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How can structural,
functional and fabrication
aspirations be most
effectively integrated into
digital design, without
losing its conceptual
inventiveness? Over the
last few years, the Digital
Structures research group
at the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology
has been investigating
just that. Group leader
Caitlin Mueller here offers
an account of its projects.
While computationally
optimising the design
process, they rely on
human collaboration in
order to evolve the best
option from a range of
possibilities.
As the use of computation for architectural design shifts from representation
and analysis to the generative and synthetic, new opportunities emerge to link
the creative exploration of geometry with technical aspirations such as lightness,
stiffness and performance. The work presented here, developed by the Digital
Structures research group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT),
demonstrates new digital strategies that address this potential, empowering
designers to incorporate structural and fabrication logic and data into
flexible, open-ended conceptual design processes. With this transformative
computational power, it is possible to find forms and material distributions that
are undiscoverable through conventional methods, ...

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