the first design cafe event of the stan ackermans institute what means new in research, design and...
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The first Design Cafe Event
of the Stan Ackermans Institute
“What means NEW in research, design and art ?”
Kees van Heeprof of computer science, director of SAI
• Why a Design Cafe?• New developments in SAI• What means NEW in research, design and
Why a Design Cafe?
• To meet other PDEng trainees and staff• To discuss the future plans for SAI• Lectures, for example about:• The Science of Design• The best PDEng projects• Experiences of practitioners• Vision of captains of industry
Formula for the Design Cafe
• 4 events per year:• September, December, March, June• 20 minutes: organizational issues• 50 minutes: lecture
• Program committee: • Prof Leegwater, dr Janse, two PDEng
students??• Location: Black Box• Next year also invitations to Delft
New developments in SAI
• To determine the strategy of SAI a survey study has been done (summary follows)
• There are several initiatives for new programs (also in Delft)
• There is a discussion going on about graduate schools and the role of PDEng in this school.
Conclusions: survey Good Bad
Quality of programs Recognition of PDEng degree
Quality of PDEng trainees Visibility of programs in the market (industry and universities)
Offering of programs Recognition of PDEng programs in the university community
Supply of assignments from industry
Cost / benefit ratio (for TU/e)
Price / performance ratio (for industry)
•Unique position (in world)•Succesful programs•Good demand from market• Ideal form of valorization•SAI progams create Brain Gain•Financial healthy programs
•Little synergy between programs and departments•Almost invisible: •in the market•in the departments•in The Hague and Bruxels•Confusing degree (PDEng)
•3TU makes it possible to scale up•Roll out of successful programs to other universities•Demand for new programs
•Insufficent support in TU/e•No PDEng premium of the Ministery of Education and Sciences•Sub-critical programs (< 10 trainees per year)
Plans for the future
• More marketing internal and external• More involvement of the scientific staff• New programs • Common social events, more common courses• More publications on designs and more patents• Better integration of PDEng assignments in
larger research projects with industry• Embedding of PDEng in the graduate school• Feasibilty study for part-time program for
designers with 5 years experience• Distance learning for incoming trainees
What means NEW in research, design and
art?Design is about a:•Physical product, like a building or a coffee machine•A production process, like a chemical process or a business process in a bank•A service, which is in fact a process•A system, like a software system or an organization
Research, design and art
Research Design ArtQuestions
Why? What-if? Why not?
Leads to Theory Artifact Artifact
Searches Truth One of the possibilities
Emotion, surprise, entertainment
Thinks Invariants Choices Uniqueness
Steps Logic Truth
Trial and error
Aim Knowledge Useful product Non-functional product
What is new (pussycat) ?
• Scientists discover something new(so it was already there)
• Engineers invent something new• Artists create something new
Is there a difference?If yes, what is it?
Discovery or inventions?
• Discovery means finding something that was already there, but:as far as we know it was unkown
• Are these discoveries?• The finding of the Neandertahler• The double helix in DNA (Crick and Watson)
• Are these discoveries or inventions?• The formula F=m.a or E=m.c2 (Newton,
Nature has created, what we discover!• This is true for the big sciences like:
physics, chemistry, biology, geology• Social sciences discover what we think, what
we feel and how we behave. • Nature is the big “creator”. We also discover
the creation process of nature (big bang, evolution theory)
• But nature did not create a wheel!• Humans did long ago and every people
reinvent the wheel!
Escher helped nature!
What is new in discovery? (1) • Empirical studies often have a low level of
creativity.• For example a geologist, looking for the
structure of earth layers in an unkown area applies standard techniques. Only the result is new because it was unknown.
• Compare this with a mathematician who tabulates a function that was not tabulated before. The result is new but we do not reward this with a publication or PhD, unless he had to develop a new method !
• In empirical physics and chemistry often a new device or a new measurement method have to be deisgned: this is in fact an invention!
What is new in discovery? (2) • In the social sciences the word “research” is
used for the following process: 1. Formulate an hypothesis2. Design a questionary (standard methods)3. Take a sample from the population4. Test the hypothesis on the sample data by
standard statistical methods• So what is new? Only the hypothesis that
might become a thesis! Social scientists believe that they can learn the truth by asking people what they think or feel the truth is!
What is new in discovery? (3) • In mathematics and computer science new
concepts and new methods are designed and analyzed. Concepts and methods without proven properties do not count.
• In theoretical particle physics there a two types of discoveries based on data sets of millions of experiments:• Discover a new particle by finding enough
experiments where one of the known balance equations does not hold (for instance in mass, energy or charge)
• Discover a new balance equation: some reactions never occured although they are not forbidden by the existing balance equations: so there must be another one!
What is new in inventions? (1)
• Inventions are sometimes predictable: Moore’s law: “every 18 month we invent new methods to double the number of elements on a chip” holds already 30 years.
• Chemical engineers never create new atoms, they only arrange them in an new way to obtain new molecules!
• So new is often: a new arrangement of existing elements.
What is new in inventions? (2)
• This is the same with authors: they use the words from the dictionary but arrange them in a new way. So a new book is only a new arrangement of known words.
• A new software program is just a new arrangement of statements.
• Even nature works like this: a new specimen is defined by a new arrangement of the DNA components: amino acids C, A, G and T
4 inventions of the 20th century• Solution of the 4-color problem:
Is it possible to color a map with only four colours such that two adjacent countries have different colors?
• Proof for Fermats conjecture: Xn+Yn=Zn has no natural solution for n>2
Who knows these inventors?
Is art really a creation? (1)Piet Grijs (pseudonym for Hugo Brandt Corstius)has proven that all paintings can be created bya computer.Proof:• Call two paintings the same if they have the
same pixels on a (large) screen• 1024 x 768 pixels with 256 colors • So there are “only” (256)786432 different paintings• So we can generate them by a computer
Conclusion: painting is not a creative activity???
Is art really a creation? (2)
• So the creativity it is not the generation of paintings, but the selection.
• Therefore directors of museums and art galleries are so powerful: they determine what is good and what is bad.
• The art painter who is sitting behind the screen could also be creative by interrupting the generation of bad paintings or by contolling the generation process by defining constraints !
Can computers be creative? (1)• First answer: No, since everything that a
computer can do is programmed by a human.• Second answer: Yes, since the programmer has
only given the computer the rules of the game and the computer can find things the programmer had no idea of.
• Proof: the Fresnel lens is rediscovered by a computer that was programmed to generate lenses satisfying some constraints.
Can computers be creative? (2)
• If we learn a computer the rules of the chess game, and it has enough time an memory space, it could in principle find the solution of a chess puzzle.
• In fact creativity can be seen as efficient searching through a large space.
• In artificial intelligence this idea is transformed into a methodology: the Test and Generate
• One of the methods of this class is general applicable: genetic algorithms
Can computers be creative? (3)Principles of genetic algorithms:• Preparation phase:
1. Represent the objects by a string (e.g. like DNA with symbols C, A, G and T)
2. Define operations on one string to change it (mutation) and on two strings (cross-over)
3. Define a fitness function (to measure the quality)
1. Start with an initial population of N objects
2. Generate mutations and cross-overs say K
3. Select the N best out of the N+K
4. Stop if no improvements are found.
Mondriaan and the Turing test…
Results:28% right identification59% preferred computer generated picture
How to value art works? (1)
We value art works by anwering the questions:1. Do we like it? Is it beautiful?2. Is it a really unique composition?3. Is it made by a(n already) famous painter? The first is subjective, the last is easy to verify. The hard part is the uniqueness!
How to value art works? (2)There are many more interesting paintings of the typeof Rembrandt van Rijn then of type of Carel Appel:Because if you replace the persons in Rembrandtsthe painting it is again interesting and if you move the objects in Appel’s painting it is just like a copy.
How to value art works? (3)• Really unique the work
of Barnett Newman: it is hard to make an interesting variation of it!
• The ultimate painting is the complete white one, it is like the empty set, it is unique!
• The more unique, the more expensive. So which one should be more expensive• the Nigth Watch, or • Who is afraid of Red,
Yellow and Blue?
Innovation is more than invention(1) • The idea should be developed, tested,
produced, marketed, deployed• This has a big failure probability• And often a long incubation time
• Roling foot paths and roling stairways were invented around 1850
• Jules Verne knew already that we could go to the moon
• The digital video-disc was already developed in 1974
Innovation is more than invention(2) • The CARIN navigation system (TomTom) was in
1985 operational• BlueTooth was working by TNO-FEL 1995, but
after 2003 it became a product. • From all new food products in super markets
80% is withdrawn after 3 month!
So there is a long way to go from a nice idea to a successful innovation