Supporting Creative Design Using Adjacency Structures

S. Meyer, S. J. Fenves, and F. Zhao

Whether engineering designers aim to be creative or simply to meet the design requirements their design processes often produce creative solutions. We view creativity in engineering design as a title given after the design product is evaluated in the context of its requirements and historical setting. The potential for creative design is increased as more of a solution space can be explored and as new problem formulations are utilized. In this light, we discuss a representation that allows both a reformulation of our design problem and an expanded search space. The graph-based representation, adjacency structures, is presented along with recent work on its use within particular design methods. The representation integrates a geometric model with functional information as a means of expressing a more complete formulation of the design problem. A systematic approach is discussed as a search method increasing the potential for creative design by exploring larger regions of a solution space. In this paper we focus on the use of adjacency structures within the domain of architectural and structural design.

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