READING RESPONSE:  Digital Design – Schodek

We have entered a new era or phase of digital design: no longer are we in the phase of designing for the sake of designing (we do it because we can) and exploring the limits of the capabilities. In this next phase we are becoming more critical of the accuracy, the flexibility, the adaptability, and the accessibility of each platform we are utilizing for design. I prefer to think of each software application as a pen in a drafter’s drawer: each  has its own unique uses and special application that are needed at specific times and it is the designers responsibility to have the necessary knowledge to implement and execute this selection. Currently the main avenues of focus are in parametric flexibility and BIM harvesting capability. CATIA is an industry leading software in that it combines both with proven precision. It compounds and develops on the system of parametric parent-child relationships that allow for the flexibility that requires front loaded investment into digital models but is rewarded by later stage flexibility.

This having been said however there is inherently something much more powerful about the parent-child relationships that will come into play as modeling applications continue to develop. Currently we tend to strive for loadable surface model or describe our models in terms of double curvature. Although necessary, this is catastrophically near sited. Nurbs modeling underpins all current parametric knowledge and logic. However, when this logic is applied to the fluid shapes of subdivision modeling (sub-d) it shatters in to irreconcilable matrix fractures (data-tree deterioration). This is due to underpinning logic of the nurbs UVW coordinate system—a new or modified mathematical solution is required to bluster our current parametric knowledge if we are to engage the computational and fabrication demands of the next generation of designers.

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