The term Design Seems to be changing frequently, as our understanding of technologies also does. The meaning of this term in computer science as opposed to Architectural Design is vastly different. Yet as we move towards so-called singularity may be the terms are converging ?
The notion of a Design Paradigm derives from an idea of paradigm originating in Sociology of Science, which carries at least two main meanings:
- As models, archetypes, or quintessential examples of solutions to problems. A 'paradigmatic design' in this sense, refers to a design solution that is considered by a community as being successful and influential. Usually success is associated to market share or some other measure of popularity, but this need not be the case.
- As Sociological paradigm, a design paradigm is the constellation of beliefs, rules, knowledge, etc that is valid for a particular design community. Here a paradigm is not a particular solution, but rather the underlying system of ideas that causes a range of solutions to be 'normal' or 'obvious'.
While the first meaning of "design paradigm" refers to exemplary design solutions that create "design trends", the second meaning refers to what a group of people expect from a type of design decisions, or maybe rather problem solutions. Apparent from this is: If you change the level on which to create architectural designs, the connection to the social and archetypal paradigm will change. Taking into consideration two different references as in the definitions above, may cause you to stop and think. The first is written by Christopher Alexander in 1977, and the other one is from the year 2000. Do you think Design paradigms could be compared ? Certainly the two definitions above would yield very different results when considering architectural design - Not only on a technical or technological level, but also on the conceptual.
So, if there are multiple Design paradigms within the fields of Design, maybe a new one has risen within the realm of architecture. One where the individual has technically distanced itself from the carpentry, but not the theoretical framework. To many, this thought is not alien at all - it is the implementation of it that is dramatic. You are moving the concept of design from "object design" to "design of tool for object design". Many have done this before, it is just not often that Architects do it. They usually work with the tools that are provided for them.
I would argue that we all are just finding different ways of working with algorithms. Parametric design is another way of thinking about architecture, but it is obvious that the more you can abstract your ideas before building the project back up to the specific, the wider is the horizon for the choice of design. Working with abstraction in this way and going to new levels of indirection is something computer programming itself is dependent upon to evolve and solve more and more complex problems. If you can abstract into geometrical ratios, value- systems, virtual functions - You CAN achieve a larger and more exciting base for the design choice. As of now, the Designer must still make choices of good and bad on a project - level, but it is obvious to me that our notion of a insufficient virtual reality will not be insufficient for that much longer. Nothing really new and fresh comes from sticking with the systems you are used to. Architecture is more then just putting the pieces together, but for now it appears visually more simple then what we dare to imagine.