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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authors Oxman, Robert and Oxman, Rivka
year 1990
title The Computability of Architectural Knowledge
source The Electronic Design Studio: Architectural Knowledge and Media in the Computer Era [CAAD Futures 89 Conference Proceedings / ISBN 0-262-13254-0] Cambridge (Massachusetts / USA), 1989, pp. 171-185
summary In an important contribution to the theoretical foundation of design computing, Mitchell noted "an increasingly urgent need to establish a demonstrably sound, comprehensive, rigorously formalized theoretical foundation upon which to base practical software development efforts" (Mitchell, 1986). In this paper we propose such a theoretical framework. A basic assumption of this work is that the advancement of design computing is dependent upon the emergence of a rigorous formulation of knowledge in design. We present a model of knowledge in architectural design which suggests a promising conceptual basis for dealing with knowledge in computer-aided design systems. We require models which can represent the formal knowledge and manipulative operations of the designer in all of their complexity-that is formal models rather than just geometric models. Shape Grammars (Stiny,1980) represent an example of such models, and constitute a relatively high level of design knowledge as compared to, for example, use of symmetry operations to generate simple formal configurations. Building upon an understanding of the classes of design knowledge as the conceptual basis for formal modeling systems may contribute a new realization of the potential of the medium for design. This will require a comprehensive approach to the definition of architectural and design knowledge. We consider here the implications of a well-defined body of architectural and design knowledge for design education and the potential mutual interaction-in a knowledge-rich environment-of design learning and CAAD learning. The computational factors connected with the representation of design knowledge and its integration in design systems are among the key problems of CAAD. Mitchell's model of knowledge in design incorporates formal knowledge in a comprehensive, multi-level, hierarchical structure in which types of knowledge are correlated with computational concepts. In the main focus of this paper we present a structured, multi-level model of design knowledge which we discuss with respect to current architectural theoretical considerations. Finally, we analyze the computational and educational relevance of such models.
series CAAD Futures
full text file.pdf (152,805 bytes)
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