Keywords Abstract
Heylighen, Ann, and Herman Neuckermans. "(Learning from Experience)? Promises, Problems and Side-effects of Case-Based Reasoning in Architectural Design." International Journal of Architectural Computing 1, no. 1 (2003): 60-70.

Learning from experience is the essence of Case-Based Reasoning (CBR). Because architects are said to learn design by experience, CBR seemed to hold great promises for their field, which inspired, in the 1990s, the development of various Case-Based Design (CBD) tools. Learning from the experience of developing and using these tools is the objective of this paper. On the one hand, the original expectations seem far from being accomplished today. Reasons for this limited success can be found at three different levels: the cognitive model underlying CBR, the implementation of this model into concrete CBD tools, and the context in which these tools are to be used. On the other hand, CBR research seems to have caused some interesting side effects, such as an increased interest in creativity and copyright, and a re-discovery of the key role that cases play in architectural design.

Kós, J.R.. "3D models of urban icons: tracing Benjamin and Koolhaas." International Journal of Architectural Computing 1, no. 3 (2003): 293-312.

Walter Benjamin and Rem Koolhaas developed two significant investigations, which explored the culture of Paris and New York through the analysis of their architectural artifacts. Their research projects successfully construct, from a few meaningful components of the built environment, an understanding of the overall city and its society. The objective of this paper is to address the similarities between the research carried out at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and the work of these two acclaimed writers. Our group aims to select urban icons, from different moments and areas in Rio de Janeiro, to be studied in order to understand the city evolution in the 20th Century. The distinguished Ministry of Education building is the investigation's prototype, analyzed thorough several 3D models and other digital techniques. We conclude that a thorough study of Benjamin's and Koolhaas'work should be considered a primary support for the interrogation of our own investigation.

Kalay, Yehuda, and Yongwook Jeong. "A Collaborative Design Simulation Game." International Journal of Architectural Computing 1, no. 4 (2003): 423-434.

Collaboration is an is an important aspect of the architect's education. However, it is not amenable to the traditional project-based learning pedagogy that works so well for developing form-making skills, because it can only be revealed when the number of participants exceed a certain threshold, and when actions made by others affect the individual's design decisions. The advent of on-line, multi-player games provides an opportunity to explore interactive collaborative design pedagogies. Their abstraction helps focus attention on the core issues of the simulated phenomenon, while the playful nature of a game, as opposed to'work,'encourages immersion and role playing that contribute to the learning process. This paper describes an on-line game for simulating design collaboration. It espouses to simulate, exercise, and provide a feel for the social dimension of collaboration, by embedding mutual dependencies that encourage players to engage each other - in adversarial or collaborative manner - to accomplish their goals. Specifically, it is intended to help students understand what is collaboration, why it is necessary, and how it is done. The game is modeled after popular board games like Scrabble and Monopoly: players build'houses'made of colored cubes on a site shared with other players.'A carefully constructed set of rules awards or deducts points for every action taken by a player or by his/her neighbors. The rules were constructed in such a manner that players who collaborate (in a variety of ways) stand to gain more points than those who do not. The player with the most points'wins.'

Gu, Ning, and Mary Lou Maher. "A Grammar for the Dynamic Design of Virtual Architecture Using Rational Agents." International Journal of Architectural Computing 1, no. 4 (2003): 489-501.

Virtual Architecture is a virtual place that uses the metaphor of architecture and provides an online environment for various human activities. While Virtual Architecture inherits many of the characteristics of physical architecture, it is possible to reconsider the virtual in terms of flexibility and autonomy. This paper presents a User-centred Virtual Architecture (UcVA) Agent, a kind of rational agent capable of representing a person in virtual worlds and designing virtual worlds based on current needs. The UcVA agent model has a design component that uses the shape grammar formalism. This model and a sample grammar are demonstrated for a meeting room scenario.

Camarata, Ken, Mark Gross, and Ellen Yi- Luen Do. "A Physical Computing Studio: Exploring Computational Artifacts and Environments." International Journal of Architectural Computing 1, no. 2 (2003): 169-190.

This paper describes a studio that explores interfaces for computationally enhanced artifacts and environments. The studio is designed as a traditional architectural design studio, fostering creative thinking and encouraging hands-on learning. It brings students from art, music, architecture, computer science, and engineering together into teams to design and build physical computing projects.The team's unusual mix of knowledge and experience allows for creative solutions. As a result, the studio has become a test bed for new and interesting ideas.

Do, Ellen Yi- Luen. "Afterword - Why Peer Review Journals?" International Journal of Architectural Computing 1, no. 2 (2003): 253-265.

More than 50% of academic libraries' budgets are spent on peer review journal subscriptions [1]. One may wonder why these publications (often) with plain and dull covers (unlike those attractive, colorful magazines on newsstands), small subscription base and specialized readership carry such importance. The reason is simple. Publishing a journal for interested researchers, academics, and practitioners benefits the advancement of knowledge. To be recognized as an academic subject, a discipline must publish a peer review journal. Unlike magazines with short shelf lives for general reading, peer review journals are archived and referenced within a discipline. These journals serve as a forum for professional intellectual exchange, and as a platform to present cutting edge research. Peer review (refereed) journals give direction to the field and industry. They also help researchers strengthen their academic careers and seek research funding. This article will review basic definitions of peer review and then discuss in detail issues and concerns that emerged in the editing of this issue.

Ozel, Filiz, Robert Pahle, and Manu Juyal. "An XML Framework for Simulation and Analysis of Buildings." International Journal of Architectural Computing 1, no. 2 (2003): 191-204.

This study focuses on the problem of how to structure spatial and component based building data with the intention to use it in the simulation and analysis of the performance of buildings. Special attention was paid to the interoperability and optimization of the resulting data files.The study builds its investigation onto XML (Extensible Markup Language) data modelling framework.The authors have studied different ways of arranging building information in XML format for effective data storage and have developed a data modelling framework called bmXML for buildings. Initial results are two-fold: a VBA application was developed to create the appropriate building model in AutoCAD with the intention to write building data in bmXML format, and a JAVA application to view the file thus created.This paper primarily focuses on the former, i.e. the AutoCAD application and the bmXML format.

Penttillä, Hannu. "Architectural-IT and Educational Curriculumns a European Overview." International Journal of Architectural Computing 1, no. 1 (2003): 102-111.

The paper summarizes the analysis of data on european architecture schools, collected in the eCAADe-conferences during the 1990s. Computer-Aided Design has developed into architectural information and communication technology (ICT), to become commonplace in architectural education. However, the general held views on new media use in the schools seems to be slightly optimistic. On the other hand, the invisible more common ICT use (writing, surfing, emailing) accounts for a lot more of the volume of activity than generally appreciated. The major hardware platform in european architecture schools is PC/Windows (90-95%) with Linux and Unix commonly used in servers (25-35%). Macintoshes are also widely used (50-55%). MS Office (90-95%) and PhotoShop (85-90%), are used widely in the schools. The Graphic and DTP tools PageMaker, QuarkXpress, Illustrator, Freehand are also common (30-50%). AutoCAD is the market leader in CAD platforms (80-90%), followed by ArchiCAD. MicroStation/Bentley also has a significant presence in the schools (35-40%). 3DStudio is the most common 3D-modelling tool (80-85%), followed by formZ (35- 40%). Less common (15-25%) are Rhino, Maya, Alias, Lightscape and Radiance.

Seichter, Hartmut. "Augmented Reality Aided Design." International Journal of Architectural Computing 1, no. 4 (2003): 449-460.

Ten years after Nielsen wrote about the “next generation interfacei [1] we are still largely confined to WIMP [2] interfaces in design computing. A big question that lies ahead is'Does the integration of computing technology through Augmented Reality help the formal design investigation process?'There are several suggestions that the conventional desktop metaphors are counter-intuitive for understanding spatial relationships [1, 3, 4]. Main concern is the mismatch in mapping of presentation and interface. Looking at other research areas, one can see that the application of Augmented Environments (AE) can enhance the speed of decision making [5] or creates better understanding of complex spatial arrangements [6] due to the fact that information is displayed where it occurs. Obviously, the representation and interaction is crucial for perceptive performance in design sketching as it is in AEs. This article will discuss a software prototype called sketchand+ and the implications of Augmented Reality for digital design.

Fukuda, Tomohiro, Ryuichiro Nagahama, Atsuko Kaga, and Tsuyoshi Sasada. "Collaboration Support System for City Plans or Community Designs Based on VR/CG Technology." International Journal of Architectural Computing 1, no. 4 (2003): 461-469.

This paper reports on a collaboration support system for city plans or community designs based on virtual reality (VR) or computer graphics (CG) technology. It reports on an extension to an ongoing research programme, and in particular it introduces the developments of portable VR equipment, and an expression method using CG to enable the realistic viewing of night scenes, and application to real projects.

Martens, Bob, and Ziga Turk. "Cumulative Index of CAAD: Current Status and Future Directions." International Journal of Architectural Computing 1, no. 2 (2003): 219-231.

This article discusses the Cumulative Index of CAAD (CUMINCAD.SciX.net) - a digital library set up in 1998 serving the CAAD-community as an important source of scientific information. During the first stage, the metadata of CAAD-related conference proceedings were compiled and published on-line, including all abstracts and approximately 50% of the full-texts. In a subsequent step a Citation Index was created. Currently, theses and dissertations are being added to the library. Furthermore, a hierarchical topic structure was developed for automated classification of publications in the future, with topics being defined by keywords and characteristic papers.The next version of CUMINCAD, expected to be released later this year, will also feature a discussion forum, an event calendar, an option for commenting on and ranking publications as well as creating an on-line personal bibliographic review. CUMINCAD is a unique digital library in the field of CAAD serving a growing user-community. Younger doctoral degree students and junior researchers will benefit most from this edited, structured collection freely available via Internet.

Berridge, Philip, Volker Koch, and Andre Brown. "Information Spaces for Mobile City Access." International Journal of Architectural Computing 1, no. 1 (2003): 34-45.

This paper describes two complementary European research projects that share common interests and goals.The work described is intended to facilitate city analysis and support decision-making. The first project focuses on the distribution, access and ease of use of city data. The system allows access to historical data concerning key buildings in Liverpool, England, via a suite of web-based tools and a palmtop device. The second project looks at extending the functionality of traditional computer aided design (CAD) software to enable geometric and semantic data to be combined within a single environment. The system allows those involved in city planning to better understand the past and present development pattern of an area so that their decisions on future proposals are better informed.The paper concludes by describing a system that integrates particular aspects of the two projects, and the potential that this integration can bring.This new work provides mobile access to historical city development data, current city information and tools to support urban project development.

Donath, Dirk, Katharina Richter, and Stefan Hansen. "Internet based support for architectural planning processes." International Journal of Architectural Computing 1, no. 3 (2003): 361-373.

As building projects become increasingly more complex, the number of project participants grows as does their spatial distribution. An effective decentralised work process and co-operation is of increasing importance. The global computer network, the internet, has great potential and recent times have seen the development of a variety of techniques in this field. The project described here is based upon this approach and also takes it a step further. A specific analysis of the topic and the subsequent identification of potential approaches formed the basis for an architectural application that brings the architect in contact with other project participants using the internet as a powerful yet simple and easy to use medium.

Moloney, Jules, and Rajaa Issa. "Materials in Architectural Design Education Software: a Case Study." International Journal of Architectural Computing 1, no. 1 (2003): 46-58.

Most CAAD software in use for architectural education relies heavily on abstract geometry manipulation to create architectural form. Building materials are usually applied as finishing textures to complement the visual effect of the geometry. This paper investigates the limitations of commonly used CAAD software in terms of encouraging an intuitive thinking about the physical characteristics of building materials in the context of the educational design studio. The importance of the link between representation and creativity is noted. In order to sample the current functionality of typical software used in architectural education a case study involving 80 first year architecture students is presented.These outcomes are discussed and the possibility for new or extended software features are suggested. The paper concludes with an argument for design software that redresses the balance between geometry and materials in architectural design education.

Alvarado, Rodrigo García, Felipe Baesler Abufarde, Pedro Rodriguez Moreno, and Mauricio Pezo Bravo. "Modeling of Activities: an approach to the virtual representation of human behaviors in architectural spaces tested in emergency units." International Journal of Architectural Computing 1, no. 3 (2003): 333-345.

Despite the increasing interest in the functionality and humanization of architecture, there are few studies covering the occupation of buildings and methods to represent activities in spaces. This article explores new software for simulating and virtual modelling in order to facilitate the analysis and visualization of events in buildings. Of particular importance is programming the behaviour of 3D-characters according to the probabilistic evolution of activities, and producing animations and interactive models. This approach was tested in a study of three emergency units of hospitals in Chile. Although a full integration of software was not possible, the process developed (in particular the subjective tours) demonstrated that the technique can provide new information about the functioning and spatiality of the units. In addition, it suggested operative and architectural improvements supporting the management and design of facilities.

Achten, Henri. "New Design Methods for Computer Aided Architectural Design Methodology Teaching." International Journal of Architectural Computing 1, no. 1 (2003): 72-91.

Architects and architectural students are exploring new ways of design using Computer Aided Architectural Design software. This exploration is seldom backed up from a design methodological viewpoint. In this paper, a design methodological framework for reflection on innovate design processes by architects that has been used in an educational setting is introduced. The framework leads to highly specific, weak design methods, that clarify the use of the computer in the design process.The framework allows students to grasp new developments, use them in their own design work, and to better reflect on their own position relative to CAAD and architectural design.

Woodbury, Robert F., and Andrew Burrow. "Notes on the Structure of Design space." International Journal of Architectural Computing 1, no. 4 (2003): 517-532.

Design space exploration is a long-standing focus in computational design research. Its three main threads are accounts of designer action, development of strategies for amplification of designer action in exploration and discovery of computational structures to support exploration. Chief amongst such structures is the design space - the network structure of related designs that are visited in an exploration process. There is relatively little research on design spaces to date. This paper sketches a partial account of the structure of both design spaces and research to develop them. It focuses largely on the implications of designers acting as explorers.

Glaser, Daniel, and James Peng. "On Classifying Daylight for Design." International Journal of Architectural Computing 1, no. 2 (2003): 205-217.

In this paper, we present LiQuID, a tool for clustering lighting simulation data. Photographs are useful vehicles for both describing and making assessments of architectural lighting systems. A significant barrier to using photographs during the design process relates to the sheer volume of renderings that needs to be analyzed. Although there have been efforts to produce novel visualization systems to manage large sets of photographs, this research aims to reduce the complexity by classifying data into representative prototypes.A hypothetical case study is discussed.

Tosello, Maria Elena. "Performing Cyberspace: Dance, Technology and Virtual Architecture." International Journal of Architectural Computing 1, no. 3 (2003): 393-413.

This project investigates the design, construction and experimentation in digital environments. The work intends to contribute to the evolution of the virtual universe by studying what can be particular architectural expressions of cyberspace. Specifically the project explores the potential architectural manifestations of existential situations in cyberspace. The design goal is to artistically express, through virtual environments, the invisible part of ourselves, our thoughts and emotions. This work critically engages the cyberPRINT, a ongoing creative-research project of Prof. Bermudez and the C.R.O.M.D.I team at the University of Utah in the U.S.A. [1] This project uses the cyberPRINT concept and technology of obtaining physiological data and translating them into digital spaces. However, it proposes a new “world” for the cyberPRINT. The final product consists in a performance where a dancer sends his biological signals to the computer to generate and transform digital environments, and also represents through his movements, the desired existential situation.

Levy, Adrian. "Real and Virtual Spaces Generated by Music." International Journal of Architectural Computing 1, no. 3 (2003): 375-391.

The main objective of this research work is to explore a new digital design process. This new method for the creation of spaces (referred to as Data Representation Architecture) entails the choice of any element from the everyday world, and the creation, by means of a digital a process, of either a real or a virtual space. In this particular case, the real element is music. Various melodies, some of them famous and some of them new or specially composed for the project, materialize their basic information and generate novel spaces. For each musical composition, many instruments were played, and the sound of each of them was then materialized in the final space. This is how alternative design processes are born, and a completely new architecture defined. In order to accomplish this research work, it was necessary to combine knowledge from different fields, namely, architecture, music, mathematics and computer science.

Petric, Jelena, Giuliana Ucelli, and Giuseppe Conti. "Real Teaching and Learning through Virtual Reality." International Journal of Architectural Computing 1, no. 1 (2003): 02-11.

This paper addresses an articulated vision of Virtual Reality, which lends itself to design collaboration in teaching, learning and communication of architectural design ideas among students, design professionals and client bodies during the early stages of the design process. Virtual Reality (VR) has already acquired a new degree of complexity through development of network-based virtual communities and the use of avatars. A key intrinsic quality of VR technology is to support collaborative design experience. The design tools developed for this experiment are capable of creating 3D objects in a shared VR environment, thus allowing the design and its evolution to be shared.The choice of programming language (JavaTM) reflects the desire to achieve scalability and hardware independence, which in turn allows for the creation of a VR environment that can co-exist between high-end supercomputers and standard PCs. The prototype design environment was tested using PC workstations and an SGI system running in a Reality Centre.

Caldas, Luisa, and Leslie Norford. "Shape Generation Using Pareto Genetic Algorithms: Integrating Conflicting Design Objectives in Low-Energy Architecture." International Journal of Architectural Computing 1, no. 4 (2003): 503-515.

The Generative Design System [GDS] presented in this paper was developed to assist designers in researching low-energy architecture solutions. The GDS has the capability to evolve architectural forms that are energy-efficient, while complying to design intentions expressed by the architect and responding to conflicting objectives. To achieve this evolutionary development, the system integrates a search and optimization method [Genetic Algorithm], building energy simulation software [DOE2.1E], and Pareto multicriteria optimization techniques. The GDS adaptively generates populations of alternative solutions, from an initial schematic layout and a set of rules and constraints designed by the architect to encode design intentions. The two conflicting objective functions considered in this paper are maximizing daylighting use and minimizing energy consumption for conditioning the building. The GDS generated an uniformly sampled, continuous Pareto front, from which six points were visualized in terms of the proposed architectural solutions.

Liu, Yu-Tung, and Tang Shen-Kai. "Space, Place and Digital Media:Towards a Better Simulation of a City that has now Disappeared." International Journal of Architectural Computing 1, no. 1 (2003): 112-129.

Digital media enable researchers and designers to derive better informed processes in solving problems of historical architectural restoration and virtual archaeology. However, recently insufficiencies have been found in the main technologies often applied in such techniques, such as 3D modelling, high-quality rendering and animation. Given these problems, this paper attempts to explore a digital reconstruction procedure for historical architecture and cities using 3D scanning, Virtual Reality cave technology and motion capture technology. This case study is based on a collaborative project in conjunction with the National Palace Museum, Taiwan, and the China Times, Taiwan.The five steps involved in this project include data collection and analysis, three-dimensional digital inferences, digital reconstruction of static and moving models, scenario dynamics (by integrating the two kinds of models), and visual-spatial immersion using a VR-cave representation. Finally, a preliminary digital reconstruction procedure is presented.

Chang, Yu-Li. "Spatial Cognition in Digital Cities." International Journal of Architectural Computing 1, no. 4 (2003): 471-488.

Today, digital cities are being developed all over the world. By using a city metaphor, digital cities integrate urban information and create public spaces. However, there are questions as to how to enter the new emerging digital cities, how humans perceive themselves in digital cities, and there are also issues of recognition of the digital city forms? This paper takes the idea of cognition in order to explore the structure of the new spatiality as cyberspace. By exploring the factors relating to human spatial cognition in physical space it is possible to interpret how humans perceive the spatial form of digital cities. By examining spatial experience in physical space, the interface of spatial cognition of interaction between digital cities and physical cities can be investigated. And by taking this approach, we propose an online prototype of a metaphor for a digital city.

Schnabel, Marc Aurel, and Thomas Kvan. "Spatial Understanding in Immersive Virtual Environments." International Journal of Architectural Computing 1, no. 4 (2003): 435-448.

In this study, we examined the perception and understanding of spatial volumes within immersive and non-immersive virtual environments by comparison with representation using conventional media. We examined the relative effectiveness of these conditions in enabling the translation to a tangible representation, through a series of design experiments. Students experienced, assessed, and analysed spatial relationships of volumes and spaces and subsequently constructed real models of these spaces. The goal of our study is to identify how designers perceive space in Virtual Environments (VEs). We explore issues of quality, accuracy and understanding of reconstructing architectural space and forms. By comparison of the same spatial performance task undertaken within a Head Mounted Display, screen-based and real 2D environment, we are able to draw some conclusions about spatial understanding in immersive VE activity.

Jeng, Tay-Sheng, and Chia-Hsun Lee. "Tangible Design Media: Toward an Interactive CAD Platform." International Journal of Architectural Computing 1, no. 2 (2003): 153-168.

This paper presents an interactive CAD platform that uses a tangible user interface to visualize and modify 3D geometry through manipulation of physical artifacts.The tangible user interface attempts to move away from the commonly used non-intuitive desktop CAD environment to a 3D CAD environment that more accurately mimics traditional desktop drawing and pin-up situations. An important goal is to reduce the apparent complexity of CAD user interfaces and reduce the cognitive load on designers. Opportunities for extending tangible design media toward an interactive CAD platform are discussed.

Seichter, Hartmut, Dirk Donath, and Frank Petzold. "TAP - the Architectural Playground: a C++ Framework for Scalable Distributed Collaborative Architectural Virtual Environments." International Journal of Architectural Computing 1, no. 1 (2003): 24-32.

Architecture is built information [1]. Architects have the task of restructuring and translating information into buildable designs.The beginning of the design process, where the briefing is transformed into an idea, is a crucial phase in the design process. It is where the architect makes decisions that influence the rest of the design development process [2]. It is at this stage where most information is unstructured but has to be integrated into a broad context. This is where TAP is positioned - to support the architect in finding solutions through the creation of spatially structured information sets without impairing creative development.We want to enrich the inspiration of an architect with a new kind of information design. A further aspect is workflow in a distributed process where the architect's work becomes one aspect of a decentralised working pattern. The software supports collaborative work with models, sketches and text messages within a uniform environment. The representations of the various media are connected and combined with each other and the user is free to combine them according to his or her needs.

Kieferle, Joachim, and Erwin Herzberger. "The "Digital year for Architects" - Experiences with an Integrated Teaching Concept." International Journal of Architectural Computing 1, no. 1 (2003): 92-101.

The “digital year for architects” is an integrated course for graduate architecture students that has been running since 1997, at Stuttgart University. Its concept is to link together traditional design teaching and working with computers. Three seminar classes and one design project form the framework of the course. In it the students are taught the design of, for example, image and space composition, typography, video, and using virtual reality. Additionally we cover theoretical basics for the final design project, such as information management or working environments. The course takes in approximately a dozen software packages and ends with a visionary design project. The products have shown the advantage of an integrated course compared to separate courses. The course proves to be more intensive in dealing with the project as well as achieving better skills when learning the associated new digital media. An important feature is that because the project topics are different from conventional architectural schemes, and tend to be more abstract, a key effect is to widen the students' way of thinking about designing.

Serrato-Combe, Antonio. "The Aztec Templo Mayor - a Visualization." International Journal of Architectural Computing 1, no. 3 (2003): 313-332.

This article documents research in the field of virtual reconstructions of the past. It makes the point that in order to truly develop the bases of a solid appreciation of cultural patrimonies, historic virtual reconstructions need to incorporate a willingness to achieve higher digital modelling and rendering qualities. And, they should also be well integrated into history courses at all education levels and through a variety of means of communication. In other words, our ability to explore, to interpret and to appropriately use digital tools needs to aspire to greater and more penetrating abilities to reconstruct the past. As a case study, the paper presents the theoretical reconstruction of the Aztec Templo Mayor in Mexico (1). The presentation describes how a variety of digital approaches was used to grasp and appreciate the very significant architectural contributions of the early inhabitants of the Americas.

Rall, Juan. "The Digital Environment of Urban Dynamic Analysis." International Journal of Architectural Computing 1, no. 3 (2003): 279-291.

Urban sprawl and complexity are increasing at an alarming rate causing huge energetic waste and affecting the quality of life of people and life on earth in general. This paper proposes Urban Dynamic Analysis as a feasible approach to address this negative phenomenon. Urban Dynamic Analysis is a multidisciplinary holistic method that inquires into temporal relations between structures and related characteristics in cities. A range of simulation tools are being adapted and developed aiming to assess different morphological configurations of urban spaces, to improve the welfare of citizens and to optimise energy consumption. All these tools are based on digital image utilization, with simple computational techniques.

De Vries, B., Henri Achten, Maciej Orzechowski, Amy Tan, Nicole Segers, Vincent Tabak, Joran Jessurun, and Marc Coomans. "The Tangible Interface: Experiments as an Integral Part of a Research Strategy." International Journal of Architectural Computing 1, no. 2 (2003): 133-152.

The Human-Computer interface is crucial to good design support tools. It has to be non-interruptive and non-distracting, yet allow the architect to interact with the computer software. The physical reality of the interface, such as the shape and manipulability of devices like the mouse, keyboard, joystick, or data-glove, has to be mapped on actions and commands in the software. Already the current user interfaces are felt to be inadequate for a good support of design, and the functionality of design tools is growing, requiring even more and new physical interface devices. In this paper, we present research on new tangible interfaces for architectural design support. In particular, we focus on the research methodological question how to investigate such devices.The research strategy is introduced and discussed, after which concrete implementations of this strategy are shown. Based on this work, we conclude that the combination of interface and the context of its use in terms of design method and user needs form crucial aspects for such research and cannot be considered separately.

Otto, George, Loukas Kalisperis, Jack Gundrum, Katsuhiko Muramoto, Gavin Burris, Ray Masters, Elena Slobounov, Jami Heilman, and Vijay Agarwala. "The VR-Desktop: an Accessible Approach to VR Environments in Teaching and Research." International Journal of Architectural Computing 1, no. 2 (2003): 233-246.

The VR-Desktop initiative is an effort to bring key benefits of projection-based virtual reality into the mainstream of teaching and research at the Pennsylvania State University, through the deployment of comparatively low cost and easy to use virtual reality and integrated multimedia display systems within a variety of contexts. Recent experiences with design and implementation of single- and multi-screen VR systems for teaching and research are described. The systems discussed employ low cost and readily available hardware components, familiar desktop computing environments, and open-source VR development toolkits. The approach is modular and easily adaptable to various applications in research or instruction.

Hirschberg, Urs. "Transparency in Information Architecture: Enabling Large Scale Creative Collaboration in Architectural Education over the Internet." International Journal of Architectural Computing 1, no. 1 (2003): 22-Dec.

This paper is about networked collaboration in architectural education and about information architecture for networked collaborations. It presents results of a quantitative process analysis of two types of courses in Computer Aided Architectural Design that were taught using database-driven online environments. The main focus of the quantitative analysis is the performance of these online environments as information structures, designed to accommodate the presentation and the peer-to-peer exchange of design information for relatively large groups of between 60 and 150 participants. Using the database records to reconstruct the processes, three different quantitative analyses are described.Their results indicate that for these projects the web-environments were successful in enhancing peer-to-peer learning and that they promoted a more objective assessment of the submitted works. The study also looks at the effect that the environments themselves had on the process. Finally it draws some conclusions about these environments'information architecture: it presents tentative guidelines about how such environments must be designed to handle the dynamic display of design data, from many different authors, in a way that is transparent to the users.

Bustos, Gabriela, and Iván Burgos. "Virtual Menus on VRML." International Journal of Architectural Computing 1, no. 3 (2003): 347-359.

The Virtual Reality Modelling Language (VRML) has allowed the expansion of resources and possibilities for architectural applications. In order to take even more advantage of VRML, we developed an application of virtual menus within VRML using Java Script as a first step to the creation of a Synthetic Environment Laboratory for architectural design. This paper briefly presents the criteria used to define the menus, the utilization of Visual Basic programming to allow the addition of said virtual menus to any file with extension *. wrl, specific examples of applicability of the menus developed, and how they were inserted in a methodological model of architectural design.