Complex Product Form Generation in Industrial Design: A Bookshelf Based on Voronoi Diagrams

  • Axel Nordin
  • Damien Motte
  • Andreas Hopf
  • Robert Bjärnemo
  • Claus-Christian Eckhardt


Complex product form generation methods have rarely been used within the field of industrial design. The difficulty in their use is mainly linked to constraints – such as functionality, production and cost – that apply to most products. By coupling a mathematically described morphology to an optimisation system, it may be possible to generate a complex product form, compliant with engineering and production constraints. In this paper we apply this general approach to the designing of a bookshelf whose structure is based on Voronoi diagrams. The algorithm behind the developed application used here is based on a prior work submitted elsewhere [1], adapted to the bookshelf problem. This second example of product form generation, which includes specific constraints, confirms the relevance of the general approach.

The handling of complex morphologies is not straightforward. Consequently, an explorative study on that theme has been performed. A user interface has been developed that allows for designing a bookshelf based on Voronoi diagrams. The user interface was subsequently tested by peer designers. The results suggest that user attitudes diverge: one faction preferred maximum freedom of creation, that is, maximum control of the form creation process; the other faction wanted the application to generate a bookshelf based on their functional needs (e.g. adapt to the number and types of objects to be stored) and would ask for a “surprise me” effect for the final solution.


Voronoi Diagram Voronoi Cell Industrial Design Production Constraint Shape Grammar 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Netherlands 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Axel Nordin
    • 1
  • Damien Motte
    • 1
  • Andreas Hopf
    • 1
  • Robert Bjärnemo
    • 1
  • Claus-Christian Eckhardt
    • 1
  1. 1.Lund UniversitySweden

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