Design Research – North Carolina State University
In 2015, Neri Oxman — architect, designer, and professor at the MIT Media Lab — talked about “moving to a new age of design, that takes us from a nature-inspired design to a design-inspired nature”.
This inspiration from nature and living organisms has been demonstrated in architecture, industrial and computational design with design practices taking inspirations from patterns or shapes reminiscent of nature. These complex patterns and shapes from Nature also reference the complexity of the nature of things — nature as biological organisms, and also, nature as the inherent complexity of the design.
Taking inspiration from this complexity also suggests the importance of a preliminary research to embrace it. I looked at how natural processes in the context of the human genetic can inform the designer’s research process and encourage him/her to embrace complexity as part of the process while enhancing his/her creative flow.
I am referencing how the variable nature of DNA allowed me to create this diversity between external (environment) and internal phenomena (genetic recombination) as a metaphor of the design research processes.
We are discovering how computation and algorithms also involve complexity and can help us sort out and make sense of it by their ability to analyze, visualize and discover its value. Considering these collaborations between science and design can allow more multi-disciplinary practices while contributing to an understanding of the nature of complexity across disciplines by creating content that is being understood across fields and disciplines. In that realm, machine learning has the potential to help blend the gaps between disciplines.
Genetic x Creative Diversity
In what ways can the metaphorical visualization of the genetic diversity and variability inform the designer’s research process?
Design Research Under The Lens
In what ways can the nature of the genetic diversity be used as a metaphor to help the designer embrace the complexity of contemporary (design) problems as part of his/her practice?
How can designers integrate the use of machine-learning enhanced systems within their process to help them to embrace and value complexity as the nature of contemporary (design) problems?
Genetically Designed is a unified system of theories combined into a digital toolkit to help design students embrace complexity within their creative design research and flow.
Genetically Designed supports interdisciplinary work and studies to facilitate and encourage richer cross-disciplinary research and collaboration.
“Artists and designers have been looking at the sciences as a resource for materials and knowledge useful for cultural practices.” Arzu Ozkal