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 paper will discuss how computer technology can be utilised in continuing education beyond schools of architecture and into a practice based environment.
The study of imaginary worlds in this design studio case study is limited to motion pictures that postulate unique, or new environments rather than those films that faithfully attempt to document or reconstruct reality. In this sense, the movies used for study have a lineage traceable to Georges Melies "who came to film from illusionism and the "heater," rather than to the reality of the Lumiere brothers who came from photography which ultimately would lead to "cinema-verite."
Discussions, assignments and presentations in the studio are organized to provide students with an opportunity to gain a different awareness of architecture and use varying stimuli as source material for design. The study of architectural history, art, formal principles of design, visual perception, and media are required in order to complete the reconstructions and creations of proposed environments.
All student work throughout the entire semester is created with electronic media and the computer is used as an integral component of the studio enabling analysis and study, design, model creation, and animation. The available capabilities of computer graphics in the studio enables students to explore analytic and synthetic issues of design in motion pictures in a manner not readily available when restricted to traditional media. Through the use of digital media we have an opportunity to better understand the imaginary worlds for what they communicate and the ideas they contain, and therefore create an opportunity to modify our own concept of architecture.
Environmental psychologists specializing in architectural psychology offer "user needs' assessments" and "post occupancy evaluations" to facilitate communication between users and experts. To compare the efficiency of building descriptions, building walkthroughs, regular plans, simulation, and direct, long-time exposition, evaluation has to be evaluated.
Computer visualizations and virtual realities grow more important, but studies on the effects of simulation techniques upon experts and users are rare. As a contribution to the field of architectural simulation, an expert - user comparison of CAD versus endoscopy/model simulations of a Vienna city project was realized in 1995. The Department for Spatial Simulation at the Vienna University of Technology provided diaslides of the planned city development at Aspern showing a) CAD and b) endoscopy photos of small-scale polystyrol models. In an experimental design, they were presented uncommented as images of "PROJECT A" versus "PROJECT B" to student groups of architects and non-architects at Vienna and Salzburg (n= 95) and assessed by semantic differentials. Two contradictory hypotheses were tested: 1. The "selective framing hypothesis" (SFH) as the subjective theory of planners, postulating different judgement effects (measured by item means of the semantic differential) through selective attention of the planners versus material- and context-bound perception of the untrained users. 2. The "general framing hypothesis" (GFH) postulates typical framing and distraction effects of all simulation techniques affecting experts as well as non-experts.
The experiment showed that -counter-intuitive to expert opinions- framing and distraction were prominent both for experts and lay people (= GFH). A position effect (assessment interaction of CAD and endoscopy) was present with experts and non-experts, too. With empirical evidence for "the medium is the message", a more cautious attitude has to be adopted towards simulation products as powerful framing (i.e. perception- and opinion-shaping) devices.
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