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Proceedings of CAD'15, 2015, 443-448
50 Years after “Sketchpad”: Has CAD Research Reached a Golden Age?

Oladele O. Owodunni, University of Greenwich, UK

Abstract. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT, project which resulted in the first interactive Computer Aided Design system “sketchpad” is usually associated with the beginning of the field of Computer Aided Design. 50 years after the beginning of this field, it is good to look back on the achievements to establish if CAD can now be referred to as a matured field of research. While Design research generally has had several attempts to investigate the nature of the field and the degree of maturity, there are fewer contributions to do the same for CAD research, which can be considered a sub-domain of Design research. The few contributions consist of majority of views which think the field in not yet a matured field using terms such as the fact that field can be said to be “atheoretic” or pre-paradigmatic. On the other hand, other researchers think the field or aspects of it, such as solid modelling, can now be considered a matured field. There is, perhaps, some evidence on both sides. To clarify the debate, it would be useful if criteria employed for characterising whether a field of research is matured are employed to investigate the nature of CAD research. These criteria often point to contributions such that in Thomas Kuhn’s book titled “The structure of scientific revolution” where the term paradigm was introduced to define the state of a field that has achieved some level of maturity.

Keywords. CAD Education, Theoretical foundation for CAD, CAD research methodology, Body of knowledge for CAD research, Output of CAD research

DOI: 10.14733/cadconfP.2015.443-448