on computational design

a brief except from the introduction Jesse wrote for our Easton Pribble Visiting Artist lecture at Pratt MWP last week.

“This talk is going to be partly an exhibit of our work, partly a science lesson, and partly a discussion of where we think computational design is going.  But what do we mean by computational design?  In short, it means creating computer programs as part of the design process.  This goes beyond using computer programs as a tool.  It is computation as a medium.  It isn’t just automating something you could do by hand, like drawing a thousand lines, but doing things that really only make sense by writing software.  It is new, and we’re still trying to understand it but computation is a medium for making things.  Programming is a very explicit process.  Nothing happens without you telling the computer to do exactly that thing.  In some ways, it is the most verbose and articulate creative process there is. Sometimes people might ask us, ‘Why do you work this way? Why do you use computation?’  But for us it is not really a choice.  What we do is integrally linked to our interest in computation and biology, and if we weren’t making things this way, we probably wouldn’t be designers.”

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