טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
M.Sc Thesis
M.Sc StudentDana Peretz Marco
SubjectModeling Design Style as a Series of Digital Rules Case
Study Charles and Ray Eames
DepartmentDepartment of Architecture and Town Planning
Supervisors Professor Oxman Rivka
Professor Emeritus Oxman Robertmaurice
Full Thesis text - in Hebrew Full thesis text - Hebrew Version


Abstract

Serial design or Serial operations is one of the most important concepts of the 20th century.
You can find it in the work of Gerrit Rietveld and Jose Duarte when discussing Architecture, and in the works of Piet Mondrian and Andy Warhole while discussing Art. The Seriality is never coincidental. The rules defines the semantics and world of imagery of the Serial Artist.

Is this concept can also be found in Industrial or Product Design? Specifically in chairs design? Does one find rule based operations in industrial design before the digital age? Can I bring those “Handmade”, Craft based cognitive operations to the digital world? Meaning, Can these rules be converted to a code based algorithm and get digital 3D result matching the physical object of the handmade series?  Can a Craft based Chair style can be created digitally?

I chose to base my study on Charles and Ray Eames, The pair of iconic designers that took the design world by storm in the previous century. Charles & Ray Eames vast body of work includes a variety of chairs and chairs collections.
After meticulously researching these chairs series, and classifying them, I’ve selected five pairs of chairs that will comprise my five research sub- series.
From this point I went on a mission to fined and identify connections within the pairs of chairs and between the five sub- series. I recognized that in all five sub- series, there is a set of transformation operations between chair A and Chair B of each pair. This set of operations is found in all five sub-series and defines the shape change between the first chair of the pair and the second one.

After identifying these reoccurring rules, I chose two sub series and modeled them via Rhino software. Using Grasshopper software I developed a digital algorithm that receives as input the first pair of chairs and activates rule based transformation iterations on the digital models. From the first Pair the algorithm “Learns” the shape transformation values when transforming from chair A to B in that pair. Transformation values are the value of the shape change in every surface checked in the transition from Chair A to Chair B.
 On the second iteration the algorithm receives only chair A from the second pair, on which it runs using the transformation values it received from the first sub-series.
The output received is a 3D model of a chair identical to the physical chair B of the second sub-series done manually by Charles & Ray Eames.

With this result I have proven that you can find iterative rule based operations in the design of Charles & Ray Eames chairs. I have also proven that their cognitive design process can be algorithmically digitized and produce a digital 3D model identical to its physical handmade twin.
Is this rule based design can be seen as an essential feature of Charles and Ray Eames’s style? Does it mean that you can model and digitize style?