Journal Article
Design innovation through constraint modeling

This paper describes how constraint modeling can support design innovation. Furthermore, it lays out
how constraints are employed in the construction and exploration of a model’s design space. The paper
places the approach within the context of design exploration using computational and conceptual
representations of design. A review of the literature, reveals that geometric, topologic, functional, and
quantitative constraints are those most commonly used. For each constraint type, an example is
presented drawing from several workshops and research conducted by the author. The examples range
from product design, to structural design, to fabrication issues in freeform geometry. Based on the case
studies, the paper describes how the different types of constraints can be used as design drivers and
help in the exploration of solution spaces. In conclusion, the paper identifies the need for bi-directional
exercising of constraints as the next challenge in design exploration and discusses how it is relevant in
particular for cross domain design.

Title
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsKilian A
JournalIJAC
Abstract

This paper describes how constraint modeling can support design innovation. Furthermore, it lays out
how constraints are employed in the construction and exploration of a model’s design space. The paper
places the approach within the context of design exploration using computational and conceptual
representations of design. A review of the literature, reveals that geometric, topologic, functional, and
quantitative constraints are those most commonly used. For each constraint type, an example is
presented drawing from several workshops and research conducted by the author. The examples range
from product design, to structural design, to fabrication issues in freeform geometry. Based on the case
studies, the paper describes how the different types of constraints can be used as design drivers and
help in the exploration of solution spaces. In conclusion, the paper identifies the need for bi-directional
exercising of constraints as the next challenge in design exploration and discusses how it is relevant in
particular for cross domain design.