Undisciplined Design

P. Atkinson Et Al, 'Post Industrial Manufacturing Systems: the undisciplined nature of generative design'. Proceedings of DRS2008, Design Research Society Biennial Conference, Sheffield, UK July 16-19 2008

Post Industrial Manufacturing Systems (PIMS) is a research program exploring the impact of emerging technologies in Rapid Prototyping, Direct Digital Manufacture, Parametric Modelling and Generative Design software on the design process.

The initial research project within PIMS involved developing a software system that allowed the user to view various products which were continually randomly mutating in. The user could not affect the form itself or the mutation in any way, but could decide at which moment they wanted to 'freeze' the constantly changing form to create a unique. The user could then purchase the product, at which point the relevant stl files were generated and exported to a rapid prototyping machine to be manufactured.

This paper will describe different approaches to random generative design and discuss the implications for design and craft, their interpretation and meaning raised by this research. The experience of using these systems potentially opens the floodgates for amateur design and craft in ways previously unimagined. Developments such as these are clearly harbingers of a new era for design and craft and an example of the reshaping of disciplines.

The full paper can be downloaded from the Online Proceedings.