Math in Design

This morning I came across some work of students in Patricia Muñoz‘s Morfologia class posted on YouTube (via).

Look through their gallery or check out the course abstract (en inglés).

The idea is to use the intersection of two “simple” objects as a primitive for design.
With the intersection, slight modifications are introduced achieve a sense of aesthetic… tending towards a minimum (or maximum, critical point) of some sort of aesthetic energy function on a configuration space, if you’ll indulge me. Exercise: Make this precise.

This seems to be a common sort of approach in design.  Begin with a core concept, and then tweak it / bend the rules…  Well I could go on and on about this, but perhaps it’s best left to future posts for parceling.

After the jump: I’ve picked out a couple of the videos, though you should check out all the others too.

I got the impression most of the students were working with Rhino3D.  These, as well as the others, suggest possible uses for Rhino -and other 3D modelers- in Topology and Geometry.  If these stimulate ideas of things you’d like to see me or any other fellow travelers attempt to realize (in virtuo, though I’m scheming to do some in vivo and just maybe one of these days in vitro) let me know.

(Note: some have audio, some don’t.)

~ by Ken Baker on July 4, 2008.

8 Responses to “Math in Design”

  1. Heck, may even try in utero with the right collaborator. 😉

  2. René Thom’s book “Structural Stability & Morphogenesis” probably has a response to the exercise you propose.
    Incidentally, that book seems to be something of a cult classic among archit. design theorists.
    P.S. Great blog!!

  3. Thanks Philip! I’m gonna go track that book down.

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  5. Hi, I think it would have been great if you made contact so we could have introduced some precisions in your comments. One of the practices of one of our courses dealt with intersections but it wasn´t quite accurate your description. The videos dealt with the way in which you could show a process of design not in static images but by short animations. They were models, not “the real thing”. The picture with the 3d models was a panel of the work of the first term of the three courses of Morphology in Industrial Design. That year we worked in the abstract/material relation, dealing with the contents of each course. The image was aimed to give an overview of the development of the topic in that period of time.
    It would be great if you could contact me by mail so I could explain you further and make myself more clear (sorry for imprecisions but english is not my mother language).
    Anyhow, thanks for spreading the information.

  6. Hi Patricia,

    Thanks for the clarification of your course. The videos themselves pleasingly illustrate fundamental interactions between shapes, even if it was not their ultimate purpose.

  7. Thanks Ken for your comment.

  8. Dear Prof. Ken Baker,
    I should like to invite you to attend the 6th International Conference of Mathematics & Design, that will be held at Buenos Aires, Argentina, 07-11 June 2010. Please, enter into the Website for more details!!
    Best regards
    Vera W. de Spinadel

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