Desén is a research project using computational simulations to understand intricate patterns associated with water movements, and then algorithmically apply them to furniture and object forms.
Since the Industrial Revolution, nature is viewed differently; it is perceived to be changeable and malleable. As designers increasingly seek inspiration from nature, the world of things seems to shift around us, and the transitions between the real, the digital, and the virtual realms demand reorientation. Such transitions are being expedited by trends in digital fabrication and sustainable design.
Desén furthers research into these complex relationships using a new, more scientific, approach with the final results yielding a unique balance between form and force.
The Role of the Designer
The Computational fluid dynamic algorithms (typically used in marine and aerospace applications) result in deformed geometries which is then subjected to structural testing through finite element analysis software and ultimately prepared for fabrication via a series of slicing softwares and meshing tools designed for architecture and construction.
The entire design process has been largely automated using open source software and python scripting, which changes the role of the designer: the designer no longer “designs” the objects themselves, but rather “designs” the rules, conditions and boundaries of the simulation. As a result, the geometry is not always practical, and the idea goes against certain trends into performative-based architecture parameterisation.
The results are ornate and delicate morphologies, which would be impossible to
design by hand or fabricate in a traditional way. Though seemingly chaotic, each piece has an innate sense of order and pattern. This idea confronts current trends in performance based design movements by glorifying the unique sculptural qualities, even monstrosities, that nature creates – a design sentiment that harkens back to the Gothic period.
Further, this research raises questions about the boundaries of design between physics, nature, engineering and fabrication. It pushes us to consider new applications of algorithmic thought from disciplines traditionally disconnected with aesthetics.
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