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Supporting reinterpretation in computer-aided conceptual design

Jowers, I. and Prats, M. and Lim, S. and McKay, A. and Garner, S. and Chase, S. and , AHRC (Funder) and , EPSRC (Funder) (2008) Supporting reinterpretation in computer-aided conceptual design. In: EUROGRAPHICS Workshop on Sketch-Based Interfaces and Modeling, 2008-06-11 - 2008-06-13.

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This paper presents research that aims to inform the development of computational tools that better support design exploration and idea transformation - key objectives in conceptual design. Analyses of experimental data from two fields - product design and architecture - suggest that the interactions of designers with their sketches can be formalised according to a finite number of generalised shape rules defined within a shape grammar. Such rules can provide a basis for the generation of alternative design concepts and they have informed the development of a prototype shape synthesis system that supports dynamic reinterpretation of shapes in design activity. The notion of 'sub-shapes' is introduced and the significance of these to perception, recognition and the development of emergent structures is discussed. The paper concludes with some speculation on how such a system might find application in a range of design fields.