Artificial Intelligence for Engineering Design, Analysis and Manufacturing

Special Issue: Call For Papers

AIEDAM Special Issue, May 2006, Vol.20 No.2

Design Spaces:
the Explicit Representation of Spaces of Alternatives

Edited by: Rudi Stouffs

This special issue is in a special format. It starts with an invited paper by Professor Rob Woodbury, who is Professor and Graduate Program Chair at the School of Interactive Arts and Technology, Simon Fraser University, Canada. His co-author is Andrew Burrow of the Spatial Information Architecture Laboratory, RMIT University. Australia.

The rest of the issue is taken up by invited papers that are responses to Woodbury and Burrow's paper, written by selected authorities on design, and a final short section devoted to the author's reactions to the responses.

Technical description of the topic:

    The exploration of design spaces is a long-standing focus in computational design research. Design space exploration is the idea that computers can be used to help designers by representing many designs, arraying them in a network structure that forms the space, and by assisting designers to explore this space: i.e., to make new designs and to move amongst previously discovered designs in the network.

    Three main areas of research into design space exploration can be distinguished. The first area of research concerns accounts of designer action and aims to reproduce and extend the behaviour of designers. It is based on the premise that exploration is a good model for designer action. The second area of research aims to develop strategies and tools that amplify designer action in exploration. The third area of research concerns the discovery and development of computational structures to support exploration, including representations of the design space itself.

    This special issue specifically focuses on computational access to the design space and the implications of having a design space representation in reference to the premise that exploration is a good model for designer action. Possible structures for a design space are conditioned by models of exploration behaviour, by choices of strategies for amplifying designer action and by the limits imposed by both computation itself and our knowledge of it. Formalisms for design space exploration must simultaneously accord with designer action, implement a useful amplification strategy and be both formalisable and computationally tractable.

    What defines a good representation? Are design rules or, instead, design operators the appropriate encoding mechanism for design moves in the design space? What is the role of the explicit design space, that is the part of the design space the designer has previously visited, and what is the role of trajectories of design moves in design exploration? These and other questions can form the basis for a discussion that can serve as a stepping-stone for future research into design spaces.

Information about the format and style required for AIEDAM papers can be found at
However, note that all submissions for the special issue go to the Guest Editor, and not to the Editor in Chief.

Please note that this is not an open call for papers, and that all contributors will be invited.

Important dates:

    Paper available for responses: 15 March 2005 Responses due: 15 June 2005 Light Reviewing of responses starts: 20 June 2005 Reviews to respondents: 1 August 2005 Revised version submission deadline: 1 September 2005 Responses to responses due: 1 November 2005 Light Reviewing of Responses to responses: 6 November 2005 Assemble all articles: 15 December 2005 Final submission deadline: 1 January 2006

Guest editor:

Please direct all enquiries and submissions to the guest editor:

Rudi Stouffs
Delft University of Technology
Faculty of Architecture
Department of Building Technology
Chair for Technical Design & Informatics
The Netherlands
Email: r.stouffs @

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Copyright 2005 Cambridge University Press
Mon, 28 Feb 2005 13:10:07