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 presents the results of an intense design workshop that looks, probes, and builds
at the very interface that is provoking the cultural and professional shifts. Media space is
presented and used as an interpretive playground for design experimentation in which the
poetics of representation (and not its technicalities) are the driving force to generate
architectural ideas. The work discussed was originally developed as a starting exercise for a
digital design course. The exercise was later conducted as a workshop at two schools of
architecture by different faculty working in collaboration with it's inventor.
The workshop is an effective sketch problem that gives students an immediate start into a
non-traditional, hands-on, and integrated use of contemporary media in the design process.
In doing so, it establishes a procedural foundation for a design studio dealing with digital
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.
The transition from analogue to digital visualization poses questions that
encompass the traditional investigation of relationships between geometric
representations and built form, as well as issues such as a unified theory of
architectural representation, the relationships between analysis and visualization
and the role of abstraction in the structure of a representation. In addition to
theoretical investigations, the utilization of new possibilities in architectural
visualization requires technology and knowledge transfer from areas other than
computer science. The integration of such transfers suggests flexible, modular
approach which contradicts the holistic, integral principles of computer-aided
Pairs of participants were set a design problem and asked to solve it in face-to-face settings. The same problem was then tackled by participants in settings using two different modes of computer-supported communication: email and an electronic whiteboard. Protocols were collected and analyzed in terms of the constraints of each tool relative to the task and to each other. The GOMS methodology was used as a way to represent the collaborative design process in a way that yields information on both the productivity and performance of participants in each of the three experimental conditions. It also yielded information on the component elements of the design process, the basic cognitive building-blocks of design, thereby suggesting fundamentally new tools that might be created for interaction in virtual environments.
A further goal of the study was to explore the nature of task differences in relation to alternative platforms for communication. It was hypothesized that design processes involving significant negotiation would be less aided by computer support than straight forward design problems. The latter involve cooperative knowledge application by both participants and are therefore facilitated by information-rich forms of computer support. The former, on the other hand, requires conflict resolution and is inhibited by non face-to-face interaction. The results of this study point to the fact that the success of collaboration in virtual space is not just dependent on the nature of the tools but also on the specific nature of the collaborative task.
In Sweden representatives from the construction and building management
industry have put forward a research and development program called: "IT-Bygg#2
2002 - Implementation". It aims at making IT the vehicle for decreasing the building
costs and at the same time getting better quality and efficiency out of the industry.
The presented strategy is based on a seminar with some of the most experienced
researchers, developers and practitioners of CAD in Sweden. The activities were
recorded and annotated, analyzed and put together afterwards.
The proposal in brief is that object oriented distributed CAD is to be used in the long
perspective. It will need to be based on international standards such as STEP and it
will take at least another 5 years to get established.
Meanwhile something temporary has to be used. Pragmatically a "de facto
standard" on formats has to be accepted and implemented. To support new users of
IT all software in use in the country will be analyzed, described and published for a
national platform for IT-communication within the construction industry.
Finally the question is discussed "How can architect schools then contribute to IT
being implemented within the housing sector at a regional or national level?" Some
ideas are presented: Creating the good example, better support for the customer,
sharing the holistic concept of the project with all actors, taking part in an integrated
education process and international collaboration like AVOCAAD and ECAADE.
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