Unblurring Computational Design Landscape Across Fields of Knowledge: An Integrative Model Proposal


With the evolution of computational design, industrial designers, architects and mechanical engineers have never had so many tools and techniques to create and develop their solutions. Moving beyond the common passive use of computer tools, in all these fields, professionals are using computer-based approaches to augment their spectrum of possibilities, enabling the creation of optimized structures, the rapid and easy change of parameters, the sweeping of a vast space of solutions, the creative exploration of shapes and more. While all these contributions arising from various fields have been adding to build knowledge on the topic, their distinct origins have created a blurred landscape, in which similar terms such as parametric design, algorithmic design and generative design are frequently used indiscriminately to designate different things. This uncritical approach, typical of emerging research topics, leads to misconception and creates constraints in the learning and research process. Following an integrative literature review approach, where concepts connected with computational design and how they are defined and applied in different fields of knowledge are compared, this paper aims to contribute with an integrative model for computational design. Beyond the necessary discursive clarification among fields of knowledge, the model intends to redefine computational design key concepts, clarifying their definitions and foundations, related design phases, classification criteria, relationships and relative positions, and, when possible, where their boundaries, overlapping and intersecting lines can be draw.


Diogo Carvalho
Student, Master in Engineering and Product Design, University of Aveiro, Portugal


Presentation Type

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session


Design Management and Professional Practice


Computational design integrative model; Parametric Design; Generative Design; Algorithmic Design

Digital Media


Unblurring Computational Design Landscape Across Fields of Knowledge (mp4)