Dissecting design : exploring the role of rules in the design process
Author(s)Pantazi, Magdalini Eleni
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
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Since the first application of computer programs to problem solving in the 1960s, computers and computational processes have been gradually introduced in the field of architecture to the point where today they are an inherent part of architectural practice and education. This extensive use of computers in architecture, however, occurs late in the design phase, at the stage of production of construction documents or representation of the final product, and so rarely are computers used to address the early design phase, that of creativity. A significant reason for this is that computational processes, based on algorithms, use explicit rules and unambiguous procedures, while the processes that architects employ at the early design phase are implicit and obscure. Whether a process is implicit or explicit, though, it is still underlined by a framework of interacting rules. Can rules, therefore, provide a bridge between explicit and implicit processes? The present research addresses this question through a design experiment with a group of professional architects. The experiment was in design composition from scratch and the scope was to identify the role of rules in the architects' design processes. In this framework a shape grammar formalism was developed to describe both the design activities and the end products. Architects were found to work towards a design solution by developing general rule schemas that gradually take the form of specific and explicit rules. It was also observed that this process is constantly informed and enhanced by the emergence of perceptual design events.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, 2008.This electronic version was submitted by the student author. The certified thesis is available in the Institute Archives and Special Collections.Includes bibliographical references (p. 175-178).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture
Massachusetts Institute of Technology