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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1.Import design from other CAD tools.
2.Assemble an architecture structure from a library of pre-built blocks and
geometry primitives dynamically created by user.
3.Export the design interactively in VRML format back to the library for Internet
The geometry primitives include polygon, sphere, cone, cylinder and cube. The
pre-built blocks consist of fundamental architecture models which have been
categorized with architectural related style, physical properties and environmental
attributes. Upon a user’s request, the tool or the composer, has the ability to
communicate with the library which indeed is a back-end distributed client-server
database engine. The user may specify any combination of properties and
attributes in the composer which will instantly bring up all matching 3-dimensional
objects through the database engine. The database is designed in relational model
and comes from the work of another research group.
In fact, many efforts at international level are in progress to define tools in order to
make easier the multiple exchange of information in different fields of building
design. Concerning this point, protocol and ontology of structured information
interchanges constitute the first steps in this sense, e.g. those under
standardisation by ISO (STEP), PDT models and Esprit project ToCEE.
To model these problems it has brought forth a new research field: the collaborative
design one, an evolution of distributed work and concurrent design.
The CAAD Laboratory of Dipartimento di Architettura and Urbanistica per
l'Ingegneria has carried out a software prototype, KAAD, based on Knowledge
Engineering in the fields of hospital building and of building for aged people.
This software is composed by an Interface, a Knowledge Base, a Database and
The Knowledge Base has been codified by using the formal structure of frames,
and has been implemented by the Lisp language. All the elements of KB are objects
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.
Within contemporary digital environments, there are increasing
opportunities to explore and evaluate design proposals which integrate
both architectural and landscape aspects. The production of integrated
design solutions exploring buildings and their surrounding context is now
possible through the design development of shared 3-D and 4-D virtual
environments, in which buildings no longer float in space.
The scope of landscape design has expanded through the application of
techniques such as GIS allowing interpretations that include social,
economic and environmental dimensions. In architecture, for example,
object-oriented CAD environments now make it feasible to integrate
conventional modelling techniques with analytical evaluations such as
energy calculations and lighting simulations. These were all ambitions of
architects and landscape designers in the 70s when computer power
restricted the successful implementation of these ideas. Instead, the
commercial trend at that time moved towards isolated specialist design
tools in particular areas. Prior to recent innovations in computing, the
closely related disciplines of architecture and landscape have been
separated through the unnecessary development, in our view, of their
own symbolic representations, and the subsequent computer
applications. This has led to an unnatural separation between what were
once closely related disciplines.
Significant increases in the performance of computers are now making it
possible to move on from symbolic representations towards more
contextual and meaningful representations. For example, the application
of realistic materials textures to CAD-generated building models can then
be linked to energy calculations using the chosen materials. It is now
possible for a tree to look like a tree, to have leaves and even to be
botanicaly identifiable. The building and landscape can be rendered from
a common database of digital samples taken from the real world. The
complete model may be viewed in a more meaningful way either through
stills or animation, or better still, through a total simulation of the lifecycle
of the design proposal. The model may also be used to explore
environmental/energy considerations and changes in the balance
between the building and its context most immediately through the growth
simulation of vegetation but also as part of a larger planning model.
The Internet has a key role to play in facilitating this emerging
collaborative design process. Design professionals are now able via the
net to work on a shared model and to explore and test designs through the
development of VRML, JAVA, whiteboarding and video conferencing. The
end product may potentially be something that can be more easily viewed
by the client/user. The ideas presented in this paper form the basis for the
development of a dual course in landscape and architecture. This will
create new teaching opportunities for exploring the design of buildings
and sites through the shared development of a common computer model.
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