40 research outputs found

    Exploring, Engaging, Understanding in Museums

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    Patterns of accessibility through the space of the exhibition, connections or separations among spaces or exhibition elements, sequencing and grouping of elements, form our perceptions and shape our understanding. Through a review of several previous studies and the presentation of new work, this paper suggests that these patterns of movement form the basis of visitor understanding and that these effects can be deliberately controlled and elaborated through a closer examination of the influence of the visual and perceptual properties of an exhibition. Furthermore, it is argued that there is also a spatial discourse based on patterns of access and visibility that flows in its own right, although not entirely separate from the curatorial narrative

    Evaluation and Formulation in Design - The Implications of Morphological Theories of Function

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    Design involves formulation - the exploration of aesthetic aims through the manipulation of form - and evaluation - the examination of proposals with respect to functional performance. The emergence of theories of general function based on the representation and description of spatial morphology provides for better integration between design and evaluation. More importantly, it brings function within the purview of formulation

    Path, theme and narrative in open plan exhibition settings

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    Three arguments are made based on the analysis of science exhibitions. First,sufficiently refined techniques of spatial analysis allow us to model the impact oflayout upon visitors' paths, even in moderately sized open plans which allow almostrandom patterns of movement and relatively unobstructed visibility. Second, newlydeveloped or adapted techniques of analysis allow us to make a transition frommodeling the mechanics of spatial movement (the way in which movement is affectedby the distribution of obstacles and boundaries), to modeling the manner in whichmovement might register additional aspects of visual information. Third, theadvantages of such purely spatial modes of analysis extend into providing us with asharper understanding of some of the pragmatic constrains within which exhibitioncontent is conceived and designed

    Configurational meaning and conceptual shifts in design

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    Configuration is defined as the entailment of a set of co-present relationships embedded in a design, such that we can read a logic into the way in which the design is put together. We discuss conceptual shifts during design with particular emphasis on the designer's understanding of what kind of configuration the particular design is. The design for the Unitarian Church offers an historical example of such shifts, authorised by Kahn's own post-rationalisation of the design process. We subsequently construct a formal computational experiment where the generation, description and re-conceptualisation of designs is rendered entirely discursive. The experiment serves to clarify the nature of conceptual shifts in actual design, and the reasons why a reading of such shifts cannot be based on discursive evidence only but necessarily requires us to engage presentational forms of symbolisation as well. Our examples demonstrate how a conceptual shift within a particular design can lead to the discovery of a new potential design world. In the historical case, the conceptualisation of a new design world remains implicit and inadequately specified. But the theoretical experiment allows us to make explicit how geometrically similar configurations that arise from the application of one set of generative rules may possess systematic but entirely unanticipated perceptual properties, subsequently incorporated in new generative rules

    Urban morphology and syntactic structure: A discussion of the relationship of block size to street integration in some settlements in the Provence

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    The paper discusses the relationship between the syntax of street networks and the differentiation of the size of urban blocks in a sample of small towns and settlements. he argument is in four parts. In the first part it is demonstrated, through design games, that the differentiation of streets by integration is linked to the differentiation of blocks by size. In the second part, it is shown that in a small sample of towns in the Provence, small blocks are not associated with more integrated streets but are distributed throughout the street network. The demonstration is based on an original method for studying the block size in relation to street integration. In the third part, the historic evolution of these particular towns is shown to involve the rationalisation of their integration core: integrated streets become better aligned and wider, and reach more directly into all parts of the town. However, the historic relationship between integration and block size is also based on mixture rather than a linear pattern of association. The final part uses these findings to advance a speculation about the origin of the syntax of these towns as compared to the syntax of the smaller settlements that Hillier and Hanson characterise as ‘beady rings’. This leads to a discussion of some of the abstract syntactic generators originally presented in The Social Logic of Space. In short, the final section of the paper argues that the lack of linear association between small blocks and integrated streets, in this particular sample, points to the emergence of gradually more complex generators of town form, generators which presuppose the ideas of the urban block and the street. These act upon the seeds of prior small aggregations, generated by simpler rules of adjacency

    Cognitive mechanisms underlying instructed choice exploration of small city maps

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    We investigated the cognitive mechanisms underlying the exploration and decision-making in realistic and novel environments. Twelve human subjects were shown small circular U.S. city maps with two locations highlighted on the circumference, as possible choices for a post office (“targets”). At the beginning of a trial, subjects fixated a spot at the center of the map and ultimately chose one of the two locations. A space syntax analysis of the map paths (from the center to each target) revealed that the chosen location was associated with the less convoluted path, as if subjects navigated mentally the paths in an “ant's way,” i.e., by staying within street boundaries, and ultimately choosing the target that could be reached from the center in the shortest way, and the fewest turns and intersections. The subjects' strategy for map exploration and decision making was investigated by monitoring eye position during the task. This revealed a restricted exploration of the map delimited by the location of the two alternative options and the center of the map. Specifically, subjects explored the areas around the two target options by repeatedly looking at them before deciding which one to choose, presumably implementing an evaluation and decision-making process. The ultimate selection of a specific target was significantly associated with the time spent exploring the area around that target. Finally, an analysis of the sequence of eye fixations revealed that subjects tended to look systematically toward the target ultimately chosen even from the beginning of the trial. This finding indicates an early cognitive selection bias for the ensuing decision process

    Exhibition Layout and Visitor Movement in Science Museums

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    Two arguments are made based on the analysis of traveling science exhibitions. First, sufficiently refined techniques of spatial analysis allow us to identify the impact of layout upon visitors' paths and behaviors even in moderately sized open plans which afford almost random sequences of movement and relatively unobstructed visibility. Specifically, contact with exhibits is associated with their relative accessibility while active engagement is associated with exhibit cross-visibility. Second, newly developed or adapted techniques of analysis allow us to make a transition from modeling the mechanics of spatial movement (the way in which movement is affected by the distribution of obstacles and boundaries) to modeling the manner in which movement registers additional aspects of visual information, particularly the arrangement of exhibits according to conceptual organizing themes. The advantages of such purely spatial modes of analysis extend into providing us with a sharper understanding of some of the underlying constraints within which exhibition content is conceived and designed

    Syntax and Parametric Analysis of Superblock Patterns

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    A particular kind of street network is examined, where strong differentiation between scales of syntactic structure is evident: supergrids of primary roads, with inserted local streets. Computational formulae are provided to describe simple regular systems and clarify the nature of the syntactic differentiation of scales. The focus is on the linear extension of streets and also on distances measured according to direction changes. A small sample of examples from Chicago, Los Angeles, Beijing and Seoul as well as the Doxiadis plan for sector G7 of Islamabad and the Perry-Whitten neighborhood plan for New York are also analyzed, leading to estimates of a number of remarkably consistent parameters that can function as benchmarks for design exploration or theoretical experimentation. An experiment whereby the fabric of the historic centers of small French towns is inserted into a supergrid at 0.5 mile intervals is also described to explore the scale and character of inserted systems in comparison to historic urban fabrics. The work leads to a methodological proposition. Supergrids can best be conceptualized by decomposing the analysis of closeness centrality (integration) into two components: the mean directional distances associated with the supergrid as an independent system, and the mean directional distances from inserted streets to the nearest supergrid element (step depth in DepthMap). Decomposition responds to a theoretical idea: cognitive maps comprise a skeleton system relative to which other parts can be ‘placed’ and related. Decomposition also responds to a practical purpose: in order to design one must work with intuitively accessible parameters that can be controlled within the site and scope of the design

    Design of MW-Class Coaxial Gyrotron Cavities With Mode-Converting Corrugation Operating at the Second Cyclotron Harmonic

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    This article presents investigations on the design of coaxial gyrotron cavities with mode-converting corrugations, operating at the second harmonic of the electron cyclotron frequency with output power of the order of megawatts. The suppression of the competing modes interacting at the fundamental cyclotron frequency is achieved by the combination of a corrugated coaxial insert and mode-converting corrugation on the outer wall. The outer corrugation couples the key competing modes to lower order modes with reduced quality factor. The design steps, which form a generally applicable design procedure, are described in detail. As an illustrative example, the proposed procedure is used for the design of a cavity for a fusion-relevant, second-harmonic MW-class gyrotron, operating at 170 GHz with the TE 37,1837,18 mode. From the simulations, it is found that for the proposed design, this mode is excited with an output power of around/ ∼ 1.5 MW. Two additional paths for cavity optimization toward even higher output power are also presented
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