• Learning from the void: Researching design methods towards a new spatial paradigm

Li, Weiyi, 2024, Thesis, Learning from the void: Researching design methods towards a new spatial paradigm PhD thesis, Royal College of Art.

Abstract or Description:

This research focuses on a construction method based on digital cavities and surfaces. Today, any entity simulated by software is essentially a cavity wrapped in a thin film. This void is a space that is entirely invisible to others and belongs only to designers and manufacturers. It existed before the computer, and though ancient masons or potters may not have been aware of it, the craftsperson who cast metal must have discovered this space long ago: to shape hot liquid copper, a cavity of the same shape must be created in advance. Since ancient times, we have shaped form by creating cavities.

Today, modelling software shows this cavity to builders with unprecedentedly clarity. Here, the absence and presence of substance are directly equivalent. Even a substantial wall that is about to be constructed in the real world is nothing more than a void defined by a virtual surface in computer-aided design (CAD) software. This emptiness is the mechanism that allows us to oscillate between operability and perceivability, abstraction and materiality, concept and final product.

Design representation and illustration are frequently correlated with design outcome. They are the paths to the final construction and establish its predetermined boundaries. Through studying and reflecting on the new visual means of digital representational tools, as well as a series of practical projects, I seek to answer the following research question: is there a new method, or a new set of methods, of making things with the tools of today that marks entities with surface constraints?

Qualification Name: PhD
Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W200 Design studies
School or Centre: School of Design
Uncontrolled Keywords: Space, Tool; Making things in an interdisciplinary field; Design Method; CAD (Computer-aided design)
Date Deposited: 25 Apr 2024 13:13
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2024 13:13
URI: https://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/5822
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