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id avocaad_2001_05
authors Alexander Koutamanis
year 2001
title Analysis and the descriptive approach
source AVOCAAD - ADDED VALUE OF COMPUTER AIDED ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN, Nys Koenraad, Provoost Tom, Verbeke Johan, Verleye Johan (Eds.), (2001) Hogeschool voor Wetenschap en Kunst - Departement Architectuur Sint-Lucas, Campus Brussel, ISBN 80-76101-05-1
summary The rise of consciousness concerning the quality of working and living conditions has been a permanent though frequently underplayed theme in architecture and building since the reconstruction period. It has led to an explosive growth of programmatic requirements on building behaviour and performance, thus also stimulating the development of design analysis. The first stage of development was characterized by the evolution of prescriptive systems. These reversed the structure of pre-existing proscriptive systems into sequences of known steps that should be taken in order to achieve adequate results. Prescriptive systems complemented rather than replaced proscriptive ones, thereby creating an uncertain mixture of orthodoxy and orthopraxy that failed to provide design guidance for improving design performance and quality.The second stage in the development of design analysis focuses on descriptive methods and techniques for analyzing and supporting evaluation. Technologies such as simulation and scientific visualization are employed so as to produce detailed, accurate and reliable projections of building behaviour and performance. These projections can be correlated into a comprehensive and coherent description of a building using representations of form as information carriers. In these representations feedback and interaction assume a visual character that fits both design attitudes and lay perception of the built environment, but on the basis of a quantitative background that justifies, verifies and refines design actions. Descriptive analysis is currently the most promising direction for confronting and resolving design complexity. It provides the designer with useful insights into the causes and effects of various design problems but frequently comes short of providing clear design guidance for two main reasons: (1) it adds substantial amounts of information to the already unmanageable loads the designer must handle, and (2) it may provide incoherent cues for the further development of a design. Consequently the descriptive approach to analysis is always in danger of been supplanted by abstract decision making.One way of providing the desired design guidance is to complement the connection of descriptive analyses to representations of form (and from there to synthesis) with two interface components. The first is a memory component, implemented as case-bases of precedent designs. These designs encapsulate integrated design information that can be matched to the design in hand in terms of form, function and performance. Comparison between precedents with a known performance and a new design facilitate identification of design aspects that need be improved, as well as of wider formal and functional consequences. The second component is an adaptive generative system capable of guiding exploration of these aspects, both in the precedents and the new design. The aim of this system is to provide feedback from analysis to synthesis. By exploring the scope of the analysis and the applicability of the conclusions to more designs, the designer generates a coherent and consistent collection of partial solutions that explore a relevant solution space. Development of the first component, the design case-bases, is no trivial task. Transformability in the representation of cases and flexible classification in a database are critical to the identification and treatment of a design aspect. Nevertheless, the state of the art in case-based reasoning and the extensive corpus of analysed designs provide the essential building blocks. The second component, the adaptive generative system, poses more questions. Existing generative techniques do not possess the necessary richness or multidimensionality. Moreover, it is imperative that the designer plays a more active role in the control of the process than merely tweaking local variables. At the same time, the system should prevent that redesigning degenerates into a blind trial-and-error enumeration of possibilities. Guided empirical design research arguably provides the means for the evolutionary development of the second component.
series AVOCAAD
email a.koutamanis@bk.tudelft.nl
references Content-type: text/plain
last changed 2005/09/09 08:48
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