Evaluering av kontextmodeller och interaktiva virtuella miljöer i den arkitektoniska gestaltningsprocessen
Sammanfattning: The tools available to architects in the design process are constantly being enhanced and developed, which paves the way to try out new methods and techniques. The current widespread availability of commercial drones, sophisticated surveying instruments and advanced calculation software, makes it possible to create detailed digital representations of reality, in the form of context models. Context models in combination with real-time rendering, through game engines and visualization with the help of Interactive Virtual Environments (IVE), lets architects recreate planned buildings in a realistic virtual context. The study examines how the architect can leverage the benefits of context models and IVE in the architectural design process and presents a method which can be used by architect- and consultant firms. A qualitative research method is used to accomplish this goal, where data is gathered through interviews and a workshop with practicing architects, but also a case study is performed to evaluate the presented method. All the collected data is compartmentalized and analyzed with a method called Pattern Matching, where expected theoretical patterns are compared to the empirical data that appear from the collected data. The study shows that the use of context models and IVE has great benefits in several varying phases of the design process, where benefits in communication is presented as the main contributing factor. With that said, there are concerns regarding implementation of the tools in early stages of the design process, where the possibility to present a misleading IVE is regarded as a potential risk. A presented benefit of using context models and IVE is the ability to create virtual presence. Also, the ability to present the building in its real context proved to be a great benefit in the study. These are closely tied to the benefits of IVR (Immersive Virtual Reality), in cases where visualization of volumes and spaces is needed, which is enhanced by a detailed context model. Finally, a method for architects and consultants to use context models and IVE in the design process is presented. The method is summarized to involve different expertise in the organization to carry through different tasks in the workflow, in order to let the architect focus on the design of the building, but still leverage the benefits of the visualization tools. A conclusion that is drawn, is that the presented method needs to be evaluated further, in order to prove its efficiency. If that is the case, the method might be a step in a new path for the ever changing role of the architect.
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