Thursday, May 27, 2010


The article “Computing in Architectural Design” by Yehuda Kalay provides a very detailed description of the history of the use of computers to aid in design dating back to the 1950s. Beginning with Ivan Sutherland in the early 1960s and his development of the “light-pen” and sketchpad, computer aided design has come an extremely long way. The concept for this first system was one in which the draftsman would draw using the light-pen onto a complex display known as a sketchpad, where the computer would process what has been drawn by hand and convert it to math and a graphed set of numbers. The article follows the timelines through the decades describing high points of noteworthy breakthroughs of CAD technology. Some lessons I took from this article are that technology will never stop getting faster and smaller, and by the time a new precedent is set in CAD, there is already something more innovative in the works. The most important point I took from this article re-enforces the thinking I have been talking about for years: no matter how far technology advances, the most precious resource in the world will always be the creative thought processes of the human mind.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


As students in the field of design, we are privileged to expand our knowledge in areas that can be applied in many aspects of life. Understanding basic elements of design such as line, form, and color transcend the purposes we typically use them for. Of course when designing an apartment, a coffee table, or a car, control and use of these elements are essential. However while learning to control design elements and principles, we are also learning to control the things that greatly affect our happiness. The same thought processes used to design an apartment and a coffee table, are also used to write a piece of music, or cook a good meal. At first, this may sound odd, but if you reduce what you are doing when you are cooking, drawing, or playing music to their most refined state, you will see that when doing most things that make you happy, you are in some way always doing the same thing, you are just using a different vehicle to get there.
Music is one thing that makes me happier than most other things in the world. For me, making music is not unlike designing. I have written a piece of music on my bass guitar that is a representation of the way I would describe my design process. The piece represents the course of a project from start to finish. Starting with a steady rhythm, each project or design always starts with an idea or a spark. This idea is explored for a while, leading to new avenues and ideas that are also explored. We go back and forth between two or three ideas, always in search of the Utopian design: the one design that answers all of the questions and inspires everyone who engages the piece. Inevitably, we always end up over-thinking and over-analyzing until we grind to a halt. But eventually we make a decision, head in a direction, and rework our ideas until we arrive at our final product. At that point we are happy to have made it to the end, excited the struggle is over, and looking forward for what will come next. It was my goal to embody this process in this piece of music entitled ‘Keep Moving.’

- Jeff Linn