I’m Dan. Dan Belcher. You have found your way to my website. Well done. This is where I keep my coordinates sorted, stuff in line, blog rolled and portfolio buffed. It’s always under construction, and I may change my mind about the look and feel tomorrow…but you are here today. Follow me into the proverbial desert. Don’t worry, we’ve got a camel. It will all be fine…after all, I’m a Design Technologist. Trust me. Just look at all the high-tech stuff over there to the right… …or was it Design Computationeer? Or Interaction Designer? I forget. All are variations on job titles or things people have been known to call me. Whatever title I may be wearing, I’m very interested in how interfaces shape how we design. The type of design that most facinates me is that of the built environment…so, consider this my Manifesto (Danifesto!) on how we can improve on the status quo… Designing the built environment is a wicked problem. The best sort of problem. Architecture will never turn out quite as intended, but it sets the stage – the infrastructure – for all that is possible. My main interest is building tools that complement the complexity, flexibility, and beauty that our great buildings and cities afford. No small goal, but for that we need… The links between our digital artifacts and built objects are neither seamless nor beautifully seamed. It’s not the underlying models themselves that are broken, but the interfaces that support our interaction with these models. As design computing advances, our representations are colonizing built objects. Though this is both exciting (parametrically driven mass customization) and scary (the BIM-centric homogenization of buildings), the interfaces that support (or undermine) design are themselves the objects of design. Retooling the design of design interfaces (an act of meta-design) is my goal… Design interfaces ought to clearly and calmly reflect the design values of the objects they help reveal. I believe the best interfaces begin to disappear: there is a beautiful simplicity to the way such interfaces map onto how we think and act. And though we may strive to think clearly, managing the complexity of contemporary architecture has become an onerous and difficult task. Without denying complexity, design interfaces must instead attempt to hide it at the right time… …without ignoring it. Design is messy. Our processes are often Rube Goldberg-esque causal chains, linked up with tools held together with duct-tape and dental floss. But even if the underlying state of design is complex, our tools need to hide the complexity without sacrificing emergent behaviors that are often unpredictable. So, now you know my project and can better navigate the mental landscape that is this site… Good. I’m glad. No contrived statements or industry buzzwords were going to get you here if you weren’t already interested. Ok, now I’m actually ready to go off the rocks and into the desert…and I mean that both literally and figuratively. It’s caravan time. Be warned: the contents of this website are all over the map. Merit badges will not be awarded, but better bring a scarf: be ready to get chapped lips and (figurative) sand in your (literal) teeth.