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Saturday, October 29, 2005

SWARM: fly, fly my pretties

i read this and this and i've been thinking. in the janine benyuss book on biomimicry she mentions evolutionary software calculating stuff. they create a set of rules, and allow the code to mutate, selecting the best code they then repeat the process until they end up with the ultimate result, code which has evolved and been bred to do one thing. apparently there is, or was a site on the net that had computer art. every 20 minutes people voted on the mutation that made the most attractive pattern, and the one that won was allowed to mutate into other patterns while the others were killed off. i don't think computers will ever replace designers because codes like this one would tend to design for the average, not making the works that really knock us out. i guess it may mean less jobs for cad guys designing dustpans in china, but it doesn't worry me that much.

an open source approach to product design:
meaning everyone can contribute. one way this works that i have come up with is. imagine a hammer with a handle made of soft stone , that wears with use. if it were passed around among a group of people it would wear down to suit the size of their hands. that is an example, albeit poor, of evolutionary or open source design, everyone contributes.

emergent or swarm product design:
is described as if the equation 2+2 = 4 was changed to become 2+2 = apples. meaning basic connected sets of rules or actions result in a solution that is greater then the sum of its parts. if only i could work out how to apply this one it would be awesome. imagine group work where each person follows a set of guidelines to come up with a result that is combined with other results from other members to create something greater then even a combined person made up of all the seperate constituents could create. the example given is of ants who have little brains that work out difficult equations relating to placement of structures.


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