CumInCAD is a Cumulative Index about publications in Computer Aided Architectural Design supported by the sibling associations ACADIA, CAADRIA, eCAADe, SIGraDi, ASCAAD and CAAD futures
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How is the research situation? Using several standard research data banks, the author collected articles and book(chapter)s on architectural psychology in German- and English-language countries from 1990 to 1996. Studies on main architecture-psychology interface problems such as user needs, housing quality evaluations, participatory planning and spatial simulation / virtual reality did not outline an “old, settled” discipline, but rather the sketchy, random surface of a field “always starting anew”. E.g., discussions at the 1995 EAEA-Conference showed that several architectural simulation studies since 1973 caused no major impact on planner's opinions (Keul&Martens, 1996). “Re-inventions of the wheel” are caused by a lack of meetings (except this one!) and of interdisciplinary infrastructure in German-language countries (contrary to Sweden or the United States). Social pressures building up on architecture nowadays by inter-European competition, budget cuts and citizen activities for informed consent in most urban projects are a new challenge for planners to cooperate efficiently with social scientists. At Salzburg, the author currently manages the Corporate Design-process for the Chamber of Architecture, Division for Upper Austria and Salzburg. A “working group for architectural psychology” (Keul-Martens-Maderthaner) has been active since 1994.
Three years later, Yona Friedman wrote about the changing relationship between clients and architects. He said that a new design methodology was needed because architects could not assess the future spatial needs of building users accurately enough. Proposing a new model, he split architectural design in two complementary halves, hardware design and software design, reasoning that this would give users the opportunity to adapt built spaces to suit their needs.
Both of these ideas describe approaches to the production of an architecture that can change shape and configuration in response to changing patterns of use. Rabeneck’s approach illustrates the benefit of predictive technologies and automation, while Friedman’s model illustrates the benefit of user intervention and direct manipulation. This paper discusses developments in the field of responsive architecture in relation to two opposing user-centred interaction methodologies. It proposes methods for controlling responsive buildings and suggests that human computer interaction methodologies need to be re-thought and extended when applied within intelligent, responsive, architectures.
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