Boundaries of Operationality for Creative Design

DS86: Proceedings of The Fourth International Conference on Design Creativity,Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA

Year: 2016
Editor: Julie Linsey, Maria Yang, and Yukari Nagai
Author: Douglas, Fisher
ISBN: 978-1-904670-82-7


Consider a library of designs that are available for reuse, reconfiguration, and remixing by human and/or
AI designers. Rather than retaining only fully-implemented designs, the retention of incomplete, partially
specified designs provides opportunities for creative design refinement and flexible reuse. In particular,
we explore tree-structured designs, created by top-down and bottom-up strategies, for purposes of
creative design refinement. High-level design templates provide constraints, as do low-level components that are available for
reuse. Between high-level templates and low-level components, are mid-level design elements, which if
fully fleshed out, give no room for creativity, and if insufficiently fleshed out, design may default to
design from scratch. We adapt research in AI, on optimal levels of abstraction for purposes of
categorization and problem solving, to design, with an eye on designs that are novel, utile, and surprising.
Annotating links between design components help assess recyclability and assembly costs of designs.

Keywords: tree-structured design; categorization; abstraction hierarchy; sustainable design

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