"Design By Darwinism" is a project aimed at using evolutionary principles and crowdsourcing to create products. It consists of a website (here
) and a Facebook group (here
) that allow visitors to participate in the natural selection process. Here is the group's description:
This is no ordinary group. If you are a member you can help decide on future product designs. You are the Natural Selection and by choosing the fittest specimen out of a group of designs you can control how it eveolves into a final product.
You are the people we designers are creating products for, it is no more than right that you choose what you want to buy.
In the Facebook group members vote on the best design from a series of choices and the top ones are used to develop the next round for voting. On the website however a different process takes place. Here an evolutionary algorithm creates a generation of objects and you choose your favorite. That object is then mutated and reproduced into another generation of objects for you to choose from. The process continues for successive rounds until an ideal design is created. Right now it only evolves designs for a candlestick but you can certainly get a feel for how powerful this technique can become.
The project is the brainchild of Malin Källman, a Product Design Masters student at Edinburgh College of Art. Her blog where she discusses the project is here
. She says "by treating the properties of the designed object as positive or negative inheritable traits evolving through successive generations we can create solutions to problems. Fast, constantly improving and automated, just the way we like it."
I think she is on to something very powerful here and it will be very interesting to see where this project goes.