Explore challenges in the design process that generative design can help solve.
- [Instructor] Design is a process of creation, envisioning some new thing, system, or experience, typically with the intention of providing some benefit to human users. Traditionally, the designer's responsible for specifying the exact form and attributes of what they are designing. A designer determines what it is. Generative design upends this paradigm. Typically in a generative design process, the exact form and features of a design are not determined by the designer. Rather, they are generated by some form of digital algorithm. This, understandably, creates a bit of an identity crisis for the designer. What does a designer do if they no longer determine form and features? Fortunately, there's plenty left to do. Most designers are familiar with design requirements or a design brief. This is a description of exactly what a product must be. In generative design, this becomes the real embodiment of the design. If you're able to explicitly define all of the requirements for the design object, such that different possible design configurations can be evaluated on their ability to meet those requirements, you have designed the object. The generative design algorithm then creates and tests different configurations, diverging to explore a wide variety of possibilities and then converging on the best solution based on the requirements. Often this process is more complex or more of a cycle in which design options are generated automatically, leading to revisions in the requirements and another cycle of generation. Most significantly in generative design, digital algorithms extend the designer's capabilities by more rapidly generating and evaluating design options and helping the designer to draw inferences from prior tests to guide requirement revision in future tests. The new designer is a cyborg, a hybrid of human and algorithm. This makes it even more critical to understand how these generative algorithms work, what they do well and where their limitations are. Generative design tools may eliminate some design process steps for designers, but they add a whole new responsibility for designers to fully understand and steward these powerful but ethically agnostic new tools.
- What is generative design?
- Limitations of generative design
- Strengths and limitations of genetic/evolutional solvers
- How physics solvers work
- Testing and adjusting goals
- Working with machine learning tools
- Design requirements and diagramming
- Optimizing with Galapagos