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authors Kim, Inhan
year 1994
title Data representations in an integrated architectural design environment
source University of Strathclyde, Dept. of Architecture and Building Science
summary The architectural design process is very complex and involves cross-disciplinary communication among many related fields. Given the further problems arising from the technological advances in building materials and construction methods, an integrated design environment becomes a central design issue. There have been many attempts to analyse and structure the design process as a uniform hierarchical framework. Most of the attempts resulted in a vague and inappropriate outcome due to the lack of understanding of architectural design complexity and inconsistent design data control sequence. A design problem cannot be comprehensively stated because the design problem has a multi-disciplinary nature and the design problem itself evolves as solutions are attempted by the designer. Therefore, an ideal CAAD system should have the capability to accommodate the multi-disciplinary nature of design and should not prescribe or restrict design concepts and design knowledge. A well designed integrated design environment provides more information and invokes creative imagination for each design stage, and therefore creative decision making by the designer can be achieved. This thesis proposes a prototype architectural design environment, Hybrid Integrated Design Environment [HIDE], which aims to integrate all applications for designing a building. Within the object-oriented design environment, a unified data model and a data management system have been implemented to seamlessly connect all applications. Development of the environment needs to consider the fundamental interaction between each module. Devising a data structure that is appropriate to an effective data communication among the various design stages is essential in a totally integrated CAAD system. The suggested unified data model organizes the structure of the design data to keep the design consistent throughout the design and construction process. By means of the unified data model, integrated CAAD systems could represent and exchange design information at a semantic level, i.e. the userís way of thinking, such as exchanging components and features of a building rather than graphical primitives. In consequence, the unified data model reduces the misunderstandings and communication problems among the multiple disciplines of architectural design. The suggested data management system supports the consistent and straight forward mechanisms for controlling the data representation through the inter-connected modules. It is responsible for creating, maintaining, and viewing a consistent database of the design description. It also helps to perform effective data communication among the various design stages to ensure quality and time saving in the final construction of the building. To support inter-disciplinary communication of design concepts and decisions, the integrating of relevant CAAD tools is essential. In the environment, the integration of CAAD tools has been performed on the basis of how well computerized design tools can assist designers to develop better solutions, enabling them to manipulate and appraise varying solutions quickly and with a minimum of effort in an environment conducive to creative design. A well designed user interface system can also benefit the seamless working environment. The proposed user friendly interface system allows a user to explore the environment in a highly interactive manner. From the development of the early data model to the final design, a user could benefit from the prototypes and methods of the user interface system. The ultimate goal of the prototype environment is to suggest a future design environment which helps the architect to have minimum discontinuity in his creativity and make the design process similar to the natural design process with the help of a set of design assistance modules. A prototype version of HIDE has been implemented and a demonstration of the environment is part of this thesis.
series thesis:PhD
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