This section is dedicated to the establishment of a discipline of “gravity design” employing the tools for generating gravity-like fields. As designers, we are dependent upon our “tools of the trade” to produce wonderful designs of graphics, websites, products, transportation, buildings, interiors, landscapes and cityscapes. In recent decades with a growing sophistication of digital tools, our vocabulary of design sub-disciplines has grown to include interface design, experience design, interaction design, information architecture and many other design-based pursuits.
Gravity design suggests a new discipline based in the physicality of manipulating gravity-like fields to create new opportunities in product design, transportation design, architecture, cityscapes, sporting goods, medical technologies, fitness training, energy production, and much, much more.
As a new discipline, establishing sets of tools is important. Product designers visualize and model using computers and physical materials to convey concepts later converted to tooling and production. The design-to-production chain has progressed from a long chain of disciplines in the mid 20th century (designer – design engineer – tool maker – production engineer – manufacturing – assembly – fulfillment) to a chain made shorter through disintermediation. Now, thanks to new networked technologies, a designer can send a design file to an end user’s home 3D printer and be paid via PayPal. Tools and techniques for additive manufacturing have followed the models of desktop and self-publishing.
The toolset for gravity designers has yet to be determined. Certainly, as my colleague Dr. Jochem Hauser has pointed out, an equivalent set of skills and techniques will be required for gravity engineers once replicated scientific experiments can be consistently defined as methods, refined and converted into prototypes and those prototypes become the basis for establishing the parameters for the everyday manipulation of gravity-like fields.