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authors Penttilä, Hannu (Ed.)
year 2001
title Architectural Information Management [Conference Proceedings]
source 19th eCAADe Conference Proceedings / ISBN 0-9523687-8-1 / Helsinki (Finland) 29-31 August 2001, 578 p.
summary Several common phrases, such as “information society” or “virtual reality” point out the fact that information technology, digital tools and numerous different services via various communication networks have become crucially important factors of our western lifestyle and living environment. The trends of the society reflects naturally the working environments of the construction field, architectural discipline being amongst them. It is almost inconceivable to even imagine an architect without computer-based tools anymore. This evolutional development process has, from historical perspective, only recently started. The process is constantly evolving and rapidly increasing our possibilities to use and enjoy these modern digital fruits. The sometimes unpredictable and rapid changes in our working environment should make architects nervous about the impacts of the changes. All those delicate methods and collective traditions of the several thousand year architectural discipline(!), just simply cannot be transferred into the digital realm in a few decades. Researchers and teachers should very carefully, but still open mindedly, critically explore, analyse and adjust the so-called “modern technology” into the world of architecture, construction, design, planning – and education. We are not just “endusers”, It is we, in fact, who should define what, where and how are we willing to use it(IT). The value of information is constantly growing in our society, and in the future it will evidently be even more so. The value of information is quite hard to define with measurable or agreed concepts, but information evidently contains value-factors. The information which the architects are creating, modifying and manipulating, contains essential and valuable core data concerning the whole built environment of our society. It affects the physical surroundings of our society, in which we will be living for decades – hence, the information has a historical basis. The architectural core information also very strongly affects the quality of life of our fellow citizens – consequently, it has deep social meaning. The essentials of architectural information relies on the tradition of centuries – hence, it clearly has acknowledged cultural values, which are also extremely difficult to quantify. So how could architectural information be described? The information covers a wide range of heterogeneous concepts, items, values, methods, tools, materials, true facts, rumours, intuition and knowledge, plus a multitude of yet undefined or unpredictable factors, which still have to be watched and prepared for. Since the information deals with common and general subjects, it should also be described with common and general concepts. On the other hand as the information is also concerned with the minutiae of specific projects, the architectural information should also be described with well identified and unique entities. With our digital tools we handle all information – including architectural – more and more digitally. We have to handle and manipulate information currently as digital data, which could be understood the ”raw material” of architectural information. Digital data becomes valuable information, when some kind of meaning or purpose to somebody can be attributed to it. In the early gloomy days of ”digital architecture” in the 1960’s and 1970’s, researchers tried to describe architectural artefacts and even design process mathematically. The details of architectural information were quite difficult to describe with binary alphanumeric information of main-frame machines. The architects’ tools development then led to a trend where architects could better represent and visualize the design objects digitally. The widespread and common use of 2D-drawing and 3D-modelling tools is still a very strong trend within our discipline. In fact it is “the way” the majority of architectural information is managed today. During the last 15–20 years, so-called conceptual modelling or product data modelling, done in various technical and construction field research units worldwide, has from one viewpoint clarified the basis and essence of architectural information. Hence, it’s not only CAD-software application development, but also elementary and theoretical research that gives us valuable help to survive among the ever growing seas of terabits of data in the future to come. Architectural information is something that simply cannot be described just with DWG-drawings or dummy scanned photographs any more. Although drawings and photos may contain very important bits of architectural documentation, we need ntimes more “complexity layers”, concepts and tools to manage and understand the essence of architectural information today. A proper way to manage the data we are working with, has to cover the whole architectural discipline. The methods and tools also have to be valid and flexible for several decades in the future.
keywords Information Management & Data Structuring, Education & Curricula, Modeling & City Planning
series eCAADe
email penttila@mittaviiva.fi
more http://www.hut.fi/events/ecaade/
references Content-type: text/plain
last changed 2001/08/06 20:38
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