transformable physical design media
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Over the past decades, the WIMP based computer-aided design tools have been redefining the foundation of architectural design. As a materialization process, architectural designers are conceiving their mind through the help of computer-aided design tools. But the new emerging technologies are changing the people's cognition of design activity. The traditional 2D based design representation which operated by tools such as keyboard, mouse as well as monitors are less capable of fully representing physical 3D objects, thus the interaction between designer and design objects through these tools is expecting been enhanced. We are seeking a brand new design media which could provide a more direct and intuitive interaction to help designer inspire and improve their design intent. In this paper, I provide a survey of intuitive and direct (tangible) media and their potential of being applied in design space, define an innovative concept of transformable physical design media which contains sets of user-friendly three dimensional input manipulating tools and physical augmented output representation to optimize the designers' interaction with design objects within the context of architectural design study as well as human-computer interaction, and describe the practical applications through three research prototypes : 3D pointer, InSpire, CuBe. These research prototypes explore what kind of tools can be friendly enough for design-oriented user with less learning time consuming and what would be the best way for designers to represent design objects. These two elements form the concept of design media which can be combined in a 3D environment to improve design activity with a more intuitive and direct approach. The document argues that the most intuitive tool should incorporate input manipulation through a natural language. The natural language in this context means not only an oral language, but also means the spontaneous behavior of human beings such as hand gestures. Meanwhile the paper also propose that there are several approaches to achieve the augmented representation as output display to enhance the design experience. We conclude by discussing the observation from application themes for architectural design activity in the domain of HCI and the directions for future work that the transformable physical design media a desirable solution for enhancing design experience. Architects and designers could be benefit from the usage of transformable physical design media, especially the massing study during the early phase of architectural design which allows the designers can efficiently alter the topology properties and texture sitting of the building geometry.
- Architecture