Thesis

Solutions to the global challenges we face undoubtedly require a wholistic approach that looks at the problem from multiple perspectives. One important and powerful perspective is that of the designer. Fuller offers an analogy to a ship in terms of the trim tab on the rudder (Fuller, 2008).

The trim tab has seemingly little to do with the overall working of the ship yet it has in fact a powerful influence on the overall heading even though it is a small and relatively innocuous component. Design and architectural design specifically represents such a leverage point.

Architecture has traditionally been the space of designers trained in architecture but not necessarily in computer science, yet the tools of the architect are becoming increasingly computer-based. Conversely, computer scientists are often not trained in design and yet their work is having a large effect on how buildings are designed and built and consequently on our built and natural environments.

Many tools are now available for the architect which not only have redefined how architects design and represent buildings but also suggest a new paradigm of design science that applies rigor and analysis to the creation of form. The field of design science anticipated by Fuller and others is still in its infancy and much remains to be done to bridge the gap between science and design. Machine learning, for instance, remains largely a black box to the architect/designer. Theproposed research will develop and test a design process integrating fractal geometry as anobjective function within a genetic algorithm as a means to produce higher quality designs.