Shape computations without compositions

Jowers, Iestyn; Earl, Chris and Stiny, George (2017). Shape computations without compositions. In: Çağdaş, G.; Özkar, M.; Gül, L. F. and Gürer, E. eds. Computer-Aided Architectural Design. Future Trajectories. 17th International Conference, CAAD Futures 2017, Istanbul, Turkey, July 12-14, 2017, Selected Papers. Springer, pp. 348–365.



Parametric CAD supports design explorations through generative methods which compose and transform geometric elements. This paper argues that elementary shape computations do not always correspond to valid compositional shape structures. In many design cases generative rules correspond to compositional structures, but for relatively simple shapes and rules it is not always possible to assign a corresponding compositional structure of parts which account for all operations of the computation. This problem is brought into strong relief when design processes generate multiple compositions according to purpose, such as product structure, assembly, manufacture, etc. Is it possible to specify shape computations which generate just these compositions of parts or are there additional emergent shapes and features? In parallel, combining two compositions would require the associated combined computations to yield a valid composition. Simple examples are presented which throw light on the issues in integrating different product descriptions (i.e. compositions) within parametric CAD.

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