Real-time digital modelling in design education and practice

Fraser, M. and Bjornsson, H. 2004. Real-time digital modelling in design education and practice. URBAN DESIGN International. 9 (4), pp. 187-196.

TitleReal-time digital modelling in design education and practice
AuthorsFraser, M. and Bjornsson, H.
Abstract

Real-time modelling represents the first thoroughgoing application of the digital realm to architecture and urban design, and as such marks a clear advance on the partial applications that were previously the norm. The authors have pooled their combined expertise in architecture and computer games to adapt the principles and techniques of real-time environments from computer games to designing buildings. The outcome is proprietary software called Cadai, which allows architectural and urban design proposals to be modelled in realistic detail, both externally and internally, and then be "walked" around in their entirety by viewers.

This paper argues that real-time modelling offers three advances on previous forms of 3D digital modelling: it enables digital modelling to be used from the earliest sketch stages of a design project; it allows collective online meetings of the project team inside the evolving design scheme, wherever the participants are in the world; and it enables greater user-participation in decisions about planning schemes, given that anyone familiar with computer game environments can now properly understand and experience architectural and urban design proposals. The paper explains the properties of Cadai and showcases some real-time models built by students at Oxford Brookes University and the University of Westminster, along with the first major commercial real-time model produced in Cadai for a brownfield development proposal in Northern England. Our contention is that real-time modelling will soon become the dominant way that computers operate in architectural and urban design, and will remain so for the foreseeable future.

KeywordsArchitecture and urban design, digital design, immersive environments, real-time modelling, representation
JournalURBAN DESIGN International
Journal citation9 (4), pp. 187-196
ISSN1357-5317
YearDec 2004
FileFraser_&_Bjornsson_2004_final.pdf
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1057/palgrave.udi.9000126
Publication dates
PublishedDec 2004

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