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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The basic idea is that of top-down design - beginning with a very abstract representation, and elaborating that, in step-by-step fashion, into a complete and detailed representation. The basic operations are real-time parametric variation of designs (using the mouse and slide bar) and substitution of objects. Essentially, then, a knowledge-base in Topdown implements a kind of parametric shape grammar.
The main applications of Topdown are in introductory teaching of CAD, and (since it provides a very quick and easy way for a user to develop detailed geometric models) to provide a uniform front-end for a variety of different applications. The shell, and some example knowledge-bases, are publicly available.
This paper discusses the principles of the Topdown Shell, the implementation of knowledge bases within it, and a variety of practical design applications.
Issue-Based Information Systems are used as a means of widening the coverage of a problem. By encouraging a greater degree of participation, particularly in the earlier phases of the process, the designer is increasing the opportunity that difficulties of his proposed solution, unseen by him, will be discovered by others. Since the problem observed by a designer can always be treated as merely a symptom of another higher-level problem, the argumentative approach also increases the likelyhood that someone will attempt to attack the problem from this point of view. Another desirable characteristic of the Issue-Based Information System is that it helps to make the design process 'transparent'. Transparency here refers tO the ability of observers as well as participants to trace back the process of decision-making.
This paper offers a description of a computer-supported IBIS (written in 'C' using the 'XWindows' user interface), including a discussion of the usefulness of IBIS in design, as well as comments on the role of the computer in IBIS implementation, and related developments in computing.
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.
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