Page T1 . 07 June 2000       
ArchitectureWeek - Tools Department
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TOOLS
 
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  • The Greening of CAD
     
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  • Hand-Crafted Digital Models
     
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  • Design by Physics: Innovative Space Planning Tool
     
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  • Today's Research, Tomorrow's Software
     
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  • Color by Default or Intention
     
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  • Computer Visualization as a Tool for Critical Analysis
     
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  • Architectural Design and Virtual Worlds
     
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  • Small Firm Makes It Big

     
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    TOOLS THIS WEEK

    ArchWeek Photo

    GREEN CAD AND THE 3D DESIGN SURVEY

    Environmentally conscious, "green" design has gained a respectable following among those already inclined to see the world through emerald lenses. Everyone else is waiting to see if it's worth the trouble.

    One barrier has been a lack of truly usable building energy simulation tools. To build these, software developers need to understand the design process through the eyes of nonengineers. However, a new survey uncovers subtleties in how design software is applied in practice.

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    ArchWeek Photo

    HAND-CRAFTED DIGITAL MODELS

    From Brazil comes good news for anyone who has ever felt like they have one hand tied behind their back when manipulating 3D forms with a 2D drawing instrument.

    University of Brasilia architecture professor Edison Pratini has been developing the "3D SketchMaker," which relies on natural, expressive hand gestures for creating 3D computer models. This process makes form-giving easier and removes the discontinuity between conceiving a form and translating it into a digital model.

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    ArchWeek Photo

    DESIGN BY PHYSICS: INNOVATIVE SPACE PLANNING TOOL

    In the Department of Architecture at Texas A&M University in College Station, Scott Arvin, working with professor Donald House, has developed a system for "physically based space planning." Arvin's computer prototype accepts building program parameters (square footages, adjacency and separation requirements) and constructs viable floor plans.

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    ArchWeek Photo

    TODAY'S RESEARCH, TOMORROW'S SOFTWARE

    There is a crystal ball that can show us the future of architectural software. It depends not on gimmickry but on the fact that tomorrow's technology goes through years, sometimes decades, of development before it becomes commercially available.

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    ArchWeek Photo

    COLOR BY DEFAULT OR INTENTION

    Human experience of the world incorporates a full spectrum of color in light, shadow, and surface. A stroll through many architecture studios, however, reveals an abundance of black line drawings and achromatic models. Architecture in its embryonic stages seems often to exist in a world without color.

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    ArchWeek Photo

    COMPUTER VISUALIZATION AS A TOOL FOR CRITICAL ANALYSIS

    For decades, critics have analyzed Frank Lloyd Wright's Darwin D. Martin House based on direct observation and 2D architectural drawings. But their conclusions lack the insight made visible by 3D computer visualizations. This study uses CAD techniques more commonly applied to design and presentation and re-evaluates both the house and the critical statements traditionally accepted about Wright's design.

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    ArchWeek Photo

    ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN AND VIRTUAL WORLDS

    The creation of "virtual worlds" has emerged as a new design field, a rapidly expanding area of study, and possibly even a new profession. As these worlds become increasingly important in our living environment, architectural practitioners and students need to rise to the challenge. But until now "living in the virtual realm" has raised more attention among philosophers and social scientists than among architects. To stimulate a needed debate, we ask: what are the implications of architectural design in virtual worlds?

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    ArchWeek Photo

    SMALL FIRM MAKES IT BIG

    By B.J. Novitski

    When John Marx, AIA, was a senior designer at a large architecture firm, a joke circulated that "two guys and a fast computer" could accomplish more work, more quickly than a management-heavy design department. Indeed, with well-honed skills in both design and computer modeling, Marx often completed the firm's competition entries for very large buildings with a team of only two or three.

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