Generative Art 2000 Conference

On the Translation of Design Data into Design Form in Evolutionary Design

Cristiano Ceccato, AADipl MSc(CS) DIC MIEEE

Assistant Professor, School of Design

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Keywords: Evolutionary, Parametric, Generative, Data, Format, Objects, Codification

The marriage of advanced computational methods and new manufacturing technologies give rise to new paradigms in design process and execution. Specifically, the research concerns itself with the application of Generative and Evolutionary computation to the production of mass-customized products and building components. The work is based on the premise that CAD-CAM should evolve into a dynamic, intelligent, multi-user environment that encourages creativity and actively supports the evolution of individual, mass-customized designs that exhibit common features.

The concept of Parametric Design is well established, and chiefly concerns itself with generating design sets that exists within the boundaries of pre-set parametric values. Evolutionary Design extends the notion of parametric control by using rule-based generative algorithms to evolve common families of individual design solutions. These can be optimized according to particular criteria, or can form a wide variety of hierarchically related design solutions, while supporting design intuition. The integration of Evolutionary Design with CAD-CAM, in particular the areas of flexible manufacturing and mass-customization, creates a unique scenario which exploits the full power of both approaches to create a new design-process paradigm that can generate limitless possibilities in a non-deterministic manner within a variable search-space of possible solutions.

This paper concerns itself with the technical and philosophical aspects of the codification, generation and translation of data within the evolutionary-parametric design process. The efficiency and relevance of different methods for treating design data form the most fundamental aspect within the realm of CAD/CAM and are crucial to the successful implementation of Evolutionary Design mechanisms. This begins at the level of seeding and progresses through the entire evolutionary sequence, including the codification for evaluation criteria. Furthermore, the integration of digital design mechanisms with CAM and CNC technologies requires further translation of data into manufacturable formats. This paper examines different methods available to system designers and discussed their effect on new paradigms of digital design methods.