Computational Design Thinking: Computation Design Thinking by Achim MengesComputational Design Thinking: Computation Design Thinking by Achim Menges

Computational Design Thinking: Computation Design Thinking

byAchim Menges, Sean Ahlquist

Paperback | October 24, 2011

Pricing and Purchase Info

$41.36 online 
$57.95 list price save 28%
Earn 207 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


Ships within 1-3 weeks

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


The current transition from Computer Aided Design (CAD) to Computational Design in architecture represents a profound shift in design thinking and methods. Representation is being replaced by simulation, and the crafting of objects is moving towards the generation of integrated systems through designer-authored computational processes. While there is a particular history of such an approach in architecture, its relative newness requires the continued progression of novel modes of design thinking for the architect of the 21st century. This AD Reader establishes a foundation for such thinking.  It includes multifaceted reflections and speculations on the profound influence of computational paradigms on architecture. It presents relevant principles from the domains of mathematics and computer science, developmental and evolutionary biology, system science and philosophy, establishing a discourse for computational design thinking in architecture. Rather than a merely technical approach, the book will discuss essential intellectual concepts that are fundamental not only for a discourse on computational design but also for its practice.

This anthology provides a unique collection of seminal texts by authors, who have either provided a significant starting point through which a computational approach to design has been pursued or have played a considerable role in shaping the field. An important aspect of this book is the manner in which adjacent fields and historical texts are connected. Both the source of original inspiration and scientific thought are presented alongside contemporary writings on the continually evolving computational design discourse. Emerging from the field of science, principally the subjects of morphogenesis, evolution and mathematics, selected texts provide a historical basis for a reconfigured mindset of processes that generate, arrange and describe form. Juxtaposed against more contemporary statements regarding the influence of computation on design thinking, the book offers advancements of fundamental texts to the particular purpose of establishing novel thought processes for architecture, theoretically and practically.

  • The first reader to provide an effective framework for computational thinking in design.
  • Includes classic texts by Johan W. von Goethe, D’Arcy Thompson, Ernst Mayr, Ludwig von Bertalanffy, Gordan Pask, Christopher Alexander, John H. Holland, Nicholas Negroponte, William Mitchell, Peter J. Bentley & David W. Corne, Sanford Kwinter, John Frazer, Kostis Terzidis, Michael Weinstock and Achim Menges
  • Features new writing by: Mark Burry, Jane Burry, Manuel DeLanda and Peter Trummer.
Professor Achim Mengesis Director of the Institute for Computational Design at Stuttgart University. Currently he is also Visiting Professor in Architecture at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and Visiting Professor for the Emergent Technologies and Design Programme at the Architectural Association in London. Sean Ahlqui...
Title:Computational Design Thinking: Computation Design ThinkingFormat:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 9.56 × 6.7 × 0.5 inPublished:October 24, 2011Publisher:WileyLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0470665653

ISBN - 13:9780470665657

Look for similar items by category:


Table of Contents


Achim Menges and Sean Ahlquist


Computational Design Thinking

Sean Ahlquist and Achim Menges

Formation and Transformation

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

On the Theory of Transformations, Or the Comparison of Related Forms

D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson

Variational Evolution

Ernst Mayr

The Meaning of General System Theory

Ludwig von Bertalanffy

Systems Generating Systems

Christopher Alexander

The Architectural Relevance of Cybernetics

Gordon Pask

Towards a Humanism Through Machines

Nicholas Negroponte

A New Agenda for Computer-Aided Design

William J Mitchell

Algorithmic Form

Kostas Terzidis

Architecture and Practical Design Computation

Mark Burry

An Introduction to Creative Evolutionary Systems

Peter J Bentley and David W Corne

Constrained Generating Procedures

John H Holland

Real Virtuality

Manuel DeLanda

A Natural Model for Architecture

John Frazer

Morphogenesis and the Mathematics of Emergence

Michael Weinstock

Philosophy of Mathematics for Computational Design:

Spatial Intuition Versus Logic

Jane Burry

Associative Design: From Type to Population

Peter Trummer

Integral Formation and Materialisation:

Computational Form and Material Gestalt

Achim Menges

The Computational Fallacy

Sanford Kwinter

Select Bibliography