GROWING DESIGN Echo Yang

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“Instead of collectively agreeing to some streamlined tools sold to us by large software companies, we need to reclaim the personal relationship we used to have with our tools. We need to reintroduce interesting points of friction in our highly optimized software. We must learn to create tools ourselves. After all, the computer is exactly that: a tool for creating tools.“

said by Jonathan Puckey, he is the creator of several programming tools and the one of the founder of conditional design. Today, designers create their own tools due to the demands, that embrace more possibilities of creating. This movement make me rethinking my usage of tools for design. Am I limited by the fixed method in both thinking way and tools? I intend to treat my design work as an alive creature, grow it, take care of it, feed it every day. With the idea of dealing with information, the work should grow up under a series of rules which including information.

Technology advancement leads to diversity of design tools, design tools lead to diversity of designers. The definition of designer is changing. Although there’s no direct relation between design and drawing, in Taiwan, the people who study design always get high score in their art courses during childhood. We are encouraged by the education system and mode, that’s one of the reasons we aspire to become designers, the career related to aesthetics. But what if when we were children, we painted with Wacom tablet instead of paintbrush, we learned programming instead of color mixing, are that different group of people becoming designers? If we use iPad as sketchpad or Processing as teaching material in elementary school, are that kind of children who can deal with digital stuff and present better outcomes could be designers in higher proportion?

Overall, in the field of graphic design, the usage of tools seems expand, but for personal, I consider that the changing is not that quite big. It more seems like, over time, the area of definition expand enough to cover another group of people with different thinking ways in pace with technology trend. Furthermore, we also can say that, at the time the computer and DTP participated in design process, the wider space were provided to a new group of designers that are not proficient in hand working. I am not trying to categorize designers with ability. I believe if you want, the tools are not limitation. It’s a concept that design tools lead to diversity of designers, then it causes the changing of designers’ definition. Through this analysis, I can locate myself in the map.

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What is generative design?

‘The opportunity to define the DNA of a project.A creative mathematics, at the borderline between order and chaos, in which strictness and structure are subverted by accidental parameters, that can make the final form indefinite. For the first time the machine acts like the nature. ‘

Research on Generative Design, Matteo Moretti

Information design can be presented by a lot of forms, the most attractive and valuable feature for me is generative thinking. Because it’s completely brand new thinking way which is relative to autonomous thinking methord. The form it creates is based on objective information more than personal consciousness. You are the rule setter, however, you don’t know how the final outcome will looks like. The most difficult part is discovering the appropriate scale and put it with the data, make the information appear from the chaos. When you put a scale, you get the weight; when you put a ruler, you get the length; when you put the Pantone guide, you get the color.It’s a quite big challenge for me, i am scared the randomness but meanwhile also fascinated by this kind of out of control scenario.

Usually, the work in generative design is all about programming and growing something in computer screen. At most they would be transformed into physical form, but they are still caculated in the virtual world. What if the design works are not grown in the virtual world but in the real world?The creations are usually seen as the children of creators, what if they are physically grown up by creators? How to execute graphic design through manually-generative process, just like treat the work as an alive plant?

echo-fig01 echo-fig02

Echo’s email: echo.tw@gmail.com
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About dae-master

We are 2nd year students following masters program in Social, Contextual, and Information Design at the Design Academy Eindhoven. Here we present our current thesis research, work in progress, hopes and expectations for our projects.

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