How soon will Design Education be Able to Benefit from Computer Aided Design Systems?

John Frazer
1986, Vol. 18, No. 2,

Abstract


I gave a paper recently to a conference organised by the Design Council in the Royal Institution on Computers and 3D product design education. That paper was entitled 'How soon will CAD be able to aid design education?' and I quote first from my conclusion to that paper.

'Simple architectural type forms· have just become an economic reality on low cost systems. I don't think any system is useful to the designer until it is low cost and thus we have only just seen the beginning of the real potential for using computer aided design in the design field. Within the next two years we will see systems able to cope with complex sculptured forms on low cost systems and within a further two years we should see artificial intelligence techniques being able to involve the designer in a genuine dialogue about his design intentions and helping him as he goes. All these tools will, of course, be linked directly to the means of production and this will completely change the role of the designer and the role of the manufacturer and their relative interaction. This has profound implications for design education'. I

Although it is perhaps unwise of me to make public prophecies about when new software features will be available I think on this occasion I got it right. By the end of 1986 we will see on the market really valuable design tools running on low cost microprocessor based systems. So in this article I will attempt to do two things. First to show what the most powerful of the existing low cost systems are already able to achieve in terms of programs which aid design education; and second to describe those characteristics which I think are still necessary in the new and complete systems which I am anticipating becoming available before the end of this year.


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