking of chimps, while we were at the zoo one day smoking spliffs looking at the chimp cage, we gave them some spliffs which they proceeded to smoke too and subsequently went to sleep for a while…

deez, you make a lot of inept criticism about nothing. you remind me of a drunk college dropout in a small town who thinks he is clever but is really insecure. keep your pointless design masturbation to yourself…nobody is interested in listening to your moronic rant except you

deez, i now give you permission to condem each part of these sentences - here are some helpful dashes for you - so you can cut, paste and apply your typical vacant and spastic criticism

Deez, Deez, Deez. Where did it all go wrong? You’ve been trying so hard in previous posts to convince us of your cleverness, your wit, your ironic erudition. And now you blow it in one rambling rant which exposes you as an incoherent mumbler who’s easier to wind up than a clockwork radio. How disappointingly predictable.

What was it, I wonder, about my post which wound you up so tightly? Was it my failure to acknowledge your crude attempts at irony, which you apparently value so highly? Or was it the quality of my rhetoric, so clearly superior to your own? Perhaps it’s simply that your fragile adolescent ego automatically belches such responses whenever it feels threatened. In which case you surely spend a lot of time thrashing around at your keyboard.

BTW, are you sure you meant to say equestrian? I would imagine equine was the word you were fumbling for.

Oh well… Just to show there’s no hard feelings, allow me to offer you some advice. Perhaps you might remember it when you grow up:

Having to say something is not the same as having something to say.

And please, feel free not to read more than the first paragraph of this post.

actually geneticists have been doing exactly what you say they arent - creating Frankenstein animals. you haven’t heard of Glofish? iirc they combined genetic material from jellyfish with zebra fish DNA. sounds cut 'n paste to me. (found a link - )

wrt that site, i dont see the issue. so what if they make a 1000 variations of something i design. can do 3 or 4 variations of what i want to see. means i dont have to evaluate 996 i dont want to see. how much time would be wasted going thru needless variations? solution in search of a problem imo.

The article says they took the dna which makes a jellyfish glow (one of its traits) and put it inthe zebra fish. Cut and paste would be to tkae the jellyfish tentacles and put them on a fish. Unfortunately I think the trait they were really looking for was the “make some money” gene

combining genetic material in this way still sounds cut 'n paste to me. by your logic size is determining factor. just bc they have to use microscopes to see what they’re doing doesn’t make it less combinatorial imo. i personally still think of it like they grafted stuff together… just on a really small scale.

original comment was “Genetic engineering doesn’t propose to take features from different organisms and create Frankenstein products, and no-one is suggesting it would be a good idea to take the humps of a camel and combine them with the legs of a cheetah.”. sounds like that’s exactly what they did.

The normally black-and-silver zebra fish were > inserted with genes > from sea anemones or jellyfish to turn them red or green, and glow under black or ultraviolet lights.

Actually, cut and paste is pretty accurate. What they did is cut out a sequence of nucleotides (A,G,T and C) from the jellyfish and put or paste that sequence that controls chemilumenesence into the zebra fish genome (once again, just a sequence of nucleotides). I assume it worked and the zebra fish glowed.

Graft would be a more accurate word for putting the jellyfish tenticles onto a zebra fish.

Also, I don’t think there is a whole lot of money (other than grant money) in making zebra fish glow. Its just basic, egghead research.

my bad. graft is better word for the tentacles thing example. was thinking that too. then used it anyway. need my coffee.