Keywords Abstract
Marx, John. "A Proposal for Alternative Methodologies in Teaching Digital Design." In Digital Design Studios: Do Computers Make a Difference? ACADIA Conference Proceedings, 58-73. ACADIA. Cincinnati, Ohio: University of Cincinnati, 1998. Computers have the potential to radically change the process of architectural design, and match more closely the formal aspirations of contemporary designers. What, then, should be the direction educators take in response to the opportunities created by the use of computers in the design process? There are, perhaps, two obvious methods of teaching Digital Design at a university level, a course adjunct to a design studio, or a course offered independently of a design studio. The computer is a facilitator of design ideas, but by itself, is not a creator of content. The primary responsibility of the design studio is the creation of content. It is the implementation of theory and critical analysis which should be the core concern of studio instruction. Given the limited time students are exposed to design studio it would seem appropriate, then, that the digital tools, which facilitate the design process, be taught separately, so as not to dilute the design studios importance. Likewise, this separation should allow the student to concentrate attention on Digital Design as a comprehensive process, beginning with initial massing studies and ending with high resolution presentation drawings. The burden of learning this new process is difficult as well as time consuming. Students are generally struggling to learn how to design, much less to design on the computer. In addition, the current lack of digital skills on the part of design faculty makes it difficult to create a level of consistency in teaching digital design. Compounding these problems is the cost to architectural departments of providing hardware and software resources sufficient to have a computer on every studio desk.
Kolarevic, Branko. "An Experiment in Design Collaboration." In Digital Design Studios: Do Computers Make a Difference? ACADIA Conference Proceedings, 90-99. ACADIA. Cincinnati, Ohio: University of Cincinnati, 1998. Computer supported communication and collaboration among partners in the building design and construction process are no longer mere possibilities, but, given the will and know-how of the participants, a reality. Team members could work on a building design at any place, simultaneously together (synchronously) or separately (asynchronously), while the latest state of the design would always be available in a shared database. But to be successful, this emerging type of cooperation often requires new design and communication methods. This paper documents an experimental approach to design collaboration, tested in an intensive, one-week long Virtual Design Studio exercise involving three academic institutions. It briefly describes the structure and goals of the studio exercise, the methodologies applied, the resulting process of collaboration, and the lessons learned.
Campbell, Dace. "Architectural Construction Documents on the Web: VRML as a Case Study." In Digital Design Studios: Do Computers Make a Difference? ACADIA Conference Proceedings, 266-275. ACADIA. Cincinnati, Ohio: University of Cincinnati, 1998. The Virtual Reality Modelling Language (VRML) and the World Wide Web (WWW) offer new opportunities to communicate an architectis design intent throughout the design process. We have investigated the use of VRML in the production and communication of construction documents, the final phase of architectural building design. A prototype, experimental Web site was set up and used to disseminate design data as VRML models and HTML text to the design client, contractor, and fabricators. In this paper, we discuss the way our construction documents were developed in VRML, the issues we faced implementing it, and critical feedback from the users of the Web space/site. We analyze the usefulness of VRML as a communication tool for the design and construction industries. Finally, we discuss technical, social, and legal issues the AEC industry faces as it shifts to embrace widespread use of a “paperless” Web-based communications infrastructure for design documentation.
Blazquez, Oscar, and Mary Hardin. "Balancing Computer Use and Design Content in Studio Projects." In Digital Design Studios: Do Computers Make a Difference? ACADIA Conference Proceedings, 36-43. ACADIA. Cincinnati, Ohio: University of Cincinnati, 1998. Particular design approaches must be taught in order to take advantage of the strengths of computers in design rather than attempting to make computers conform to methods developed as by-products of manual design techniques. For the last three years our team of faculty teaching the second year design studio has been trying different approaches to the use of computers in design, in order to find the advantages and opportunities especially suited to electronic media. There are several projects during the semester which use computers at different stages of the design process. One of these projects, called “A Spatial Sequence”, uses information from a previous project as well as the knowledge from the computer class in parallel to design studio. The project asked students to create spatial archetypes based on the work of well-known architects. They explore the following topics as represented in the work of one particular architect: relationships of major spaces/minor spaces, approach/entry, and transition/threshold. Following the analysis, they create digital models to explore the spaces formed by their archetypes. Before committing to a physical study model, they look at the transitions between spaces by creating a sequence using the digital model and producing a series of shots through the digital model to show the flow of spaces. The use of computer through the process accelerates the options available to explore a sequence of elements, while simultaneously giving them a window to look into the spaces they have created. This hybridized approach of precedent analysis, digital modelling, and physical modelling was uniquely suited to the studio problem.
Young, Robert. "Climatic Factors in Regional Design: an Interactive Tool for Design Education." In Digital Design Studios: Do Computers Make a Difference? ACADIA Conference Proceedings, 188-201. ACADIA. Cincinnati, Ohio: University of Cincinnati, 1998. This paper describes the development of an interactive computerized module developed as a digital resource for architectural design students that incorporates the premise of using architectural form as a primary environmental control system in a building. The first in a series of such modules, Climactic Factors in Regional Design illustrates the factors involved in regional design strategies. With the recognition that many design practices of the latter twentieth century are not environmentally sustainable, this module is to be used in a curriculum which recognizes that sustainable architecture begins by using architectural form as the primary environmental control system and the mechanical and electrical systems supplement that system not dominate it. With recent advances in recognizing sustainability issues, the country is now more willing to embrace environmental stewardship. The path to reduce environmental problems is through the integration of practices recognize architectural form as a primary environmental control system. As such, the latest generation of designers must view design comprehensively. If future building designers are to succeed, environmental control integration needs to be included pro-actively within the initial design rather than reactively appended to the end. Climatic Factors in Regional Design is designed to foster this paradigm shift and is divided into several topics and subtopic sections which include Introduction, Regional Design, Microclimate, Regional Guidelines, Design Strategies, Glossary, and Sample Examination. The module contains 260 screen displays and more than 250 illustrations, figures, and diagrams. Users can progress through the module in any sequence as their needs warrant. The module was developed using the academic version of Authorware Star by Macromedia.
Potier, S., J.-L-. Malret, and J. Zoller. "Computer Graphics: Assistance for Archaeological Hypotheses." In Digital Design Studios: Do Computers Make a Difference? ACADIA Conference Proceedings, 366-383. ACADIA. Cincinnati, Ohio: University of Cincinnati, 1998. This paper is a contribution to the domain of computer tools for architectural and archeological restitution of ancient buildings. We describe an application of these tools to the modelling of the 14th century AD. Thermae of Constantin in Arles, south of France. It was a diploma project in School of Architecture of MarseilleLuminy, and took place in a context defined in the European ARELATE project. The general objective of this project is to emphasize the archeological and architectural heritage of the city of Arles, it aims, in particular, to equip the museum of ancient Arles with a computer tool enabling the storage and consultation of archaeological archives, the communication of information and exchange by specialized networks, and the creation of a virtual museum allowing a redescription of the monuments and a “virtual” visit of ancient Arles. Our approach involves a multidisciplinary approach, calling on architecture, archeology and computer science. The archeologistis work is to collect information and interpret it, this is the starting point of the architectis work who, using these elements, suggests an architectural reconstruction. This synthesis contains the functioning analysis of the structure and building. The potential provided by the computer as a tool (in this case, the POV-Ray software) with access to several three-dimensional visualizations, according to hypotheses formulated by the architect and archaeologists, necessitates the use of evolutive models which, thanks to the parametrization of dimensions of a building and its elements, can be adapted to all the changes desired by the architect. The specific contribution of POV-Ray in architectural reconstruction of thermae finds its expression in four forms of this modelling program, which correspond to the objectives set by the architect in agreement with archeologists: (a) The parametrization of dimensions, which contributes significantly in simplifying the reintervention process of the architectural data base, (b) Hierarchy and links between variables, allowing “grouped” modifications of modelized elements in order to preserve the consistency of the architectural buildingis morphology, (c) The levels of modelling (with or without facing, for example), which admit of the exploration of all structural and architectural trails (relationship form/ function), and, (d) The “model-type,” facilitating the setting up of hypotheses by simple scaling and transformation of these models (e.g., roofing models) on an already modelled structure. The methodological validation of this modelling softwareis particular use in architectural formulation of hypotheses shows that the software is the principal graphical medium of discussion between architect and archaeologist, thus confirming the hypotheses formulated at the beginning of this project.
Madrazo, Leandro. "Computers and Architectural Design: Going Beyond the Tool." In Digital Design Studios: Do Computers Make a Difference? ACADIA Conference Proceedings, 44-57. ACADIA. Cincinnati, Ohio: University of Cincinnati, 1998. More often than not, discussions taking place in specialised conferences dealing with computers and design tend to focus mostly on the tool itself. What the computer can do that other tools cannot, how computers might improve design and whether a new aesthetic would result from the computer, these are among the most recurrent issues addressed in those forums. But, by placing the instrument at the center of the debate, we might be distorting the nature of design. In the course KEYWORDS, carried out in the years 1992 and 1993 at the ETH Zurich, the goal was to transcend the discourses that concentrate on the computer, integrating it in a wider theoretical framework including principles of modern art and architecture. This paper presents a summary of the content and results of this course.
Stannard, Sandy. "Computers in Design Exploring Light and Time." In Digital Design Studios: Do Computers Make a Difference? ACADIA Conference Proceedings, 26-35. ACADIA. Cincinnati, Ohio: University of Cincinnati, 1998. Computers have helped bring architectural education to a digital crossroads. This new tool is effecting architectural education on numerous levels, from the simplest word processing of research papers to more complex interactive modelling. This casestudy paper will focus on the new and changing role of the computer in the design studio. In this case, the approach to integrating the computer into the studio revolves around its application simply as another tool for a designeris use. Clearly, the use of computers in design studios is not a new development. However, as the computeris use in design education is not yet widespread, a dialogue about methods of application is valuable for design educators. The intent behind computer use in this case was not to replace traditional design methods but to complement and enhance them. In this spirit, this case study focuses on the use of computers to investigate two aspects of design that are challenging to model: light and time. In the studios to be examined here, students were required to explore their designs with both traditional tools (sketches on trace, physical study models as well as final finish models, etc.) and with newer digital tools (lighting simulation programs, threedimensional modelling programs, and animation). Students worked in teams in most cases. The computer was used both as a design tool as well as a representational tool, with varying degrees of success, depending on the studentis expertise, comfort using the computer as a design tool and access to appropriate hardware and software. In the first studio case study, the “new” medium of the computer was a perfect complement for the focus of the studio, entitled “Space and Light.” In addition to utilizing large scale physical models traditionally used for lighting design, three-dimensional computer models using Lightscape enriched the design results. Both sets of tools were vital for the design processes of the studio assignments. In the second studio case study, a traditional fourth year studio was required to use the computer to explore the dimension of time in their designs, which in this case translated into animation modelling. Integrating the computer into the design studio promises to be a complex task. As these examples will illustrate, the advantages and the disadvantages require continual balancing. Philosophical disagreement, potential discomfort, or a general lack of knowledge of digital tools may inhibit design educators from testing the potential of these ever-changing tools. Despite the challenges, this case study reveals the educational value of continued experimental use of digital tools in the design studio. 
Chastain, Thomas, and Ame Elliott. "Cultivating Design Competence: Online Support for the Beginning Design Studio." In Digital Design Studios: Do Computers Make a Difference? ACADIA Conference Proceedings, 290-299. ACADIA. Cincinnati, Ohio: University of Cincinnati, 1998. A primary lesson of a beginning design studio is the development of a fundamental design competence. This entails acquiring skills of integration, projection, exploration, as well as critical thinking-forming the basis of thinking “like a designer.” Plaguing the beginning architectural design student as she develops this competence are three typical problems: a lagging visual intelligence, a linking of originality with creativity, and the belief that design is an act of an individual author instead of a collaborative activity. We believe that computation support for design learning has particular attributes for helping students overcome these problems. These attributes include its inherent qualities for visualization, for explicitness, and for sharing. This paper describes five interactive multi-media exercises exploiting these attributes which were developed to support a beginning design studio. The paper also reports how they have been integrated into the course curriculum.
Clayton, Mark, R. Johnson, Y Song, and Jamal Al-Qawasmi. "Delivering Facility Documentation using Intranet Technology." In Digital Design Studios: Do Computers Make a Difference? ACADIA Conference Proceedings, 240-253. ACADIA. Cincinnati, Ohio: University of Cincinnati, 1998. Intranet technologies present new opportunities for delivering facility documentation for use in facility management. After the design stage, building documentation is reused to support construction and then facility operation. However, a common perception is that construction documents and as-built drawings are less than optimal for reuse to support operations. We have conducted a study of facility management processes and the information content of facility documentation in the context of information technologies that are emerging into the marketplace. The study provides guidance for facility managers who are implementing and fielding new information technology systems. A better understanding of information needs during operations may also help designers to better structure their own documents for reuse. An analysis of documents that are used throughout the life cycle of facilities has led us to a characterization of operations documents that are distinct from design drawings, record drawings or as-built drawings. From an analysis of facility management processes, we have identified different roles for facility documentation in those processes. Facility documentation may be used as a resource, as input, or as output. Furthermore, from interviews of facility management personnel, we identified facility information that was rated high in importance and low in satisfaction that might be targeted when implementing a facility information system. We prepared software demonstrations that show how the information may be extracted from drawings, entered into databases and then retrieved via Web and CAD interfaces. We suggest that operations documents consist of a variety of information types and require several kinds of information tools, including databases, CAD drawings and hypertext. Intranet technologies, databases and CAD software can be integrated to achieve facility management systems that address shortcomings in current facility management operations. In particular, intranet technologies provide improved accessibility to information for facility management customers and occasional users of the systems. Our study has produced recommendations based upon utility and ease-of-implementation for delivery of information from the design team to the owner, and among personnel during operation of the facility. 
Entous, Marc. "Developments in 3D Scanning and Digitizing: New Strategies for an Evolving Design Process." In Digital Design Studios: Do Computers Make a Difference? ACADIA Conference Proceedings, 212-220. ACADIA. Cincinnati, Ohio: University of Cincinnati, 1998. The computer is now a widely accepted tool in architecture as a production and business tool. Acceptance of digital technology as a design aid has been much slower, but continuing developments in ease of use, capabilities, and lower costs are encouraging the use of three-dimensional design modelling. As the demand for 3D design computing grows, peripheral digital technologies are also developing and being integrated. This paper describes on-going research into how current and near-future developments in three-dimensional scanning and digitizing technology that have the potential to substantially change processes of architectural design. Scanners, or digitizers, assist in transforming physical objects and models into digital representations. The capabilities of 3D scanners in architectural design have only begun to be explored. Existing and emerging 3D scanning technologies are briefly described followed by a discussion of sample existing, new, and potential uses of these capabilities as a design tool. An experiment is conducted to contrast the differences between stylus-based and laser-based digitizers in an architectural design environment.
Schweikhardt, Eric, and Mark Gross. "Digital Clay: Deriving Digital Models from Freehand Sketches." In Digital Design Studios: Do Computers Make a Difference? ACADIA Conference Proceedings, 202-211. ACADIA. Cincinnati, Ohio: University of Cincinnati, 1998. During the initial stages of design, it is not uncommon to find an architect scribbling furiously with a thick pencil. Later in the design process, however, one might not be surprised to encounter the same individual in front of a computer monitor, manipulating three dimensional models in a series of activities that seem completely divorced from their previous efforts. Armed with evidence that sketching is an effective design method for creative individuals, we also recognize that modelling and rendering applications are invaluable design development and presentation tools, and we naturally seek a connection between these methodologies. We therefore present Digital Clay, a working prototype of a sketch recognition program that interprets gestural and abstracted projection drawings and constructs appropriate three dimensional digital models. 
Dalyrmple, Michael, and Michael Gerzso. "Executable Drawings: the Computation of Digital Architecture." In Digital Design Studios: Do Computers Make a Difference? ACADIA Conference Proceedings, 172-187. ACADIA. Cincinnati, Ohio: University of Cincinnati, 1998. Architectural designs are principally represented by drawings. Usually, each drawing corresponds to one design or aspects of one design. On the other hand, one executable drawing corresponds to a set of designs. These drawings are the same as conventional drawings except that they have computer code or programs embedded in them. A specific design is the result of the computer executing the code in a drawing for a particular set of parameter values. If the parameters are changed, a new design or design variation is produced. With executable drawings, a CAD system is also a program editor. A designer not only designs by drawing but also programming. It fuses two activities: the first, drawing, is basic in architectural practice, and the second, progamming, or specifying the relation of outputs from inputs, is basic in computer system development. A consequence of executable drawings is that architectural form is represented by graphical entities (lines or shapes) as well as computer code or programs. This type of architecture we call digital architecture. Two simple examples are presented: first, the design of a building in terms of an executable drawing of the architects, Sangallo the Younger and Michelangelo, and second, a description of an object oriented implementation of a preliminary prototype of an executable drawing system written in 1997 which computes a simple office layout.
Van Asperdt, Anita, and Beth Diamond. "Integrating Digital Media in the Lanscape Architecture Studio: Overlaying Media and Process." In Digital Design Studios: Do Computers Make a Difference? ACADIA Conference Proceedings, 74-86. ACADIA. Cincinnati, Ohio: University of Cincinnati, 1998. For landscape architecture students beginning to experiment with computer generated imagery, the focus should be on integrating digital media in a comprehensive manner, throughout various phases of the design process. Digital media exercises must be developed in such a manner that they support, express and enhance the design content of a studio project in conjunction with the chosen design process. In a beginning-level studio, digital media is best explored through easy-to-learn applications in a structured yet flexible studio environment. One powerful way to integrate digital media with design inquiry in a comprehensive and reciprocal manner is the electronic overlay of information and poetic impressions. This method takes on particular relevance in dealing with the multiple issues that face landscape architects today.
Johnson, Scott. "Making Models Architectural: Protean Representations to Fit Architects Minds." In Digital Design Studios: Do Computers Make a Difference? ACADIA Conference Proceedings, 354-365. ACADIA. Cincinnati, Ohio: University of Cincinnati, 1998. A rich vocabulary has evolved for describing architecture. It serves not only as a means of communication, but also as an embodiment of concepts relating to form, space, structure, function, mood, and symbolism. We architects not only speak in terms of walls, rooms, roofs, arches, etc., we see in terms of them and think in terms of them, as well. Such concepts are integral to our ability to design. Typical CAD representations, however, are based on geometric/mathematical elements like points, lines, planes, and symbols. Even more experimental approaches like parametric shapes or procedural assemblies correspond poorly to architectural elements, and seldom lend themselves well to making conceptual changes that would allow exploration of design alternatives. Small wonder some architecture schools experience a division between computer and studio courses, or even between computer and studio faculty. Different ways of talking and thinking are involved. The concepts involved are often mutually exclusive. This paper discusses an attempt to address this conceptual mismatch, using what are termed “proteani (meaning “very changeablei) elements. These are high-level elements corresponding to architectural concepts like “wall,i or “dome.i They each have parameters appropriate for the particular type of element they represent, and produce the polyhedra necessary for graphics based on these parameters. A system is being implemented to allow models to be constructed using these elements. The protean elements form a loosely structured model, in which some elements hierarchically contain others, and some elements are essentially freestanding, being created and manipulated independently of other elements. Characteristics of protean element are discussed, including the underlying object-oriented structure, the relationship between elements and graphics, and functions associated with the objects. A scheme is explained whereby all parts of a design can be represented even when the design includes extremely unusual forms not conforming to predictable classes of elements. The necessary support framework is also discussed, general flow of the system and mechanisms for viewing the model and editing subcomponents are explained. The current status of the project, and intentions for future work are discussed. The project has been partially implemented, and the necessary framework to support the system is mostly complete.
Bermudez, Julio, and Kevin King. "Media Interaction and Design Process: Establishing a Knowledge Base." In Digital Design Studios: Do Computers Make a Difference? ACADIA Conference Proceedings, 25-Jun. ACADIA. Cincinnati, Ohio: University of Cincinnati, 1998. Integrating computers in architectural design means to negotiate between centuries-old analog design methods and the new digital systems of production. Analog systems of architectural production use tracing paper, vellum, graphite and ink, clipboard, clay, balsa wood, plastic, metal, etc. Analog systems have also been termed “handmade”, “manual”, “material” or “physical”. Digital systems of architectural production use scanning, image manipulation, visualization, solid modelling, computer aided drafting, animation, rendering, etc. Digital systems have also been called “electronic”, “computer-aided”, “virtual”, etc. The difficulty lies in the underdeveloped state of the necessary methods, techniques, and theories to relate traditional and new media. Recent investigations on the use of multiple iterations between manual and electronic systems to advance architectural work show promising results. However, these experiments have not been sufficiently codified, cross-referenced and third party tested to conform a reliable knowledge base. This paper addresses this shortcoming by bringing together reported experiences from diverse researchers over the past decade. This summary is informed by more than three years of continuous investigation in the impacts of analog-digital conversations in the design process. The goal is to establish a state-of-the-art common foundation that permits instructors, researchers and practitioners to refer to, utilize, test, criticize and develop. An appendix is included providing support for the paperis arguments.
Faucher, Didier, and Marie-Laure Nivet. "Playing with Design Intent: Integration of Physical and Urban Constraints in CAD." In Digital Design Studios: Do Computers Make a Difference? ACADIA Conference Proceedings, 118-137. ACADIA. Cincinnati, Ohio: University of Cincinnati, 1998. Our work deals with the exploration of a universe of forms that satisfy some design intents. That is, we substitute a “generate and test” approach for a declarative approach in which an object is created from its properties. In this paper we present an original method that takes into account design intents relative to sunlight, visibility and urban regulation. First of all we study how current CAD tools have considered these properties until now. Our conclusion is that the classical design / simulation / analysis process does not suit design practices, especially in the early stages. We think that an improved CAD system should offer the architect the option of manipulating abstract information such as design intents. We define an intent as a conceptual expression of constraints having an influence on the project. For instance, a visual intent will be stated with no reference to vision geometry: “ from this place, I want to see the front of the new building”. We show how to represent each of these constraints with a 3D volume associated to some characteristics. If some solutions exist, we are sure that they are included in these volumes. For physical phenomena we compute the volume geometry using the principles of inverse simulation. In the case of urban regulation we apply deduction rules. Design intents are solved by means of geometrical entities that represent openings or obstructions in the project. Computing constraint volumes is a way of guiding the architect in his exploration of solutions. Constraint volumes are new spaces that can restore the link between form and phenomenon in a CAD tool. Our approach offers the designer the possibility of manipulating design intents.
Strong, James, and Robert F. Woodbury. "Psyberdesign: Designing the Cognitive Spaces of Virtual Environments." In Digital Design Studios: Do Computers Make a Difference? ACADIA Conference Proceedings, 276-288. ACADIA. Cincinnati, Ohio: University of Cincinnati, 1998. Increasingly, we find ourselves spending more time on a daily basis engaged in a variety of virtual environments, ranging from those discovered when using the stand-alone computer, to more complex distributed networks such as the World Wide Web. Virtual environments are not restricted to the popular and hyped notion of immersive Virtual Reality systems, though, in immersion, such systems provide a dimension of experience sorely lacking in most human-computer interfaces. The design of a diverse range of virtual environments, from textual through to three dimensional, would seem to require insight from those who habitually create immersive experiences, whether real or virtual. The former include architects, the latter the authors of computer games. Virtual environments such as the Internet, and the World Wide Web in particular, are becoming increasingly confusing to navigate. Exploratory behaviour in these environments requires extensive cognitive effort, and often results in disorientation and a sense of anxiety. This paper attempts to address issues of cognitive mapping in virtual environment design, and the exciting role that architects should occupy in the creation of better virtual environments. A virtual environment tool, called WOMBAT, has been developed to discover more about the relationship between real environment and virtual environment navigation and cognitive mapping, and consequently the degree to which concepts and theories from real environment design and cognitive mapping research can be translated to the virtual environment domain. Both a natural environment and an information environment are being investigated using WOMBAT, with the primary interest being the cognitive mapping and wayfinding activities that are exhibited during exploration.
Gerzso, Michael. "Speculations on a Machine-Understandable Language for Architecture." In Digital Design Studios: Do Computers Make a Difference? ACADIA Conference Proceedings, 302-314. ACADIA. Cincinnati, Ohio: University of Cincinnati, 1998. One of the objectives of research in computer-aided design in architecture has been to make computer tools or instruments for architectural design, not just drafting. There has been work presented at ACADIA and other conferences related to artificial intelligence, data bases, shape grammars, among others. In all of these cases, existence of a computer language in one form or another is implied. The purpose of this paper is to argue that the progress in the development of intelligent design systems (IDS) is closely linked to the progress of the languages used to implement such systems. In order to make the argument, we will adopt an approach of first specifying the characteristics of an IDS in terms of a conceptual framework of computer languages in a CAD system in general, and what it means to develop a machine-understandable language for architectural CAD in particular. The framework is useful for classifying research projects and for structuring a research agenda in architectural CAD.
Gardner, Brian. "The Grid Sketcher: an AutoCAD Based Tool for Conceptual Design Processes." In Digital Design Studios: Do Computers Make a Difference? ACADIA Conference Proceedings, 222-237. ACADIA. Cincinnati, Ohio: University of Cincinnati, 1998. Sketching with pencil and paper is reminiscent of the varied, rich, and loosely defined formal processes associated with conceptual design. Architects actively engage such creative paradigms in their exploration and development of conceptual design solutions. The Grid Sketcher, as a conceptual sketching tool, presents one possible computer implementation for enhancing and supporting these processes. It effectively demonstrates the facility with which current technology and the computing environment can enhance and simulate sketching intents and expectations. One pervasive and troubling undercurrent, however, is the conceptual barrier between the variable processes of human thought and those indigenous to computing. Typically with respect to design, the position taken is that the two are virtually void of any fundamental commonality. A designeris thoughts are intuitive, at times irrational, and rarely follow consistently identifiable patterns. Conversely, computing requires predictability in just these endeavors. Computing is strictly an algorithmic process while thought is not always so predictable. Given these dichotomous relationships, the computing environment, as commonly defined, cannot reasonably expect to mimic the typically human domain of creative design. In this context, this thesis accentuates the computeris role as a form generator as opposed to a form evaluator. The computer, under the influence of certain contextual parameters can, however, provide the designer with a rich and elegant set of forms that respond through algorithmics to the designeris creative intents. The software presented in this thesis is written in AutoLISP and exploits AutoCADis capacious 3D environment. Designs and productions respond to a bounded framework where user selected parametric variables of size, scale, proportion, and proximity, all which reflect contextual issues, determine the characteristics of a unit form. Designer selected growth algorithms then arbitrate the spatial relationships between the unit forms and their propagation through the developing design. While the Sketcher implements only the GRID as an organizational discipline, many other paradigms are possible. Within this grid structure a robust set of editing features, supported by the computeris inherent speed, allows the designer to analyze successive productions while refining ever more complex solutions. Through creative manipulation of these algorithmic structures ideas eventually coalesce to formalize images that represent a given design problemis solution set. 
Dorta, Tomás, and Philippe LaLande. "The Impact of Virtual Reality on the Design Process." In Digital Design Studios: Do Computers Make a Difference? ACADIA Conference Proceedings, 138-163. ACADIA. Cincinnati, Ohio: University of Cincinnati, 1998. Sketching, either hand or computer generated, along with other traditional visualization tools such as perspective drawing have difficulty in correctly representing three dimensional objects. Even physical models, in architecture, suffer in this regard because of inevitable scaling. The designer finds himself cut off from the reality of the object and is prone to misinterpretations of the object and its surrounding space and to resulting design errors. These are sometimes not perceived until too late, once the object has been constructed. Traditional tools use 2D media to represent 3D objects and only manage to introduce the third dimension in a limited manner (perspectives, not only tedious to construct, are static). This scenario affects the design process, particularly the cycle of proposal, verification and correction of design hypotheses as well as the cognitive aspects that condition the designeris visualization of the designed object. In most cases, computer graphics mimic, through its interface, the traditional way of doing things. The architectural model is parametricized with little regard for visualization. No allowance is made for the change in the medium of graphic representation. Moreover, effort is not made to capitalize on the advantages of numerical calculation to propose new interfaces and new dimensions in object visualization. Virtual Reality (VR), seen not only as technology but as experience, brings the 3D object, abstractly viewed by traditional means, into clearer focus and provides us with these new dimensions. Errors due to abstracted representation are reduced since the interface is always three dimensional and the interactions intuitively made in real time thus allowing the designer to experience the presence of the designed object very quickly. At the école de design industriel of the Faculté diaménagement, we have run tests using non-immersive VR-one passive (comprehension) and another active (design). This project, involving a group of 72 students during a period of six weeks (6h/week), aimed at analyzing the impact of VR as a visualization tool on the design process versus traditional tools. The results, described in this presentation, shed light on the effect of VR on the creative process as such, as well as on the quality of the results produced by that process.
Popov, V., L. Popova, and G. De Paoli. "Towards an Object-Oriented Language for the Declarative Design of Scenes." In Digital Design Studios: Do Computers Make a Difference? ACADIA Conference Proceedings, 316-353. ACADIA. Cincinnati, Ohio: University of Cincinnati, 1998. We propose a prototype “kernel” of an object-oriented language, SOML (Scene Objects Modelling Language), intended to assist in the declarative design of scenes in image synthesis. This language is an attempt to provide the designer with a tool to facilitate the rapid prototyping of 3D scenes. It can also serve as a tool for knowledge acquisition and representation, and for communication and exchange of data with other tools in a design environment. Advantages offered by the implementation of SOML are: (a) from useris viewpoint: the possibility of declarative description of the initial concept associated with the target scene in terms of properties and constraint vocabulary, the possibility of quantitative and qualitative reasoning on these properties, the modification of the intermediate solutions to different levels of detail, the utilisation of previous solutions, and (b) from the implementation viewpoint: the structuring of the properties and methods in the form of domain knowledge, the optimal solution generation according to heuristic causal-probabilistic criteria, the transformation of the semantic concept description of the scene in generic entry code for a geometrical CSG modeler or for rendering and visualization software, the integration of functionality for parameter generation and modification, the compilation of a scene from components of other final scenes and operations of geometrical transformations acting on groups of scenes. We present the architecture of the object-based implantation of the language and its interpreter, in the unified notation formalism UML. The utilization of the SOML language is illustrated by some examples.
Dave, Bharat, and John Danahy. "Virtual Study Abroad and Exchange Studio." In Digital Design Studios: Do Computers Make a Difference? ACADIA Conference Proceedings, 100-115. ACADIA. Cincinnati, Ohio: University of Cincinnati, 1998. The digital design studio has an area of application where conventional media are incapable of being used, collaboration in learning, design and dialogue with people in places other than where one lives. This distinctive opportunity has lead the authors to explore a form of design brief and virtual design studio (VDS) format not well addressed in the literature. Instead of sharing the same design brief, students in this alternative format design a project in the other studentsi city and do not collaborate on the same design. Collaboration with other students takes the form of teaching each other about the city and culture served by the design. The authors discovered these studios produce a focus on site context that serves our pedagogical objectives-a blend of architectural, landscape architectural and urban design knowledge. Their students use a range of commercial CAD and computer supported collaborative work (CSCW) software common to that used in many VDS experiments reported on in the literature. However, this conventional use of technology is contrasted with a second distinctive characteristic of these studios, the use of custom software tools specifically designed to support synchronous and asynchronous three-dimensional model exchange and linked attribute knowledge. The paper analyzes some of the virtual design studio (VDS) work between the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, the University of Toronto, and the University of Melbourne. The authors articulate a framework of VDS dimensions that structures their teaching and research.
McCall, Raymond Joseph. "World Wide Presentation and Critique of Design Proposals with the Web-PHIDIAS System." In Digital Design Studios: Do Computers Make a Difference? ACADIA Conference Proceedings, 254-265. ACADIA. Cincinnati, Ohio: University of Cincinnati, 1998. In this paper we describe Web-PHIDIAS, a network-centric design environment based on the PHIDIAS HyperCAD system. Web-PHIDIAS uses the backend of PHIDIAS as a hypermedia database engine to serve up VRML models, HTML pages and Java applets over the Web. In particular, it uses the Web (1) to present 3D models of design proposals using VRML, (2) to present rationale for these proposals, and (3) to get comments on the proposals and their rationale from viewers anywhere in the world. These comments are automatically stored in a server-side hypermedia database where they are linked to the models and rationale that they refer to. The proposal presenter can opt to have Web-PHIDIAS make these comments part of the public presentation so that other viewers throughout the world can comment on the comments. Perhaps most important is the fact that a Web site implemented with Web-PHIDIAS has no persistent HTML pages or forms. All presentations of data over the Web are created “on the flyi by the server-side part of Web-PHIDIAS using HTML and Java. User input is obtained using an authoring interface created in Java.