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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How is the research situation? Using several standard research data banks, the author collected articles and book(chapter)s on architectural psychology in German- and English-language countries from 1990 to 1996. Studies on main architecture-psychology interface problems such as user needs, housing quality evaluations, participatory planning and spatial simulation / virtual reality did not outline an “old, settled” discipline, but rather the sketchy, random surface of a field “always starting anew”. E.g., discussions at the 1995 EAEA-Conference showed that several architectural simulation studies since 1973 caused no major impact on planner's opinions (Keul&Martens, 1996). “Re-inventions of the wheel” are caused by a lack of meetings (except this one!) and of interdisciplinary infrastructure in German-language countries (contrary to Sweden or the United States). Social pressures building up on architecture nowadays by inter-European competition, budget cuts and citizen activities for informed consent in most urban projects are a new challenge for planners to cooperate efficiently with social scientists. At Salzburg, the author currently manages the Corporate Design-process for the Chamber of Architecture, Division for Upper Austria and Salzburg. A “working group for architectural psychology” (Keul-Martens-Maderthaner) has been active since 1994.
The principal item of a full-scale lab preferably features a court-like facility where the 1:1
simulations are performed. Such lab facilities can be found at various architecture
education centers throughout Europe. In the early eighties the European Full-scale
Modeling Association (abrev. EFA, full-scale standing for 1:1 or simulation in full-scale)
was founded acting as the patron of a conference every two years. In line with the
conference title "Full-scale Modeling in the Age of Virtual Reality" the participants were
particularly concerned with the relationship of physical 1:1 simulations and VR. The
assumption that those creating architecture provide of a higher degree of affinity to
physical than to virtual models and prototypes was subject of vivid discussions.
Furthermore, the participants devoted some time to issues such as the integration of
model-like ideas and built reality thus uncovering any such synergy-effects. Thus some
major considerations had to be given to the question of how the architectís model-like
ideas and built reality would correspond, also dealing with user-suitability as such: what
the building artist might be thrilled with might not turn out to be the residentsí and usersí
everyday delight. Aspects of this nature were considered at the îArchitectural
Psychology Meeting” together with specialists on environment and aesthetics. As
individual space perception as well as its evaluation differ amongst various architects,
and these being from various countries furnishing cultural differences, lively discussions
were bound to arise.
These all are dealing with the material world, for which the tools of computer science are highly appropriate. But what will happen to the immaterial world? How can we put these immaterial values into a computers model? Or can the computer be creative as a human being? Early developments of computer science in the field of architecture involved two-dimensional applications, and subsequently the significance of the third dimension became manifest. Nowadays, however, people are already speaking of a fourth dimension, interpreting it as time or as dynamics. And what, for instance, would a fifth, sixth or X-dimension represent?
In the future we will perhaps speak of the fifth dimension, comprising the tangible qualities of the building materials around us. And one day a sixth dimension might be created, when it will be possible to establish direct communication with computers, because direct exchange between the computer and the human brain has been realised. The ideas of designers can then be processed by the computer directly, and we will no longer be hampered by obstacles such as screen and keyboard. There are scientist who are working to realize bio-chips. If it will work, perhaps we can realise all these speculations. It is nearly sure that the emergence of new technologies will also affect our subject area, architecture and this will create fresh challenges, fresh concepts, and new buildings in the 21st century. The responsibility of the architects must be, to bear in mind that we are dealing with the well-being and the prosperity of mankind.
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