A design emerges from a seed consisting of design genes by following a development strategy influenced by the environment. As far as possible, the design must emerge rather than its formation being tightly controlled with predictable solutions. Fig. 1 illustrates that a design develops from a simple set of design genes and is represented as a geometric model within a CAD system. The genetic information carried by design genes in the seed is the genotype. Its appearance, structure, shape or form at any stage of development is the phenotype, which includes the interaction with the environment. Fig. 2 shows the history of a table-like design development. The table-like designs with different scales (4:2:1) emerge from the same seed in response to different environments and their 3D printed demos are shown in Fig. 3 (a) and (b), respectively.

Fig. 1. Design genes direct development of design
Fig. 2. The designs in each development step
(a) CAD models with different scales (4:2:1)
(b) 3D printed structures (4:2:1)
Fig. 3. Table-like designs

More details: W. Zhang, M. Price, T. Robinson, D. Nolan, D. Nikolopoulos, S. Barbhuiya, S. Kyle. Design Gene Representations for Emergent Innovative Design. Advances in Manufacturing Technology XXXIII; 2019, 9: 386-392.