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

id diss_sola
authors Sola-Morales, Pau
year 2000
title Representation in Architecture: A Data Model for Computer-Aided Architectural Design
source DDes Thesis, Harvard Design School, Cambridge, MA
summary Traditional representation systems – including technical drawings, perspectives, models and photography – have historically been used by architects to communicate projectual ideas to other agents in the process, as well to communicate ideas to themselves and recording them for future reference. The increasing complexity of the projects, involving more agents in ever more distant locations; the need for a greater semantic richness to express all the subtleties of the technical, cost and styling details; and -- most importantly – the introduction of computers in every day practice, which enable powerful data generation and manipulation; all these factors together demand for a new representation system adapted to the new digital medium. Yet, traditional CAAD software packages do not offer a solution to any of these problems, for their data model is too simplified to model complex projects and ideas, and are based on geometrical representations of the built environment. This dissertation addresses the issue of computer representation of architecture, and tries to refocus the discussion from a “geometric representation of objects” to a “representation of relationships among objects.” After studying the nature of design, it is observed that objects in the built environment can be represented as patterns of relationships. Based on the object-oriented data model (OODM), which can capture such relationships, the research proposes a new data model and a new set of abstractions of architectural elements that represent the patterns of relationships among them. The resulting representations are networks of design concepts and intentions, hypertext-like structures conveying all the semantic richness of the architectural project, containing qualitative as well as quantitative information. It is analogous to a “digital writing” or “encoding” of architecture. Being stored in an OO, centralized, concurrent database, these object models can be shared and exchanged among design professionals, adding up to a universal computer-readable design representation system.
series thesis:PhD
references Content-type: text/plain
last changed 2005/09/09 10:58
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