A Framework for Considering the use of Computational Design Technologies in the Built Environment Design Process

Published in Journal of Information Technology in Construction, 2022

Recommended citation: Chen, K.W., Janssen, P., Aviv, D., Ninsalam, Y., Meggers, F., (2022). A framework for considering the use of computational design technologies in the built environment design process. ITcon 27, 1010–1027. https://doi.org/10.36680/j.itcon.2022.049

This research proposes a Computation in Design (C-in-D) framework for design practices to consider the adoption of computational technologies in their design process. Examples of computational design technologies include but are not limited to computational algorithms, the Internet of Things (IoT), reality capture and digital fabrications. We develop the framework by categorizing design projects based on their physical scales, defining the work stages in a design project, and decomposing the design process into tasks and data flows. The computational design technologies can then be assessed by mapping its usage onto these data flows. The framework provides a basic structure for practices to customize and systematically assess the impacts of using computational design technologies in their design process. We demonstrate the C-in-D framework in three case studies, a sculpture design, an interior retrofit, and a form-based code development. The demonstration shows that web-based interactive parametric modeling and reality capture technologies can improve collaboration between the artist and modeler in the sculpture design project. IoT and optimization algorithms can improve the daylighting performance of the interior retrofit, and the use of Geographic Information System and reality capture technology can improve site analysis and visioning of the form-based code development process. The framework is a valuable tool for facilitating the adoption of new design technologies in practice.