Aluminum and rivets

Drawings are just dumb lines and arcs.

I remember when this slogan was very popular. While I understand why it was said at the time, saying it had unintended consequences that the people saying it didn’t think of when they promoted it. It’s overdue now to address these consequences properly. We can start by taking a look again and thinking more clearly about the function of drawing.

If we had said,

An airplane is just aluminum and rivets.

where would aviation be now?

Airplanes have a function. They’re a vehicle for moving people or cargo in flight.

That’s their function.

They’re more than the sum of their parts, and “aluminum and rivets” could be a pile of scrap, or who knows what. “Aluminum and rivets” comes up well short of description.

An aircraft’s material, anyway, is secondary. It could be continuous mold carbon fiber, seamless so without fasteners. Or it could be mosaiced heat tiles glued to a fuselage of any material, or canvas stretched over a screwed wood frame. Obviously, material matters, but not abstracted from function.

So yeah, a drawing is “lines and arcs”, but with a function. A purpose. A use.

What’s their use? What is drawing’s function? I talk about that here:

I’ve tried my best, for awhile now, to identify, and describe, just the right set, the minimum set, of software features that adequately express the function of drawing as user engagement within digital models for visual attentive focus for interpretive purposes. I show that in the post. There are 8 software features that together coherently express this function.

While the function is the same as with traditional drawing, a lens for looking at models, the FORM is different, evolved now, because the lens resides now in DIGITAL models, while traditional drawing expressed itself in relation to MENTAL models.

TGN rigs are equipment within models for visual investigation of models. They’re equipment for articulating visual attentive focus for interpretive (and generative) purposes.

I posted a poll on LinkedIn: 

People used to say “drawings are just dumb lines and arcs.” What do you think?

  • 1 Correct. Abandon drawing
  • 2 No. Its function matters
  • 3 (2) and its form will evolve
  • 4 (3) starts well with TGN

If you’re interested in options 2, 3, or 4 (poll at link), see my proposal to software companies, a proposal to jump together into an open source development project (called TGN) that raises the level of

  • the equipment for investigating models visually 

for everyone, and in doing so creates a new base for innovation, beyond the open source core of this equipment, that everyone can develop uniquely, to the extent they can imagine while benefiting from the shared open core for sharable visual fidelity across modeling apps/environments.

There are mockup videos of what TGN looks like when it’s engaged within models, here:

The page above also includes this video, with me narrating WHY we need to build TGN, WHAT exactly TGN is, and HOW we can build it together, open source for use in all modeling apps and environments:

This function, (TGN), is something that should exist not just in individual app siloes. It’s for everyone in every modeling platform, and with portability across apps.

That’s why I propose that software companies come together to develop its common core feature set collaboratively.

For interpretive purpose.

And for generative purpose.

As we look at what we’re doing in models, well engaged through adequate clarifying equipment (TGN), this stimulates thinking about the model; the looking/seeing generates continued mental and digital elaboration of whatever it is we’re working on. That’s a real generative aspect of this equipment. But it’s also, generative in terms of “computational systems”:

Equipment (TGN rigs) for visual investigation of models for interpretive purpose are also useful in computational workflows, as gateways for human feedback into computational (and/or “AI”) model generators. They’re a convenient place for human(s) in the loop, an easily accessible, and visually tangible/clarifying/articulate entry point for human input into computational model generators, where human feedback is looped-in, for re-iteration of generated models.

Such rigs (TGN rigs) would also be created/placed automatically, by Grasshopper and whatnot, like with 3 lines of code instruction or so.

More here, for developers and users:

Website Powered by

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox

%d bloggers like this: