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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Decisions taken in the ‘private design space’ of the design team or ‘actor’ are closely related to the type of support that can be provided by a Collaborative Design system: automatic checks performed by activating procedures and methods, reporting of 'local' conflicts, methods and knowledge for the resolution of ‘local’ conflicts, creation of new IT objects/ building components, who the objects must refer to (the ‘owner’), 'situated' aspects (Gero and Reffat, 2001) of the IT objects/building components.
Decisions taken in the ‘shared design space’ involve aspects that are typical of networked design and that are partially present in the ‘private’ design space. Cross-checking, reporting of ‘global’ conflicts to all those concerned, even those who are unaware they are concerned, methods for their resolution, the modification of data structure and interface according to the actors interacting with it and the design phase, the definition of a 'dominus' for every IT object (i.e. the decision-maker, according to the design phase and the creation of the object).
All this is made possible both by the model for representing the building (Carrara and Fioravanti, 2001), and by the type of IT representation of the individual building components, using the methods and techniques of Knowledge Engineering through a structured set of Knowledge Bases, Inference Engines and Databases.
The aim is to develop suitable tools for supporting integrated Process/Product design activity by means of a effective and innovative representation of building entities (technical components, constraints, methods) in order to manage and resolve conflicts generated during the design activity.
The possibilities of computer simulation also extend to issues inadequately covered by normative analysis and in particular to dynamic aspects of design such as human movement and circulation. The paper reports on a framework for addressing two related problems, (a) the simulation of fire escape from buildings and (b) the simulation of human movement on stairs. In both cases we propose that current evaluation techniques and the underlying design norms are too abstract to offer a measure of design success, as testified by the number of fatal accidents in fires and on stairs. In addition, fire escape and stair climbing are characterized by great variability with respect to both the form of the possible designs and the profiles of potential users. This suggests that testing prototypical forms by typical users and publishing the results as new, improved norms is not a realistic proposition for ensuring a global solution. Instead, we should test every design individually, within its own context. The development of an affordable, readily available system for the analysis and evaluation of aspects such as fire escape and stair safety can be based on the combination of the technologies of virtual reality and motion capture. Testing of a design by a number of test people in an immersion space provides not only intuitive evaluations by actual users but also quantitative data on the cognitive and proprioceptive behaviour of the test people. These data can be compiled into profiles of virtual humans for further testing of the same or related designs.
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