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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Architects are creative problem solvers, primarily driven by intuition, while coming from a sense of the past and the logic of the present. Our initial attempts at integrating computing into the studio, as evidenced by this collection of papers, is very diverse, based on differing pedagogical assumptions, and the achieving of significantly different results. This would appear to be evidence of a revolutionary approach to the problem rather than a scientific evolutionary approach. Terrific! This is when we as architects are at our best. Although we reach a great number of emphatically dead ends, the successes and discoveries achieved along the way are significant.
The diversity and quality of papers submitted suggest that we are indeed pursuing the task of integration in our typical, individual, intuitive, logical manner. I commend all of the authors who submitted proposals and thank them for expanding the envelope of integration into their personal exploration.
The "Calor" problem requires the move of a famous residence to a hot arid climate. The residence must then be redesigned in the original architect's style so the building becomes as energy efficient as possible in its new arid environment. The students are required to use as design criteria a new building program, the design philosophy of the original architect, and appropriate passive energy techniques that will reduce the thermal stress on the building. The building's energy response is measured by using an envelope energy analysis program called "Calor".
Much of the learning comes from imposing a new set of restraints on a famous piece of architecture and asking the student to redesign it. The students not only need to learn and use a different design philosophy, but also develop new skills to communicate their ideas on the computer. Both Macintosh and IBM computers are used with software ranging from Microsoft Works, Superpaint, AutoCAD, MegaCAD, Dr Halo, to Calor.
Mathematics and especially geometry have found increasing application in the computer-based design environment of our day. The computer has become the central tool in the modern design environment, replacing the brush, the paints, the pens and pencils of the artist. However, if the artist does not master the internal working of this new tool thoroughly, he can neither develop nor express his creativity. If the designer merely learns how to use a computer-based tool, he risks producing designs that appear to be created by a computer. From this perspective, many design schools have included computer courses, which teach not only the use of application programs but also programming to modify and create computer-based tools.
In the current academic educational structure, different techniques are used to show the interrelationship of design and programming to students. One of the best examples in this area is an application program that attempts to teach the programming logic to design students in a simple way. One of the earliest examples of such programs is the Topdown Programming Shell developed by Mitchell, Liggett and Tan in 1988 . The Topdown system is an educational CAD tool for architectural applications, where students program in Pascal to create architectural objects. Different examples of such educational programs have appeared since then. A recent fine example of these is the book and program called “Design by Number” by John Maeda . In that book, students are led to learn programming by coding in a simple programming language to create various graphical primitives.
However, visual programming is based largely on geometry and one cannot master the use of computer-based tools without a through understanding of the mathematical principles involved. Therefore, in a model for design education, computer-based application and creativity classes should be supported by "mathematics for design" courses. The definition of such a course and its application in the multimedia design program is the subject of this article.
Architects who are deeply involved in computer-aided design have stated that one must learn to program the computer to build the conceptual framework for the creative process. We at CERL agree that an understanding of underlying graphics concepts is essential to the designer. Our research shows that giving students the freedom to explore an existing software program can result in the development of conceptual knowledge. Interviews also reveal that students can invent ways to meet individual objectives when "guided discovery" learning is encouraged.
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