COMPUTER assisted technologies to enhance CONCURRENce in building DESIGN
Bartolo, H. and Bartolo, P. J. S. (2003) COMPUTER assisted technologies to enhance CONCURRENce in building DESIGN. In: Uwakweh, B. O. and Minkarah, I. A. (eds.) Construction Innovation and Global Competitiveness, Vols 1 and 2 - the Organization and Management of Construction. Crc Press-Taylor & Francis Group, Boca Raton, pp. 143-157. ISBN 0849314496
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Modern organisms are adapted to a wide variety of habitats and lifestyles. The processes of evolution have led to complex, interdependent, well-designed mechanisms of todays world and this research challenge is to transpose these innovative solutions to resolve problems in the context of architectural design practice, e.g., to relate design by nature with design by human. In a design by human environment, design synthesis can be performed with the use of rapid prototyping techniques that will enable to transform almost instantaneously any 2D design representation into a physical three-dimensional model, through a rapid prototyping printer machine. Rapid prototyping processes add layers of material one on top of another until a complete model is built and an analogy can be established with design by nature where the natural lay down of earth layers shapes the earth surface, a natural process occurring repeatedly over long periods of time. Concurrence in design will particularly benefit from rapid prototyping techniques, as the prime purpose of physical prototyping is to promptly assist iterative design, enabling design participants to work with a three-dimensional hardcopy and use it for the validation of their design-ideas. Concurrent design is a systematic approach aiming to facilitate the simultaneous involvment and commitment of all participants in the building design process, enabling both an effective reduction of time and costs at the design phase and a quality improvement of the design product. This paper presents the results of an exploratory survey investigating both how computer-aided design systems help designers to fully define the shape of their design-ideas and the extent of the application of rapid prototyping technologies coupled with Internet facilities by design practice. The findings suggest that design practitioners recognize that these technologies can greatly enhance concurrence in design, though acknowledging a lack of knowledge in relation to the issue of rapid prototyping.