Shape exploration of designs in a style: toward generation of product designs

Prats, M.; Earl, C.; Garner, S. and Jowers, Iestyn (2006). Shape exploration of designs in a style: toward generation of product designs. Artificial Intelligence for Engineering Design, Analysis and Manufacturing, 20(3) pp. 201–215.




Generative specifications have been used to systematically codify established styles in several design fields including architecture and product design. We examine how designers explore new designs in the early stages of product development as they manipulate and interpret shape representations. A model of exploration is proposed with four types of shape descriptions (contour, decomposition, structure, and design) and the results of the exploration are presented. Generative rules are used to provide consistent stylistic changes first within a given decomposition and second through changing the structure. Style expresses both the analytical order of explanation and the synthetic complexity of exploration. The model of exploration is consistent with observations of design practice. The application of generative design methods demonstrates a logical pattern for early stage design exploration. The model provides the basis for tools to assist designers in exploring families of designs in a style and for following new interpretations that move the exploration from one family to another.

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