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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This study describes a system that has been developed to address a number of these issues. Based on research findings from the field of Artificial Intelligence which expounds on the need for multiple techniques to represent any complex area of knowledge, we have selected a particular approach that focuses on multiple techniques for design representation. We review this approach in depth by considering its many facets necessary when implementing a knowledge-based system. We then partially test the viability of this approach through a small case study, implementing a knowledge-based system for designing stairs. While this effort only deals with a small part of the total design process, it does explore a number of significant issues facing the development of computer-based design assistants, and suggests several techniques for addressing these concerns.
Two approaches to the integration of artificial intelligence and knowledge-based systems into architectural design practice are currently dominant. One attempts to create systems which can on their own produce designs, the other provides intelligent support for those doing design. It was, in part, the recognition of limitations in the ability of traditional CAD systems and building modelers to reflect what designers actually do that led to explorations into the idea of intelligent assistants. Development of such assistants was aided by research into the act and process of design through protocol and other studies. Although some work is currently being done in the development of artificial intelligence and knowledge based applications in architecture, and work continues to be done on the study of design methodologies, the bulk of available information in each of these areas remains in the realm of design disciplines related to but outside of architecture and do not reflect the explicit role of architectural design in the embodiment and expression of culture.
The relationship of intelligence to culture has resulted in some skepticism regarding the ultimate capacity of neural nets and symbolically programmed computers in general. Significant work has been done questioning the rational tradition in computer development for its failure to address phenomena which are not easily subject to scientific analysis. Further skepticism regarding the role of artificial intelligence and knowledge-based or expert systems in architectural design has been emerging recently. Such criticism tends to focus on two issues: the nature of drawing as an activity which involves both the generation and interpretation of graphic artifacts, and the nature of the human designer as an active agent in the design process.
In 1992-93, in the Department of Architecture of the 'School of Architecture and interior Design' at the University of Cincinnati, a curriculum committee was formed to review and modify the entire architecture curriculum. Since our profession and academia relate directly to each other, the author felt that while revising the curriculum, the committee should have factual information about CAD usage in the industry. Three ways to obtain such information were thought of, namely (1) conducting person to person or telephone interviews with the practitioners (2) requesting firms to give open- ended feed back and (3) surveying firms by sending a questionnaire. Of these three, the most effective, efficient and suitable method to obtain such information was an organized survey through a questionnaire. In mid December 1992, a survey was organized which was sponsored by the School of Architecture and Interior Design, the Center for the Study of the Practice of Architecture (CSPA) and the University Division of Professional Practice, all from the University of Cincinnati.
This chapter focuses on the results of this survey. A brief description of the survey design is also given. In the next section a few surveys organized in recent years are listed. In the third section the design of this survey is presented. The survey questions and their responses are given in the fourth section. The last section presents the conclusions and brief recommendations regarding computer curriculum in architecture.
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