In this paper, designing is interpreted as a combination of two searches: a shape restructuring search and a knowledge transforming search. During the first phase, designers or computer-aided design systems search for alternative ways to interpret for the current design state by restructuring shapes in terms of emergent subshapes; it is close to the connectionist processing which we can only slightly sense. During the second phase, designers or computer systems search for alternative rule applications in order to transform the interpreted current state into the next one that matches the formal and functional requirements; it is close to symbolic processing which we can sense, clearly and cognitively. Copyright © 1996 Elsevier Science Ltd.
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