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Modeling Architectural Design Objectives in Physically Based Space Planning

By S. Arvin and D. House


Physically based space planning is a means for automating the conceptual design process by applying the physics of motion to space plan elements. This methodology provides for a responsive design process, which allows a designer to easily make decisions whose consequences immediately propagate throughout the design. It combines the speed of automated design methods with the flexibility of manual design methods, while adding a highly interactive quality and a sense of collaboration with the design itself.  In our approach, the designer creates a space plan by specifying and modifying graphic design objectives rather than by directly manipulating primitive geometry. The plan adapts to the changing state of objectives by applying the physics of motion to its elements. For design objectives to have an effect on a physically based space plan, they need to be able to apply appropriate forces to space plan elements. Space planning can be separated into two problems, determining topological properties and determining geometric properties. Design objectives can then be categorized as topological or geometric objectives. Topological objectives influence the location of individual spaces, affecting how one space relates to another. Geometric objectives influence the size and shape of space boundaries, affecting the dimensions of individual walls.  This paper focuses on how to model a variety of design objectives for use in a physically based space planning system. We describe how topological objectives, such as adjacency and orientation, can be modeled to apply forces to space locations, and how geometric objectives, such as area, proportion, and alignment, can be modeled to apply forces to boundary edges

Year: 1999
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