authors 
Nagakura, Takehiko 
year 
1996 
title 
Form Processing: A System for Architectural Design 
source 
Harvard University 
summary 
This thesis introduces a new approach to developing software for formal synthesis in architectural design. It presents theoretical foundations, describes prototype specifications for computable implementation, and illustrates some examples. The approach derives from the observation that architects explore ideas through the use of sequences of drawings. Architects derive each drawing in a sequence from its predecessor by executing some transformation on a portion of the drawing. Thus, a formal design state is established by a sequence of drawings with historical information about their construction through progressive transformations. The proposed system allows an architect to develop a design in three ways. First, a new transformation can be added to a current sequence of drawings. Second, existing sequences can be edited by exchanging their subset sequences. Third, an existing sequence can be revised parametrically by assigning new values to its design variables. The system implements scripts that specify categories of shapes and transformations between any two shape categories. When an instance of a shape category is found in a design, a transformation can replace it with an instance of another shape category. Recursive application of a given set of transformations to an initial shape instance produces a sequence of drawings that represents a formal design state. The system encodes this formal design state as an assembly of all the shape instances used and their relationships (nesting, emergent and replacement). Furthermore, this assembly, called a construction graph, allows the existing sequences to be edited efficiently by exchanging subsets and to be revised parametrically. The advantage of this approach as demonstrated in the examples is that it allows intuitive, rapid and interactive construction of complex designs. Moreover, design knowledge can be captured by scripts that depict heuristic shapes and transformations as well as by assembled construction graphs which depict cases of formal design. Such a reusable and expandable knowledge base is essential for assisting disciplined and creative architectural design. 
keywords 
Computer Software Development; Architectural Design; Data Processing 
series 
thesis:PhD 
email 
takehiko@mit.edu 
references 
Contenttype: text/plain

last changed 
2003/02/12 21:37 
