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Computational Design Thinking

The current transition from Computer Aided Design (CAD) to Computational Design in architecture represents a profound shift in design thinking and methods. Representation is being replaced by simulation, and the crafting of objects is moving towards the generation of integrated systems through designer-authored computational processes. While there is a particular history of such an approach in architecture, its relative newness requires the continued progression of novel modes of design thinking for the architect of the 21st century. This AD Reader establishes a foundation for such thinking. It includes multifaceted reflections and speculations on the profound influence of computational paradigms on architecture. It presents relevant principles from the domains of mathematics and computer science, developmental and evolutionary biology, system science and philosophy, establishing a discourse for computational design thinking in architecture. Rather than a merely technical approach, the book will discuss essential intellectual concepts that are fundamental not only for a discourse on computational design but also for its practice. This anthology provides a unique collection of seminal texts by authors, who have either provided a significant starting point through which a computational approach to design has been pursued or have played a considerable role in shaping the field. An important aspect of this book is the manner in which adjacent fields and historical texts are connected. Both the source of original inspiration and scientific thought are presented alongside contemporary writings on the continually evolving computational design discourse. Emerging from the field of science, principally the subjects of morphogenesis, evolution and mathematics, selected texts provide a historical basis for a reconfigured mindset of processes that generate, arrange and describe form. Juxtaposed against more contemporary statements regarding the influence of computation on design thinking, the book offers advancements of fundamental texts to the particular purpose of establishing novel thought processes for architecture, theoretically and practically. The first reader to provide an effective framework for computational thinking in design. Includes classic texts by Johan W. von Goethe, D?Arcy Thompson, Ernst Mayr, Ludwig von Bertalanffy, Gordan Pask, Christopher Alexander, John H. Holland, Nicholas Negroponte, William Mitchell, Peter J. Bentley & David W. Corne, Sanford Kwinter, John Frazer, Kostis Terzidis, Michael Weinstock and Achim Menges Features new writing by: Mark Burry, Jane Burry, Manuel DeLanda and Peter Trummer.
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Table of Contents

Foreword Achim Menges and Sean Ahlquist Introduction Computational Design Thinking Sean Ahlquist and Achim Menges Formation and Transformation Johann Wolfgang von Goethe On the Theory of Transformations, Or the Comparison of Related Forms D?Arcy Wentworth Thompson Variational Evolution Ernst Mayr The Meaning of General System Theory Ludwig von Bertalanffy Systems Generating Systems Christopher Alexander The Architectural Relevance of Cybernetics Gordon Pask Towards a Humanism Through Machines Nicholas Negroponte A New Agenda for Computer-Aided Design William J Mitchell Algorithmic Form Kostas Terzidis Architecture and Practical Design Computation Mark Burry An Introduction to Creative Evolutionary Systems Peter J Bentley and David W Corne Constrained Generating Procedures John H Holland Real Virtuality Manuel DeLanda A Natural Model for Architecture John Frazer Morphogenesis and the Mathematics of Emergence Michael Weinstock Philosophy of Mathematics for Computational Design: Spatial Intuition Versus Logic Jane Burry Associative Design: From Type to Population Peter Trummer Integral Formation and Materialisation: Computational Form and Material Gestalt Achim Menges The Computational Fallacy Sanford Kwinter Select Bibliography Index

About the Author

Professor Achim Menges is Director of the Institute for Computational Design at Stuttgart University. Currently he is also Visiting Professor in Architecture at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design and Visiting Professor for the Emergent Technologies and Design Programme at the Architectural Association in London. Sean Ahlquist is a research associate at the Institute for Computational Design at Stuttgart University. He has taught at University of California Berkeley and California College of the Arts and founded the design firm, Proces2. He holds a Master of Architecture degree from the Emergent Technologies and Design Programme at the Architectural Association in London.

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