IGATY: an archetype-based interactive generative abstraction system focusing on museum interior archetypes

Suh, Joori
Major Professor
Mickael Muecke
Committee Member
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Archetype in Greek means an original model that prevails in all later forms of variations, combinations, and transformations. In the field of design, types and archetypes have been used as an analytical tool; unfortunately, archetypes have not been perceived as promising prospects in the search for creative ideas, and the dynamic transformative quality embedded in archetypes has not been fully utilized among students and designers. Despite its inherent potential as sources of ideas for future invention, a number of scholars have criticized the typological approach to design for its exclusive nature primarily due to a misunderstanding of its fundamental structure. This dissertation aims at clarifying this misconception and explores a method that involves taking advantage of the malleable structure of archetypes.

In Part 1 of this dissertation, I redefine the malleable structure of archetypes as a dual structure in which two contrasting yet equally crucial elements coexist: a core signal and a set of peripherals. The study focuses on verification of this dual structure and identification of core signals and peripherals in the six selected museum interior archetypes as a test set. In Part 2 I explore the archetype’s transformative quality using the interactive genetic algorithm (IGA). The dual structure of museum interior archetypes defined in Part 1 was mapped into the genetic algorithms to design an archetype-based generative abstraction system integrated with the Unity game engine, named IGATY-beta. The focus was to develop a system that would serve as an interactive ideation partner, not as a single-solution-oriented optimization tool. In Part 3 a quasi-experiment was conducted to examine the proposed IGATY-beta system’s educational potential in enhancing creativity in the ideation process. Three teaching scenarios based on three instructional materials were compared: (a) manual sketch-based archetypes exercise; (b) archetypes exercise using the IGATY-beta system displayed on a computer screen; and (c) archetypes exercise using the IGATY-beta system with an opportunity of viewing design in a virtual environment via a HMD. The results suggest the proposed archetype-based generative abstraction system’s positive educational potentials in enhancing creativity in the ideation process. Finally, the implications of the proposed generative abstraction system in the field of design are discussed.