An Ontology of Computational Tools for Design Activities

Philippa Mothersill & V. Michael Bove Jr. (2018) An Ontology of Computational Tools for Design Activities, Proceedings of DRS2018 International Conference, 25–28 June 2018, Limerick, Ireland, p1261-1277, DOI: 10.21606/dma.2018.456


While able to automatically generate and optimise designs for variables provided by a designer, today’s computational design tools do not specialise in the earlier, more tacit tasks such as gathering and sorting disparate information or generating hypotheses and identifying novel directions. This paper presents a review of computational technologies that could potentially play a role in these early stage design activities. Using a framework that deconstructs design activities into algorithms and mechanisms, an ontology of computational tools related to these activities was created. Computational mechanisms such as neural networks and stochastic algorithms were found to provide features that could allow for discovering and linking new information together in order to provoke the often unexpected inspiration that can guide designs in the latter phases of development. 

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