Generative design is an iterative design process that involves a program that will generate a certain number of outputs that meet certain constraints, and a designer that will fine tune the feasible region by changing minimal and maximal values of an interval in which a variable of the program meets the set of constraints, in order to reduce or augment the number of outputs to choose from. The program doesn't need to be ran on a machine like a digital computer, it can be ran by a human for example with pen and paper. The designer doesn't need to be a human, it can be a test program in a testing environment or an artificial intelligence (see for example Generative adversarial networks). The designer learns to refine the program with each iteration as his design goals become better defined over time.
The output could be images, sounds, architectural models, animation and many more. It is therefore a fast method of exploring design possibilities that is used in various design fields such as art, architecture, communication design, and product design.
The process combined with the power of digital computers that can explore a very large number of possible permutations of a solution enables designers to generate brand new options, beyond what a human alone could create, to arrive at a most effective and optimized design. It mimics nature’s evolutionary approach to design through genetic variation and selection.
Generative design is becoming more important, largely due to new programming environments (Processing, vvvv, Quartz Composer, Open Frameworks) or scripting capabilities (GenerativeComponents, Grasshopper 3D in Rhinoceros 3D, Scriptographer, Sverchok for Blender) that have made it relatively easy, even for designers with little programming experience, to implement their ideas. It is also facilitated thanks to tools in commercially available CAD packages such as Autodesk's Fusion 360, Frustum's Generate and solidThinking Inspire. ParaMatters Inc, developed a unique generative design technology which is able to generate very high performance structures with smooth surfaces and ready for manufacturing without a need to reconstruct geometry. ParaMatters supports generative design for heavy engineering applications considering stress, deformation, stiffness and vibration constraints. ParaMatters technology can generatively design structure with few candidate materials.
- Generative art
- Computer art
- System dynamics
- Genetic algorithms
- Random number generation
- Procedural modeling
- Topology optimization
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