Design space navigation in generative design systems

Sheng Fen Chien, Ulrich Flemming

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Generative design systems make it easier for designers to generate and explore design alternatives, but the amount of information generated during a design session can become very large. Intelligent navigation aids are needed if designers wish to access the information they generate with ease. We present a comprehensive approach to support information navigation in requirement-driven generative design systems, which gain their power form explicit representations of design requirements, which in turn add to the information generated by the system. Our approach takes into account studies dealing with human spatial cognition, wayfinding in physical environments, and information navigation in electronic media. We structure the information to be accessed in terms of a five-dimensional design space model that applies across generative design systems of the type considered here. The model structure supports basic generic navigation operations along its five dimensions. We validated the model in the context of t he SEED-Layout system and used it to extend the built-in navigation tools of the system through novel ones, which we subjected to a limited usability study. The study suggests that these tools have promise and warrant further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalAutomation in construction
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Jan

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


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