FWD TALKS* #8 DesignScript: A New Programming Language For Designers

WHAT: The act of designing appears to combine two distinct ways of thinking. On the one hand designing is characterised by the relation- ships between different aspects of the design, and on the other hand designing often involves a process of iterative refinement. The role of computational design tools is to provide ways in which the thoughts of the designer can be externalised and executed. In this context, we can see that these two aspects of design naturally map into two alternative computational paradigms. Relationships and the dependencies between items of the design can be represented visually by graph based associative applications, while iterative refinement can be rep- resented by conventional imperative programming usually presented by text based notation in an Integrated Development Environment. Both approaches have important and complementary roles to play in augmenting the work of a designer. This presentation will describe how these two computational paradigms (Associative and Imperative) have been unified into a single end-user language: DesignScript.

WHO: Robert Aish is Director of Software Development at Autodesk and leads the DesignScript project. He studied Industrial Design at the Royal College of Art, London and has a Ph.D. in Human Computer interaction from the University of Essex. He has worked for a num- ber of design practices and software developers, including Arup, RUCAPS, Intergraph and Bentley, where he developed GenerativeCom- ponents. Aish is a co-founder of SmartGeometry and a visiting professor of Design Computation at the University of Bath. His interests are in the development of end-user programming systems that can contribute to more thoughtful architectural design.


* FWD TALKS is a series of fast-pacing talks followed by discussions presenting ideas at the intersection of design,  technology,  and policy.

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