What Product Designers Can Learn by Looking at Concrete Floors

Or The Future of Digital Product Design

I’m sorry for the speculative and clickbaitey title. I don’t know what the future of digital product design looks like. But I feel like it would be completely different to what we can imagine. Let me explain why.

Image courtesy of ETH Zurich’s Department of Architecture

This is a fragment of concrete floor that was developed by researchers at ETH Zurich’s Department of Architecture. What’s so special about it? It does not require steel reinforcement and is 70% lighter than conventional concrete floors. It was c0-designed by a computer programme that calculated how the ribs would need to be arranged to produce the optimum distribution of compression forces under loading, resulting in an intricate pattern of thin lines that converge at each of the corners.

Image courtesy of Daniel Bilar

These are three structural nodes to hold cables. Far left is designed by human, far right is designed using machine learning and 3D printing. It supports the same weight, and weighs 50% less.

What do these two designs have in common? They are super efficient. They are beautiful. They were designed using computer intelligence. And they look nothing like the human brain could produce.

This is the future of digital product design. It is exciting and it is probably nothing like we could imagine.?

Author: Yuriy Oparenko

Collect by: uxfree.com

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