Design has always looked on the one hand to the sciences, math and social theory for hard concepts to bring new knowledge into everyday experience and on the other hand to the arts and letters for emotional interpretation, integration and deep connection. A designer must be as good at understanding theory as he is at mining the cultural or aesthetic fringes for the next cool thing which is barely possible design. It isn’t necessary to make design at the edge of the human experience and it is expensive with very limited application at first but it does re-search constructs and thereby teaches us about what we can make/do/be. The alternative is to make design which is responsible to our sustainability and supports our physical experience at the basic level. But humans especially successful ones seem to need to show off how successful or clever or connected they are, so objects which demonstrate intelligence, wit or complex social relationship and control are still and perhaps always will a trend.
Technology alters reality by showing us what we could dream and can do. It is seldom responsible design, because no one has a plan about what to do with the waste, bad copies, and spin-off applications. But it is important for us to test our ideas and show others what is possible. Have a look at the wonderful equation generated architectural objects of Michael Hansmeyer
The picture at the top is of an algorithm generated structure with beautiful relationships, details and a visible logic which shows its roots in mathematical theory. In the last 20 years reverse engineering of nature’s complexity has reviled many insights into how natural evolution process has evolved fantastic structural solutions to local constraints that leds survival/ sustainable and advantageous forms. But in almost all cases nature’s creations have much higher level of sophistication and perfect execution so their evolved difference fits their situation. Designers know that multiple cycles of product development with inputs from every stockholder or influencing aspect should be executed to insure that the product correctly fits its market context. They should know from the history of science that for a solution to fit that benchmark it should be as sophisticated (and not mores due to costs) as state of the market place that it must answer to. With environmental that is entire life cycle considerations in a fast changing economy and global marketplace getting that standpoint right from the beginning of a product design project is basic to a truthful business plan.
Creation with the newest generation of CAD
To this end researchers of wood structures are looking for the possiblities of wood applications and test ideas at 1:1 until they fail. It is a wonderful world of creativity and destruction to re-search, test, show and develop what one can do with wood in architectual and design applications.
See wonderful wood test structure made by Uni-Stuttgart.