2008 Oxman, N, Proceedings of Euro U-Rapid: International User’s Conference on Rapid Prototyping, Rapid Tooling and Rapid Manufacturing; Berlin, Germany, 61-69
ABSTRACT: A clear distinction generally exists between processes of design generation and processes of design production. The profusion of digital fabrication tools and technologies make evident such distinctions in the context of design production but at the same time carry potential for material and fabrication-based processes promoting generative design methods. Such strategic application and customization of digital fabrication tools, inherent in and inclusive to the process of design generation, require the knowledge and skill-set of production associating material to its fabrication and assembly methods. The paper addresses the area of fabrication based design and the term Rapid Gestalt is proposed to suggest that certain skills acquired through fabrication-customization processes, achieved through material formation, may contribute to fabrication-guided design protocols. Through the demonstration of some design experiments for multi functional and responsive structural skin systems, the paper classifies several forms of fabrication-informed production processes in which the notion of Rapid Gestalt is manifested through material selection, fabrication-method and assembly logic. The conception, development and application of such classification express a shift in contemporary design discourse promoting the notion of mass customization in the context of generative processes of design fabrication.