Starting with Nothing and Ending up with Something: Musical Improvisation and Parametric Spatial Design Improvisation (2016)

Ham, J. Harvey, L. Schnabel, M. and Prohasky, D. 2016, ‘Starting with nothing’ and ‘Ending up with something’: Musical improvisation and parametric spatial design improvisation’, in Proceedings of the 34th Annual Conference of the Education and research in Computer Aided Architectural Design in Europe (eCAADE 2016), Herneoja, Aulikki; Toni Österlund and Piia Markkanen (ed.), eCAADE and Oulu School of Architecture Finland (draft – awaiting final version), Finland, pp. 1-9 (eCAADE 2016)

Abstract
Musical improvisation is a complex field of the study of creativity wherein the musician-according to jazz pianist Herbie Hancock-improvises by ‘starting with nothing’ and ‘ending up with something’. We explore a ‘Musico-Spatial Design’ creative practice design research project that uses parametric spatial design tools to research musical improvisation, then takes knowledge gained from this process to illuminate aspects of improvisation within parametric spatial design processes. Our investigation of musical and parametric spatial design improvisation provides insights into how both novices and experts engage in improvisation and how they don’t really ‘start with nothing’ but bring into the design conversation a varying range of referents to inform designerly intent.

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