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From Pen 2 Bit: Computers in Architectural Design Vassilis Bourdakis Dept. of Planning and Regional Development University of Thessaly Greece

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Presentation on theme: "From Pen 2 Bit: Computers in Architectural Design Vassilis Bourdakis Dept. of Planning and Regional Development University of Thessaly Greece"— Presentation transcript:

1 From Pen 2 Bit: Computers in Architectural Design Vassilis Bourdakis Dept. of Planning and Regional Development University of Thessaly Greece

2 Overview istory nalogue igital Processes [Basic principles] nalysis esign nalysis mplementation onclusions

3 History Spatial Representation Techniques [1] Plans in black ink on papyrus sheets: 2000BC Near and Far East, Mesopotamia and Egypt Greek temples were built on sets of proven portable rules. Avoided drawings but only 1/1 scale models of particular details Scenography introduced in Hellenistic periods (creating illusions of depth for the 4cen. BC Greek theatre stages Romans did use drawings and elevations Proper plans, sections and elevations were used in Western Europe after the rediscovery of Euclidean geometry in 1100AD

4 Spatial Representation Techniques [2] Medieval period architects would examine suitable buildings, trace them and modify them to produce their designs in card sheets later on destroyed or recycled Perspective drawing developed in Renaissance Orthographic (first angle projection) drawings an essential element in the creation of Industrial Revolution (by French physicist and military engineer Gaspard Monge) Formalisation of architectural education and profession (fine-line drafting skills, technical drawing) Twentieth century art movements fully abandoned linear perspective and representational techniques in favour of abstraction, experimentation, etc.

5 Analogue to Digital Processes [Basic Principles] Permanency of analogue vs. volatility of digital media The architectural concept of line (physical, representational, digital) Moving from the line as an element to a database representational object Information Communication

6 Volatility of Digital Media Materiality of a line paper drawing –It is physically there –Accessible –Foldable –Transportable –Editable Non-physical existence of a digital drawing, unless printed and distributed –Triviality –Dependency on electricity and –Necessitates a computer, monitor, projector system to materialise and be communicable

7 The architectural concept of line Architectural design as a series of uncertainty reduction iterations where a line can be a tool to: –Conceptualise a plan –Organise Space –Functional structuring of elements/spaces –Compare alternatives A line is: –Re-definable according to needs, conditions, even mood and time of day… –Flexible in its meaning and qualities (start, end, thickness, elevation, etc) A line is not: –A strict mathematical equation –Clinical, finite –Structured –Absolute

8 Line: database representational object Line-Element of a drawing, painting, generic graphical representation is uni-dimensional and can only conceptually include additional meanings Digital objects rarely have a uni-dimensional representation in a drawing—the underlying data structure may incorporate a series of other datasets making for an interlinked multidimensional setup: the missing link between design and production/construction (bill of quantities in construction phases, cost calculations, project management, etc)

9 Analogies of A 2 D One discreet entity / element may imply, infer differently according to context and may also be analysed accordingly –Conceptual meaning A sketched line may imply a wall, a separation, a visual occlusion, etc A CAD line drawn may incorporate information relating it to other subassemblies, entities, conditions –Utilisation

10 Criticism on digital design tools “From the graphic opportunity afforded by the CAD system and exploited by Deconstructionist designers who simply punch ROTATE and STRETCH on their computers to project forced- decorative geometric expressions of complexity and contradiction that weirdly exploit a deference toward the forms of classic Modern architecture while really profaning its principles” [R. Venturi, p.7]

11 Analysis [Designing in Architecture] Architects and Computers Use of Computers Digital Design Tools 2D vs. 3D modelling Modelling Time (4D)

12 Architects and computers Education (where, when, acceptable technologies, preconceptions of teaching staff, etc) Age group (directly linked to education, small variations based on the speed of adoption of new technologies in various institutions) Gender (less of an issue in younger ages)

13 Architects’ use of computers Classification based on adeptness: 1.General Knowledge 2.Minor editing, printing, etc 3.2D drawing capabilities 4.3D/4D modelling knowledge 5.Design Tool

14 Digital Design Tools What can the computer do for an architect Simulation of the typical design process? Compared to the computer games industry, architectural design tools are where Space Invaders was in the No comparison to current day gaming industry. Among the reasons are –Small market share –Users unaware of the potential –Architectural design process difficult to: Comprehend Simulate Prototype and Re-enact

15 2D vs. 3D computer modelling Certain structural subassemblies can be best analysed and designed in 3D: –Lighting, shading –Heating and Ventilation –Volumetric occlusions –Staircases, roofs, etc However the 2D design conventions are much easier and more elaborate to work with Designers often work in 3D just because it is possible and not because it is advantageous Due to the immaturity and inabilities of the 3D modelling tools, creativity is crippled leading to: –Exhausted, annoyed architects, failing to materialise their ideas –Poor designs but within the capabilities of the software…

16 4D modelling: The variable of Time Digital design tools facilitate the integration of time in the design process A powerful concept not fully exploited by architects Time as a variable in relation to a representation of an assembly, process, or function

17 Analysis [Implementation Codes] Capabilities of Digital Design Tools Communicating Construction Drawings Construction Codes Adherence Paper replacements

18 Capabilities of Digital Design Tools Abundance of CAD design tools organised in two main groups –Structured/holistic dealing with: Spatial Design Creation of production drawings (for planning offices, subcontractors, other team engineers, etc) –Flexible/partial capable of: Elaborating form production in 3D Morphing, editing, etc Limited regarding the production of 2D constructional drawings

19 Communicating Construction Drawings The dominance of computers in design and construction is still matched with low-tech means of communicating the work on site via paper Augmented Reality methods are discussed for over a decade with no concrete viable solutions in the market GPS (Global Positioning Systems) have also been considered, but again cost, accuracy and physical constraints prevail

20 Construction Code Adherence Taking the step to digital design for construction, there is a need to re-think the codes, re-evaluate them and update them to a digital-friendly format Issues that need to be tackled are: –New codes’ “compatibility” with the existing codes –Education of the relevant trades –Accessibility to contractors and labour Abstract representations of the constructional elements relevant to each trade Use of colour 3D sketching, wire-frame views Time variable to map the sequence of works

21 Paper replacements The paper replacement in the forms of e-paper as researched by Xerox, IBM and others, needs more time to mature and satisfy the following needs: –Cheap to produce in reasonably large sizes (A2-A3) –Foldable –Waterproof –Support colour –High resolution –Markable –Interactive –Online with supervisor and designer for feedback and reports Hence, paper seems to be the medium that will be building the world for the next decade

22 Conclusions Digital Media: –New directions opening up into Researching Space Designing Space Implementing Space –Work in both Real and Virtual Environments Widening the market share for architects Alternative research and application directions

23 Conclusions [2] Digital Era in Architectural Design is –Advantageous in: Processes Clarity Flexibility –Still Problematic in: Implementation/construction Communication

24 Conclusions [3] Fighting Misconceptions Get the approval of the status quo Accepted as a tool and not a hindrance to architectural design and production of space Architectural-minded software tools are in urgent need (generic tools are not satisfactory)

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