Si 7 : Henri Achten

25 janvier 2013

Systèmes et registres de représentation

Henri Achten*

Encoding versus interpretation. What we can and cannot read from representations.

Drawings have an important place in architectural design. They are used during the design process, in the form of sketches, concept drawings, and final plans; they are used in the construction process to communicate the building realization; they are used during the occupancy phase to maintain a record of the building stock, and they are used generally as a (historical) record of (non)‐existing buildings. During history architects have developed a refined set of techniques and conventions how to produce such drawings, and how to understand them so that effective communication is possible between the partners in the building process. As can be seen from  the above, drawings are ubiquitous. Nevertheless, they are not well‐understood in terms of syntax (the formal description how they are created) and semantics (how they should be interpreted). Currently there exists no way how to automatically interpret any given architectural drawing. The subject of the lecture is the understanding of drawings, and the development of computational tools for understanding and production of drawings. To understand drawings it is necessary to find aggregates of primitive geometric elements (lines, curves, text, and so on) that have an associated meaning (contour, envelope, structural element, and so on). Such aggregates are called graphic units. Combinations of graphic units result in more complex drawings which have a fixed meaning – these are called generic representations. Research has shown that  architects use only a limited amount of graphic units and generic representations to create the majority of architectural drawings. We can use this approach to create sketching tools, to automate drawing interpretation, and to analyse designs. Examples of such work will be shown in the lecture (multi‐agent approach and case‐based reasoning for drawing recognition, sketcher tool for drawing, sketches in collaborative design, analysis of Turkish bazaars). The final question of the lecture concerns the future of drawings: what meaning and relevance will they have relative to 3D and 4D  representations (BIM, Virtual Reality, and augmented reality).

[La conference se tiendra en anglais]

*Henri Achten (1967, Netherlands) studied architecture at Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, the Netherlands (graduated 1992). The subject of his diploma thesis was the design of a historical museum in Venlo. The project was the first MSc project which was visualized in a Virtual Reality system. He continued as a PhD researcher on knowledge encoding in graphic representation (defended in 1997). His supervisors were professor Thijs Bax and Robert Oxman in the Design Methods group. At that time the Design Systems group merged with the Building Informatics group to create the new group Design Systems. In this group he worked as post‐doc researcher and later as assistant professor. In 2005 he was appointed assistant professor at the Faculty of Architecture of Czech Technical University in Prague to form a new CAAD group – MOLAB, the cabinet for architectural modeling. In 2007 he obtained habilitation for docent (associate professor). Until 2010 he was still part‐time employed at Eindhoven University of Technology. Currently he teaches design methods and design theory at the Architectural Design Management Systems post‐graduate programme in Eindhoven. Henri Achten’s main research areas are collaborative design, design methodology, and virtual reality. He has published over 80 research papers and books. He was vice‐president of the European Association for Education and research in Computer Aided Architectural Design in Europe (eCAADe) from 2001‐2005, and president of the Association from 2005‐2009. He has organized eight (inter)national conferences. Currently his research interests are with interactive buildings and membrane structures.

Quelques références de Henri Achten

  • Achten, H.H., Pavlicek, J, Hulin, J. and Matejovska, D. (eds). 2012. Digital Physicality – Proceedings of the 30th International Conference on Education and research in Computer Aided Architectural Design in Europe, Prague, Czech Republic, September 12‐14, 2012, Volume 1.
  • Achten, H.H., Pavlicek, J, Hulin, J. and Matejovska, D. (eds). 2012. Physical Digitality – Proceedings of the 30th International  Conference on Education and research in Computer Aided Architectural Design in Europe, Prague, Czech Republic, September 12‐14, 2012, Volume 2.
  • Achten, H.H. 2009. Experimental design methods – A review. International Journal of Architectural Computing 7(4): 505‐534.
  • Achten, H.H. and Beetz, J. 2009. What happened to collaborative design? In Cagdas, G. and Gulen, C. (eds.) Computation: The new realm of architectural design ‐ Proceedings of the 27th Conference on Education and Research in Computer Aided Architectural Design in Europe. Istanbul: Istanbul Technical University & Yildiz Technical University, pp. 357‐365.
  • Segers, N.M., de Vries, B. and Achten, H. 2005. Do Word Graphs Stimulate Design? Design Studies 26(6): 625‐647.
  • Vries, B. de, Tabak, V. and Achten, H.H. 2005. Interactive Urban Design Using Integrated Planning Requirements Control. Automation in Construction 14(2): 207‐213.
  • Vries, B. de and Achten, H.H. 2002. DDDoolz: Designing With Modular Masses. Design Studies 23(6): 515‐531.
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