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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Abelson, Harold, diSessa and Andera (1968) gave the first rules concerning Spirolaterals. To obtain a Spirolateral from a set of straight lines, the first of them must be one unit long and the following must be incremented one unit at each step, at the same time that they turn in a constant direction. Odds (1973) establish the variation of the rotation direction, either to the left or the right. However, he did not give a mathematical relation able to calculate open Spirolaterals. Krawczyk (2001) developed a computer program that generates Spirolaterals following the method suggested by Abelson. These are Spirolaterals obtained by enumeration without a predictive mathematical formula. Krawczyc went farther proposing Spirolaterals based in curved lines. He pointed out that there are a variety of spirolateral forms that have architectural potentiality. Following this, the architectural potentiality of Spirolaterals is the basis of this paper.
To take advantage of that potentiality a computer program was implemented to generate spatial configurations based in Spirolaterals. When a third dimension is given to the Spirolaterals they become Spirospaces. These new entities need spatial and design parameters to be useful for architectural purposes. Barrionuevo and Borsetti (2001) gave results about that work establishing the concept of Spirospaces.
The aim of this paper is to describe a work directed to improve rules and procedures concerning Spirospaces. It is expected that these procedures governed by the proposed rules can be employed as tools during the early steps in the architectural design process.
In this work some aspects concerning Spirospaces are considered. First, Spirolaterals are presented as the predecessors of Spirospaces. Second, Spirospaces are defined, together with their structural parameters. Architectural modeling is studied at the light of two special elements of the Spirospaces: Interstitial spaces and Object spaces. Next, a computer program is presented as the appropriate tool to model configurations having architectural potentiality. Finally, the results obtained running the computer program are analyzed to determine their possible use as architectural forms. Several graphic illustrations are presented showing steps going from the exploration of spatial alternatives to the selection of a specific configuration to be developed.
It is expected that the described computer program could be employed as a design aid tool. As the operation of the program generates a variety of spaces able to dwell architectural objects, it eases the search of configurations suitable to specific functions. The results obtained have the possibility of being exported to computer graphic applications able to add materials, lights and cameras.
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.
The problem resides in how realistic these Computer Generated Models (CGM) are. Moss & Banks (1958) considered realism “the capacity to reproduce as exactly as possible the object of study without actually using it”. He considers that realism depends on: 1)The number of elements that are reproduced; 2) The quality of those elements; 3) The similarity of replication and 4) Replication of the situation. CGM respond well to these considerations, they can be very realistic. But, are they capable of reproducing the same impressions on people as a real space?
Research has debated about the problems of the mode of representation and its influence on the judgement which is made. Wools (1970), Lau (1970) and Canter, Benyon & West (1973) have demonstrated that the perception of a space is influenced by the mode of presentation. CGM are two-dimensional representations of three-dimensional space. Canter (1973) considers the three-dimensionality of the stimuli as crucial for its perception. So, can a CGM afford as much as a three-dimensional model?
The “Laboratorio de Experimentacion Espacial” (LEE) has been concerned with the problem of reality of the models used by architects. We have studied the degree in which models can be used as reliable and representative of real situations analyzing the Ecological Validity of several of them, specially the Real-Scale Model (Abadi & Cavallin, 1994). This kind of model has been found to be ecologically valid to represent real space. This research has two objectives: 1) to study the Ecological Validity of a Computer Generated Model; and 2) compare it with the Ecological Validity of a Real Scale Model in representing a real space.
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