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id diss_fox
authors Fox, M.A.
year 1996
title Novel Affordances of Computation to the Design Process of Kinetic Structures
source Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
summary This paper is a discourse into the relationship between the process, computational tools and the role which symbolic structure can play in both. I argue the relationship of the process and tools is dialectic, whereby the tools we utilize in design develop new heuristics, the methodologies in turn, if reflectively understood, can be more aptly facilitated through the development of novel tools. The tools and the process then evolve together. A theory is laid out exploring the human visual information processing systems pertinence to the limitations in mental three-dimensional imaging and transformation operations as relevant to the operations of drawing and mental visualization within the architectural design processes, substantiating the designers necessity to draw (by traditional means, but more importantly here, through the inclusive integration of CAD within the process). The necessity to draw is explored as a representational process to the visual system as predicated upon the existence of a structured internal library of diagram-like representations in our heads. I argue that the ways we utilize such idiosyncratic libraries is predicated upon the ways in which we go about structuring the perceived experienced world around us into symbol systems. And finally, the ways we utilize our reflective understanding of the heuristic transformations of these symbols within the design process in the context of a CAD environment are explored as a means to an enhanced understanding of that which is being designed and consequently as a vehicle for the development of future CAD systems to better facilitate such methodologies of designing. A personal design process of several kinetic structures is carried out in order to arrive at a localized process analysis within computer-aided design environment. Through an interactive, reflective process analysis, conclusions are drawn as to the affordances and limitations of such tools as suggestive of the operations a CAD environment might perform so as to better foster future methodologies of designing. The design experiments are utilized as a vehicle to understand the process. Specifically three kinetic projects are exploited for the prototypical operations they display. When difficulties or mental limitations are encountered with the operations, specific tools are developed to facilitate the limitation or to overcome the problem.
series thesis:MSc
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