Notes for an Improvisational Specification of Design Spaces

  • Alexandros CharidisEmail author
Conference paper


Classical specifications for design spaces are characterized by an implicit need for a priori closure of descriptions of alternative designs before calculating. In this paper, an improvisational specification for design spaces made of shapes is presented. Shapes created visually and without prior description are recorded in a computation history. This history is read backwards to specify descriptions of recorded shapes and the space in which they are closed members. Descriptions of shapes, and the space in which they lie, are both made on the go as rules are applied in the course of a computation; every new visual action (rule application) redescribes the space in which the shapes obtained “thus far” belong. A reconsideration of the classical notion of a design space and its various uses in design theory is suggested, emphasizing a need to reconcile traditional formalistic pursuits that aim at “capturing” descriptions of alternative design possibilities with the open-ended, improvisational nature of creative work in architecture, the visual arts, and related areas of spatial design.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA

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