Sunday, January 25, 2009

CAD and the Future it Beholds

Computer aided design in the world today exists as not only a tool for preconceived design but rather an essential component in a designers process. With the development of the first personal computer many new programs have been written to aid designers in communicating their ideas to other professionals. Obviously not every designer had access to the super computers developed back in the 1960’s therefore computer aided design was irrelevant and even with the use of computers such as MIT’s TX-2 renderings and geometric calculations were far inferior of a designers mind.

With the development of the first CAD systems, designers began to realize the potential in computer technology. These first CAD programs helped designers calculate complex curves and geometries that would otherwise be impossible to create using newer materials such as sheet metal and reinforced concrete. In 1977 CAEADS [computer aided engineering and architectural design] was created for architects and engineers to perform a spacial analysis, energy analysis, and other building specific analysis’s for building functions.

Later artificial intelligence was implemented to examine how the computer would create specific solutions to problems on its own. Earlier systems would respond to full filling the needs of the inhabitants. However, flaws in this would later reveal that the computer cannot do as good a job on the details as the user manipulating the system.

Here’s where the controversy starts; whether you use a computer to analyze your ideas, or create them, the computer is only as smart as the person who’s using it. Today that rule still applies to almost every system out there, but programmers have made design progressively easier to accomplish. An example would be the amount of designers now a day that continue the practice of hand drafting. Some designers still lack the necessary skills to hand render or draw their ideas. These complications arise when technology begins to take over the profession.

I believe the future holds a great deal of knowledge for us to obtain, because computers cannot realize every aspect in design, most importantly the fact that sustainability and our environment are two primary design objectives that a computer may never understand. Artificial intelligence can only exist with a processor, or brain, that can continue to rewire itself or like us relearn and unlearn certain things. In reality the only true intelligence is one that can learn from its mistakes and change when it’s environment and society is asking for it; this require consciousness. The culmination of “conscious” machines is not possible, however the culmination of human and machine is probable.

1 comment:

Ross Hetherington said...

My belief is that you can't have one without the other. Although cad is great, the actual physical touch of a pen on paper leads me to think that more and more should be done by hand.