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Supporting design exploration

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posted on 02.12.2010, 09:50 by Michael Smyth
The aim of this research was to investigate strategies for the support of design exploration, in particular, how computer based technology could contribute to this activity during the early phase of design. The research comprised of the design and development of three software prototypes, the later versions of which enabled discussions with design professionals concerning the underpinning approach of the work. Three case studies of design practice were undertaken. These focused on the interdependencies between freehand drawing, physical modelling and CAD. Based on the research it was concluded that computer based support for exploration during the early phase of design was viable and that the generation of alternative solutions played a key role in the process. Furthermore, the approach offered by shape grammars provided a generative mechanism that was both grounded in the discipline of design and amenable to representation in a computer based system. Finally, it was concluded that the introduction of a 'controlled irregularity' into the resulting design alternatives increased their likelihood of encouraging design exploration.



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© Michael Smyth

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

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