Design sciences

Creativity, innovation and computational design synthesis

Creativity and innovation are key factors in the nation’s competitiveness and wealth creation. Innovation management processes are used to ensure organisations respond effectively to internal and external opportunities. However, the focus of these processes tends to be at an organisational level and they are not well integrated into technical aspects of the product development processes that deliver products to market.

This research investigates ways in which the emerging discipline of [shape and spatial] design computation can enhance technical creativity and innovation in early product development processes. If successful, the research could lead to a new generation of computer aided design synthesis systems that support early design ideation processes leading to improved responsiveness to customer needs, reduced time to market and reduced through life costs.

Our research in this are is contributing to the emerging discipline of design computation. This is based on shape and spatial grammar formalisms (Stiny, 2008). It provides an alternative scientific foundation on which a new generation of computer aided design synthesis tools might be built. In contrast to traditional CAD systems that support the definition of a design once its shape is known, design computation provides the possibility for designers to work with ambiguous shapes in ways more aligned with creative design activities described by Schon and Wiggins (Schön and Wiggins, 1992). Schon and Wiggins demand systems that support ambiguity and emergence.

Research team

For more information, please get in touch:

Professor Alison McKay
Dr Hau Hing Chau
Dan Trowsdale