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id ddss9432
authors Goldschmidt, G.
year 1994
title Visual Reference for Design: Analogy, Transformation and the Act of Sketching
source Second Design and Decision Support Systems in Architecture & Urban Planning (Vaals, the Netherlands), August 15-19, 1994
summary All designers know that it is impossible to infer a design solution from the givens of a task alone, no matter how complete and well presented they are. Therefore, designers seek to complementinformation they receive, and the material they bring into the task environment includes visual images. Images may be gathered from every imaginable source, from domain-specific images (in architecture they are usually classified and pertain to building type, location, period, technology, style or creator) through 'metaphoric' images (art, nature) to eclectic personal favourites. Inaddition, randomly encountered images may find their way into a database of references: a depository of potentially useful images. With the exception of factual information that fills in thetask givens, it is usually far from clear what purpose may be served by images in general, or to what use the specific images aligned for a particular task may be put. We propose that the singlemost significant 'on line' role of visual references during the process of designing is to suggest potential analogies to the entity that is being designed. The process of discovering and exploitingan analogy in design is complex; we shall explain it in terms of Gentner's structure mapping theory, which we adapt to visual structures. We further propose that the abstraction process thatmust take place for the successful identification and mapping from source (visual reference) onto target (designed entity) requires transformations of images, and such transformations are bestachieved through sketching. Sketching facilitates the two way process of movement from the pictorial to the diagrammatic and from the schematic to the figural. Such transformations musttake place to arrive at the match that allows conceptual transfer, mapping of structural relations and insight through analogy.
series DDSS
references Content-type: text/plain
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