Digital Design Deficit

The lecture about digital design being the main tool of how new materials are presented. I agree. Many new materials cannot be thought of in conventional ways, as far as designing goes. Take for instance, a moldable plastic. There are many forms that are outside the box. These materials are just dying to be developed in a program such as Rhino, instead of the flat diagrams of AutoCAD. And with the new materials comes the different ways of fabricating such cool forms. The programs that design these new modern forms, and the machines that fabricate these programs are in a new era of design. And this design requires digital programs and knowledge of these programs.

This can only be made with design and computer design knowledge

This is where my argument lies. Currently, there is a large gap in knowledge. And that gap in knowledge, is the deep understanding of these newer programs that develop designs differently and with more innovation.  I know everyone here in this class, and many students here at the University of Minnesota College of Design know what I am talking about. It is the fact that we are being told by professionals that knowledge of these programs is required in today’s design world, and the U is not doing anything about this. Currently, the only computer based design class being taught on a regular basis is 3DS Max and AutoCAD, and AutoCAD doesn’t even count as an elective credit, even though multiple architects have said that this is #1 in your repertoire.

You can conceptualize this design, but only computer programs make it into a physical object

If we are to lean to use these new material and new ways of fabricating them, we need to be educated on the programs that run them. Without this knowledge, how can we implement new material use if we can’t use the programs made to run them. So what I propose is that in educational institutions, we must be taught the design portion of thinking, but we must also be taught how to make our design a reality.


One comment

  1. I really enjoyed reading this post for the subject matter that it brings to light. I too struggle with the idea of feeling in the dark when it comes to the many new programs that are becoming available to architects. Though the education we get in this school forms us into great designers and gives us the ability to think outside of the box when it comes to a design problem, representing those ideas is a very gray area. Today is the age of technology and innovation and to not even have a Revit class offered at this University is a little outrageous in my opinion. The school does offer some tutorials and workshops to hone our skills in the creative suite programs, but to get those technical skills through programs like Revit, or Vray, we need to almost seek outside learning from a more technical school.
    I agree completely with the idea that we really do need to make that push to start being taught on how to make our designs a reality. I know the university has heard the complaints from the students that we really do not have the Photoshop skills to make clean renderings or Indesign to better layout our presentation boards, but programs like Rhyno or Revit need to all be encompassed into a class on digital representation. Its one thing to have an idea in our head, and yeah we may be able to sketch it out or model it, but the idea is still not as clear as it may be through a 3D printed model. So like Garret I believe the time is now to start encompassing these multiple modes of representation into one or two intensive classes for students. After all the real world is getting closer and closer for us as students everyday.

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