Saturday, January 24, 2009
Computing in Architectural Design
Tools to aid in architects design were originally a compass and a straightedge. They calculated the proper dimensions of a space, given its width, which gave them the “golden section” which is the most beautifully proportioned geometric for. Then architects progressed towards perspective drawings to communicate what a space or building could potentially look like. Computers were first used by the building industry through engineering analysis. Then it progressed to Sutherland’s sketchpad program, which is insignificant compared to our technology today, however it was a big deal when it was introduced. The interest in using computer’s for architectural design began in academic groups. Computer systems began to appear in architectural firms in the 1970’s. It took two different paths; one being a geometric modeling route, as well as, a building specific route. CAD broke away from the generic modeling program and focused solely on architecture and its specific needs. Architects were now able to not only use computers for the drafting phases of their work but they were able to create photo-realistic renderings of a given space. Since buildings are typically a group effort, the invention of the internet made it easier for designers to collaborate with one another. The luxury of having a computer as a design tool can only enhance our own design work. The computer has had an enormous impact on our culture, as well as the design profession.