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Category Archives: Architecture

Mercedes Bell, a researcher for onlineuniversities.com, shared an article The Art of Digital Storytelling.

The article makes several good points and provides numerous examples graphed below. When digital storytelling is used for education, a new challenge today is keeping the reader engaged, without clicking away, wandering through so many loosely related topics, its easy to get lost, and forget where a digital pathway started, or where it is heading.

The objective of digital storytelling, online education, large scale digitization and information projects needs to be spending more time with better information.

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www.seochat.com

Each of these arrows can be like the telephone game, something important and subtle lost. Which of these is a better model

 

 

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Welcome new subscribers!

Last week the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) Northern Virginia Chapter (CSI NOVA) welcomed scientists from the NIST Fire Research Lab to give a talk about fire simulations and the new test facility.

NIST’s Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS)

A couple simulations were of just the fires themselves rather than walls, furniture, elevator shafts and other elements that might influence where a fire would move next in a building. The NIST Fire Research lab studies both the effects and relationships of different building materials with fire, and the physics of fire by itself. The physics of fire by itself has some known properties, such as maximum temperatures, and the short SHORT flashover point. The space around a fire is not always needed for better understanding of what a fire is likely to do next.

National Fire Protection Association (2001) from NFPA 1710

Today we have a lot of data moving around the Internet. Behaviors and patterns in the physics of data flow may have properties like maximum temperatures or flashover points in fires.

Ebb and Flow of Box Office Receipts Over the Past 20 Years – at Flowing Data

However it seems like most of these studies only look at the data, rarely the space around. As if the way different areas of the Internet were built, or the composition of various user communities, could influence where data are likely to go next and whether they are likely to spread quickly or slowly smolder. Below is an image about the flow of physics data from CERN, but who is studying the physics of data flow? Or more importantly, structural details about spaces around data, or how more precise configurations might help push relevant information into specific areas that are most conducive to those particular ideas catching on, spreading, and growing… Until at some point, inevitably, even the most gigantic ideas, like fires, will eventually die out. We are still learning about the physics of fire today, the physics of data flow and a better understanding of the life cycle of ideas and information may take many MANY generations of study until the statistics and calculations are relatively accurate, or at least aligned with the unpredictable real world.

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The greatest thing about relational databases is they store everything loose in some kind of homogeneous level playing field. It is only be establishing relationships between data that anyone is able to see anything in context. Without context, they are just data. In context they are messages, thoughts, ideas, studies, results, and work products.

If an idea is very complex sometimes it helps to break it down into component parts. Systematically taking it apart to understand what makes this idea tick.

DesignIT Studios

Starship ModelerWikicommons Watch Movement

Taking an idea apart can be very informative. Especially when various parts need to be updated and optimized, continually changing like software releases. If the watch above was wordpress, the Swift theme, and the internet each gear changes sooner or later but the whole watch still needs to work together if it is to continue functioning.  Putting things back together offers it’s own set of challenges.  There is an opportunity to purge elements that are no longer useful during this process. Like a hoarder moving everything out of their house onto the curb then back into the house, maybe some of those items are not worth saving after all. Or fixing a car engine, or someones medical condition, when it is unclear exactly what the problem is but simply by taking it apart and putting it back together, whatever was not working gets repaired.

IDSA Materials and Processes Section

Instructions are needed, parts need to be labeled. A sequence of reassembly is needed to ensure the reassembled whole still is the same. It can be difficult to see how the parts fit together when viewed too close.

Carol Padburg

Because everyone’s perception and experience is different, the exact same elements, in almost exactly the same combination may be understood a different way from different points of view. The receiving end may be “reading something into” what the sender intended. It may not be possible for two different people to consistently see the same things the same ways.

Put Back Together Pictures

However, this is not true for machines like computers or networks like the internet because machines have no prejudices, emotions, or previous experiences.  They simply process the information, break up whole ideas into packets, send them somewhere, another machine puts them back together. For this to be reliable everything on both ends needs to be a repeatable process. It would be so helpful to have a mold with the end result packed in with every packet to ensure consistency. MIT has just started a project to map controversies that may be useful to understand multiple interpretations of the same information.


MIT Mapping Controversies Project

This project is important today because we are surrounded by so many controversies, and so much data, it’s difficult to sort out which parts are actually valid, worth processing, keeping in the information houses where we store things. For example the Washington Post had an article today about the disconnect between science and the general public entitled “Not Blinded by Science, but Ideology” where global warming is a perfect example.

To avoid using information the wrong way, or putting together messages, thoughts, and ideas that may be different than original authors intended, especially while processing the data in emotionless machines – repeatable processes are needed.

BZen Consulting

Info-Sight Partners Actionability Index

Global Wonderware

Today the primary representation of how pieces of information are to be put back together need to work with SQL. Looking at the relationships is usually just miles and miles of code. However, there is a company at http://mkweb.bcgsc.ca who makes Schemaball, a Schema Viewer for SQL Databases where the relationships themselves can be put under a microscope and examined across the whole database in one glance.

It’s curious why geometry proper is not used more often to direct the arc, layouts and relationships. Something like a mold could be useful to ensure the reassembly is 100 percent correct on the receiving end, to match exactly, what the sender intended.

Smooth-On.com

But how would you store and encode that geometry?

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When organizing large quantities of resources and information in the digital world… putting things into groups, determining what goes where and assigning boundaries, it can be helpful to look at the real world for lessons learned.  Imposing boundaries in unnatural locations is bound to fail sooner or later, the results can be disastrous taking generations to overcome.

Take for example Southern Africa. Oceans, mountains, deserts, vegetation and other natural features determined where people lived and worked.

 

Physical Geography and Natural Vegetation
from Exploring Africa at Michigan State University 

Over time, people settled in various areas surrounded by their culture. Learning the best ways to be productive based on the conditions in their area – whether it was a jungle with vast resources or a desert with very few. 

From Africa Expat

Ancient people such as the Shona in modern day Zimbabwe congregated and stuck together in different areas.  Many of these languages and traditions continue today. But these curving, natural, and emergent boundaries don’t match boundaries imposed from outside cultures.

From Wikimedia Commons

Occasionally, an imposed boundary may coincide with a natural boundary such as a river.  More often though, imposed boundaries are designed to work within larger more global schemes, without paying enough attention to the local impact.

From Wikimedia Commons

Anyone can see where arbitrarily drawing lines has gotten us today.  What can be learned from history to avoid similar situations in the fresh, clean, brand new digital world where ideas and information are still patterning out and have no where in particular to belong except where they are emerging as “next to something else” or arranged for convenient, all encompassing, upper level views

Linked Open Data, Colored, as of March 2009

What about situations where digital terrain and intellectual data boundaries are being purposefully laid out. For example Master Web of Science, mapofscience.com and Places & Spaces where navigating the data is like exploring uncharted territory, and Katy Borner and collaborators seek to enable the discovery of new worlds while also marking territories inhabited by unknown monsters.


The difference in the semantic world versus the physical world should be that the digital world has no constraints like rivers or mountains. Eventually all of the layout can be determined.  Attention does need to be paid to where cultures are emerging, and how this can benefit everyone both globally and locally.

 Not only watch how the semantic web is emerging, but to direct it’s flow in productive ways, geared for people in different areas that may vary widely in their density and resources, rather than as one empire. Because that only causes trouble in the long run.

Layout Algorithm, NYU

Data Mining at Information and Visualization

Random Layout Algorithm at Cell System Markup Language (CSML) an XML format for modeling, visualizing and simulating biopathways.

The advantage of paying attention to this is, reaching an appropriate balance between random emergence and directed flow will ultimately serve end users and programmers better than any other option, and the solutions will last for a long time.


Communities of Practice at NASA

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Below is a time based analysis of the US Healthcare Reforms created by Frank Snyder, a physicist who worked in thinking machines and computer vision and now spends his time traveling the world and thinking about anthropology and religion. Image below see the link for the Google Doc.

Whole Building Design Guide, Clinical Relationships.

A few visualizations on Manyeyes are not showing up there at this moment, the visualizations are

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In the book You Are Not a Gadget Jaron Lanier talks about the unrecognized value of ideas generated by individuals, and the unintended effects the internet is having on musicians, visual artists, writers and other professional creative people. One way he describes it is the the “digital flattening of expression into a global mush“. Another is the “adoration of fragments“.

From Jaron Lanier at the RSA uploaded to Flickr by PSD.

One of the best examples he uses is what MIDI did to music “squeezing all of musical expression through a limiting model of the actions of keys on a musical keyboard“. All of the nuances, individual interpretations and stellar performances are gone. Every performance is the same.

People are not spending enough time with better information because some parts of the internet design do not allow for multiple iterations without ditching the previous versions, or any way to see how an idea or the information surrounding it has evolved.  There is no variation of the same, there are only exact copies and links.  A new digital architecture is needed with provisions for continuity, and coming back to an idea again with a fresh perspective, to promote the slow building and appreciation of work that takes longer than a few minutes or hours to create or interpret. There is hope though, with organizations like the Long Now Foundation working on projects to foster long term thinking and responsibility. It is a monumentally large challenge to consider more efficient ways to process infinite data fields intersecting – in such a way that better data might rise up out of the fray.

From The Effects of Digital Crosstalk in Data Converters
by Maxim where Innovation is Delivered

For better data to be created in the first place, professional creative people need to be paid reasonable rates to be ABLE to spend more time making work that in turn lasts longer out in the world. Consider for example these beer taps, an actual designer was paid a reasonable rate to figure out a shape, they were free to use any typeface, the only design requirement was a universal hookup. That is all internet standards should be, universal screw threads that allow designs to be professionally created, manufactured, and distributed.

Dr. Dremo Donut Beer Tap from the Quest for the Holy Grain

It truly is a conceptual and mathematical problem to devise a system of standard access points that allow data to slowly evolve, and get better, in ways that enough people can become truly engaged in what hand crafters have made.

Some designs will last longer than others but there is no inherent functionality in the design of the internet currently to let digital cross talk start eliminating what should sticks around longer or pop up in searches faster because it is actually better or supported by people who have actually looked at some thing from all sides. The idea of what fits is underused because there is no geometry around data forcing some information to stick around certain areas or flow through and keep on going.

Processes need to be developed to start dealing with the pace ideas and information fly around.  Data flow needs to be treated more like music. Like many people have observed – the symbolic encoding can be very simple and the same everywhere – but more time and attention is needed for actually the shapes and architecture of what supports a digital idea or lets it exchange faster, slower, closer, further away.

Yale Research, Breakthroughs in the Water, the Science of Swimming

What would such an ideal exchange architecture look like? Where would the universal screw threads be and how can the visitor experience be directed through this information space like a museum design? Where are the long axial views? The hints of what might be around the corner? Where do you pause and consider individual works? There is a flatness to digital information, everything is in your face on the same plane. There needs to be a better way to get a longer perspective on what surrounds ideas and information. Where they came from, how they have evolved, and which parts need to stay connected so they can hold together and stand the test of time.

DNA from Emergent Culture

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Based on conversation with Louis Hecht at the Open Geospatial Consortium, to develop a system for delivering open floor plan drawings of buildings to fire departments in their truck would require all of the steps above.

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The interface between Information Technology and the real world is not always seamless. Below are images provided by Frank and Jane Snyder on their trip across the United States visiting state capitols and presidential libraries. Where unfortunately, architectural beauty can be blunted by shocking displays of IT graffiti in the form of out-of-place computer/video/audio equipment and wiring. Most buildings have controlled this but the exceptions are glaring. Their conclusion is each building (public and private) should have a qualified person responsible to maintain the architectural beauty of the building by reviewing changes that violate the buildings visual appeal. That is, keep the IT graffiti out of public view.


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In “A Request for Technology In Support of an AECOO Testbed”, (Architecture, Engineering, Construction, Owner and Operator) the buildingSMART alliance and Open Geospatial Consortium OGC envision:

“… an idea around BIM as not simply a collection of files, or objects, but rather a collection of evolving business components and building systems, which grow and change at different rates according to project phase and building requirements. Based on our work we would like your thoughts about BIM instances and how they might be employed interoperably over the timelines for design, construction and operation.”

CLockofLongNow

[270] The Clock of the Long Now by Stewart Brand sorts civilization into six layers that change at different rates over time. See The New Vernacular at LinuxJournal.

rocks

[187] Different layers of the rock are weathered at different rates, by MrSciGuy Phil Medina.

ideaosphere

[630] As memes propagate over the Internet, they seep into different domains at different rates, at RealMeme.com

Network interoperability is a new problem, tracking project phases and building requirements is an old problem. According to Brian Bowen at Georgia Tech aand the Construction History Society “…changes in construction take place ever so slowly and not necessarily at the same pace everywhere. So precise timelines are impossible to plot.”

Plotting timelines for design, construction and operation, starting from when building processes began, would include the following:

Contracts: There have been construction contracts from the earliest of times. The Greeks inscribed them in stone. Up until the second half of the 19th century, contracts were of great simplicity, naming the parties, outlining the scope of work, basis of payment, time for completion, commitment to the work (i.e. show up) and some form of guarantee or assurance (surety) that the work will be completed.

Basis of Payment: There were three choices – time & material, fixed lump-sum, or unit prices. The latter, usually known as measure & value, became the favored method in England from medieval times, carried over to colonial America up to the time that general contracting became the norm.

Trade Contracting: Masons tended to predominate in Europe, carpenters in America.

General Contracting: There is plenty of evidence of masons or carpenters taking fixed price contracts as early as the 17th century for small and simple buildings like housing. The application of General Contracting to more substantial work began in the periods noted above and it took a generation or two for the system to fully take hold. This was driven by facilities becoming more complex and elaborate. And the labor unions needed taming.

taming

The Taming of Bucephalus, by Andre Castaigne at WikiCommons.

Construction of the semantic world does not yet have general contractors or labor unions to tame or benefit from.

Today, the timeline and quantity of BIM instances is rapidly changing and growing. Design and financial information need to be captured and distributed, so does location in several regards. Building footprint sit within the property line, even when the footprint is right up against a property line and theoretically the same line;

HongKong

Hong Kong Central, locally known as ??

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Smart Grid versus Dumb Grid.

From TerraWatts.comNew Power for the Planet

Smart Grids Could Power a 21st Century Economy at GovTech.com

Looking at planning documents like those above it seems possible that a Smart Grid could be achieved. However, the reality is some places barely can move power around still.  Whats the best way for these places to be able to leap frog forward, skipping entire generations of innovation, to get directly to a Smart Grid, Smart City, Smart Buildings, Smart Building-to-Grid Interfaces?

Indias Electrical Mess at This Is Just Stupid

Safe Electricity for Slum Residences – A Pilot Project in Paraisopolis, Sao Paolo Brazil, at Leonardo-Energy.org

from DG Draft 9 Graphics Set at Nick’s Public Gallery

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1738822.jpg

nature-2-rough.jpg

ABOVE: Nature-2 (rough).jpg @ 50% (Gray)
BELOW: Untitled-1 @ 33.3% (Layer 4, Gray)

Both by Bruce MacPherson, work-in-progress sketches for the MathFactory, for Gallagher & Associates Design Proposal

untitled-1.jpg

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Below is the introduction from Time & Bits, Managing Digital Continuity edited by Margaret MacLean and Ben H. Davis, an eternity ago in 1998 for the Getty Research Institute.  The Getty Research Institute is dedicated to furthering knowledge and understanding of the visual arts and aesthetic appreciation through the advancement of long term digital preservation and information exchange techniques to protect our common cultural inheritance.  The book is about an early workshop pondering over new problems with obsolete media and machines impact on the cycle of: capturing, preserving, distributing, representing, and unlocking a real understanding of the meaning of stored data. See the Long Now Foundation Projects for follow on work such as the Rosetta Project.

gettyfigure1.jpg

Workshop Figure 1

This was a very unhappy interface. And small wonder. No doubt this entire virtual environment was being encrypted, decrypted, reencrypted, anonymously routed through satellites and cables, emulated on alien machinery through ill-fitting, out-of-date protocols, then displayed through long-dead graphic standards.  Dismembered, piped, compressed, packeted, unpacketed, decompressed, unpiped and re-membered.  Worse yet, the place was old.  Virtual buildings didn’t age like physical ones but they aged in subtle pathways of arcane decline, in much the way that their owner’s did.

Bruce Sterling, in Holy Fire. Science fiction writer and founder of the Dead Media Project.

gettyfigure2.jpg

Workshop Figure 2

Below from the article Storage Knowledge by Doug Carlston, page 28 Time & Bits: Managing Digital Continuity

- process information is everywhere and, with increasing frequency, it will not be possible to perceive the full expression of the content-creator’s intent if the ability to perceive the process information is lost.

Imagine, if you will, that we are talking about process content that represents the instructions for building a virtual space and populating it with still and animated images tied to sounds.  Even if one could disambiguate the various data forms and figure out what was image, what was sound, and what was descriptive code, the author’s expression is virtually impossible to deduce absent its interpretation via his original processing device.  If in the future it becomes common to create digital wire models of complex inventions and other devices in lieu of written words, we will have an entire body of obviously important process data held hostage to its original interpretation device.

Perhaps in these areas we just have to give it time.  We do seem to have some movement towards standards, numerical bits have been translated in a reasonably consistent way into numerals and letters of the Roman alphabet (and others), a necessary first step toward a process Rosetta Stone.  And there appears to be a compelling universal interest in standardizing the operating systems and chief applications of commonly available computers, although these standards themselves continue to evolve at a hazardous rate.  Perhaps this process will not continue indefinitely, in which case we are confronting merely an interim problem while the universal standards are finally worked out.

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All of this was written before the explosion of the semantic web, online services, and the large scale development of open standards.  Nevertheless, many early concerns raised at the Time & Bits workshop are still valid.  The documentation of places and buildings together with the public information they generate has only just begun.  When will the process information be mature and standardized enough to tell the story of all these people and places over long periods of time?  There are many arguments on OntologForum regarding the utility, accuracy, and even the possibility of universal standards for such large scale processing. Like buildings in the real world, some digital architectures are better than others, some data deserve to be taken better care of and

“there is no constituency representing that body of information”

Margeret MacLean, Setting the Stage, page 33 in Time & Bits: Managing Digital Continuity.

3 images below are from the central garden at the Getty Center in Los Angeles. You can go anywhere, touch anything, get led in directions you want to go anyway, and have tremendous vistas open up around unexpected angles.  There are curves and corners. Only the best materials are used and they are taken care of.  The combination is gorgeous together.  This level of spatial design, execution, and maintenance is needed for an equivalent level of high quality, long term, takes-forever-to-build, semantic web spaces made expressly for the general public.

getty_center_central_garden.jpg

File: Getty Center Central Gardens Wiki Commons

gettygarden.jpg

http://www.panoramio.com/photo/1738822

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Companion Post: Trace Continuous Threads

red2.jpg

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The National Building Information Modeling Standard will be comprised of different parts.  Works in progress to standardize certain ways of looking at things in the AEC/FM Architecture Engineering Construction Facility Management Industry are Model View Definitions using IFC Industry Foundation Classes and IFC based solutions for data exchange. Currently there are 23 MVD‘s in progress. MVD’s with diagrams are below.

23mvd.jpg

Some MVDs are at the design stage, some have diagrams shown below. Generic concepts are on the left side in blue, IFC 2×3 Binding Concepts are on the right side in yellow.

Architectural Design > Structural Design

The General Concepts include: Beam, Building, Building Storey, Column, Grid, Project, Ramp, Site, Slab, Stair, User Defined Object, and Wall. The IFC 2×3 Binding Concepts include: Beam, Building Element Proxy, Column, Project, Ramp, Site, Slab, Stair, and Wall. Apparently the Building Element Proxies encompass User Defined Objects and the Building Stories.

architecturaldesignstructuraldesign.jpg

 


Architectural Design > Thermal Simulation

Will be useful for energy performance and sustainability studies. Here the main concept on both sides is “Space”

architecturaldesignthermalsimulation.jpg

 


BPEA Building Performance Energy Analysis 

More detailed for sustainable studies, now project is moved above, spatial components are separated from other concepts, the building elements are more defined.  Spatial zones are indicated which can be related to sensor data and long term performance tracking.

bpea-building-performance-energy-analysis.jpg

 

 

Code Compliance Checking

Focuses on the building systems and elements. Codes vary by jurisdiction boundaries, can’t these geometric boundaries be used to help narrow down relevant codes?

codecompliancechecking.jpg

 

 

Concept Design > Quantity Take Off

Costs. Organized by Project first, then Site, Building, Building Storey, and Space.

conceptdesignquantitytakeoff.jpg

 


Indoor Climate Simulation > HVAC Design

Related to Code Compliance Checking.  Project is not separate here, the main generic categories are Building, Building Storey, Project is at this level, Site, Space, and Thermal Zone. Long term wide spread studies might combine this MVD with sustainable processes listed above.

indoorclimatehvacdesign.jpg

 


Spatial Requirements and Target > Thermal Simulation

Focusing here on Project and Space Type

spacerequirementsthermal.jpg

 

 

Structural Design > Structural Analysis

Looking at: Building, Building Storey, Project, Structural Analysis Curve Connection, Structural Analysis Curve Member, Structural Analysis Point Connection, Structural Analysis Surface Member, Structural Linear Action, and Structural Point Action. Reminds me of the art fundamentals program at Virginia Commonwealth University where students explore surfaces and spaces. Mathematicians analyze critical points and actions too, how can there be an internship program bringing together people in their 2os across each discipline?

structuraldesignstructuralanalysis.jpg

_________________

Now look at this Domain Map of the Building Service Performance Project by Bob Smith, based on meeting notes here

domainmap.jpg

What’s needed next is a map of open standards in NBIMS MVD formats.

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Today’s largest, most pressing architectural challenge is what to do with all the linked open data becoming available.There is a possibility people can accomplish great things by getting collectively smarter and more inquisitive. What have innovative architects done before in similar situations? What is the difference between the collective versus universal intelligence that may result from improved semantic architecture for the general public? A compare/contrast is offered below between Ayn Rand’s Howard Rourke in “The Fountainhead” published in 1943 and Buckminster Fuller born in Milton, Massachusetts, July 12,1895, he and his wife Anne died within thirty-six hours of each other, one week before their sixty-sixth anniversary, Bucky on July 1st 1983, Anne on July 3rd 1983.The fictional Howard Rourke and real Buckminster Fuller are completely opposite from each other but have some things in common: they were both expelled from architecture school, they both created innovative designs for public building projects.Ayn Rand was a Russian immigrant thoroughly opposed to collectivism, who took America as her model of what a free nation should be. She created architect Howard Rourke as an ideal individual in “The Fountainhead” in 1943. His closing arguments in a court case are below, interspersed with images of todays most ambitious and unusual architecture, to advocate the power of creative individuals. By contrast, Buckminster Fuller’s ideas about a universal human follows. It is a long post. Both examples focus on new concepts of public housing. The issue today is innovative architecture in computers and networks for public ideas.__________________________Howard Rourke, pages 678 to 685, from The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand, Signet 1942.”Thousands of years ago, the first man discovered how to make fire. He was probably burned at the stake he had taught his brothers to light. He was considered an evildoer who had dealt with a demon mankind dreaded. But thereafter men had fire to keep them warm, cook their food, to light their caves. He had left them with a gift they had not conceived and he had lifted darkness off the earth. Centuries later, the first man invented the wheel. He was probably torn on the rack he had taught his brothers to build. He was considered a transgressor who ventured into forbidden territory. But thereafter, men could travel past any horizon. He had left them a gift they had not conceived and he had opened the roads of the world.

gaudi-1024.jpg

Copia by Antonio Gaudí

“That man, the unsubmissive and first, stand in the opening chapter of every legend mankind has recorded about its beginning. Prometheus was chained to a rock and torn by vultures – because he had stolen the fire of the gods. Adam was condemned to suffer because he had eaten the fruit of the tree of knowledge. Whatever the legend, somewhere in the shadows of its memory mankind knew that its glory began with one and that one paid for his courage.

CasaMilla

Casa Milà, 92 Paseo de Gracia, apartment block built between 1906 and 1910 in Barcelona for the Milà family by Antonio Gaudí“Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their own vision. Their goals differed, but they all had this in common: that the step was first, the road new, the vision unborrowed, and the response they received – hatred. The great creators – the thinkers, the artists, the scientists, the inventors – stood alone against the men of their time. Every great new thought was opposed. Every great new invention was denounced. The first motor was considered foolish. The airplane was considered impossible. The power loom was considered vicious. Anesthesia was considered sinful. But the men of unborrowed vision went ahead. They fought, they suffered, and they paid. But they won.”No creator was prompted by a desire to serve his brothers, for his brothers rejected the gift he offered and that gift destroyed the slothful routine of their lives. His truth was his only motive. His own truth, and his own work to achieve it in his own way. A symphony, a book, an engine, a philosophy, an airplane or a building – that was his goal and his life. Not those who heard, read, operated, believed, flew or inhabited the thing he had created. The creation, not its users. The creation, not the benefits others derived from it. The creation which gave form to his truth. He held his truth above all other things and against all men.….in development more to type from Howard Rourke’s soliloquy about design, construction, and blowing up the buildings that failed to meet his design intent, will intersperse architectural images below and more…..work in progress aquaUSAAqua, to be completed in 2009 Chicago USA: This skyscraper will seem traditional from a distance, however up close, the ripple/jelly effect created by variously sized balconies becomes evident from top to bottom.chicagospireChicago Spire, to be completed in 2010 Chicago USA: Will be the world’s tallest residential building and the tallest building of any kind in the western world.CCTVCCTV Headquarters, to be completed in Beijing China for the 2008 Olympics: The shape, described as a ‘z criss-cross’ results in a very high, seemingly unsupported corner at the front.regattaRegatta Hotel Jakarta Indonesia: Complex of 10 towers referring to Indonesian ships with while the biggest construction represents a lighthouse.ResidenceIndiaResidence Antilia IndiaRussiaTowerRussia Tower, to be completed 2012, Moscow Russia: Topped with an Observation Deck, Russia Tower will become the tallest building in Europe, twice the height of the Eiffel tower.Penang1500Penang Global City Center, Malaysia: Following months of speculation and sturdy opposition, this project is in the final stages of approval and apparently construction will start soon. Due to the size it will take at least 15 years to completely transform the small island of Penang.GazpromRussiaGazprom Headquarters, St. Petersburg Russia: Will appear to change color up to 10 times per day depending on the position of the sun.BurjDubaiBurj Dubai, to be completed 2009: Will be the tallest man-made structure in the world and the tallest building by a long shot with a predicted height of 818m. C urrently the tallest building on earth, excluding an antenna, is Taipei 101 in Taiwan which stands at 509m.

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Architectural drawings contain graphical information explained in more detail in the specifications. For example, waterproofing is just a line on the drawings designated “WP” but up to 50 pages in the specifications.  Specifications became necessary when buildings got more complex, the entirety of the intended work results could not be captured in drawings without the drawings becoming too cluttered. As a result  architects sometimes ask “What does that line mean?”.

Lines

from 2D Visualization of Electrical Fields of Point Charges around a Dielectric Interface at Vizlab

If lines of inquiry could be traced through semantic space for example in ShiftSpace, these lines would get very complicated. See BLDGBLOG too. Tracing lines of inquiry would be a whole new form of drawing and wondering what simple lines mean, more details and the work results would have to be explained in specifications separate from the drawings.

Below are a set of citations for images and papers collected around 2001, wondering about these shapes. Each example below has varying levels of documentation. This is an experiment to see what is still available. Most are not. Some are in new places than they were originally found but its still the same images and information.  Open source images have found many more uses. The remainder is a survey of scientific and artistic approaches to showing dynamics and tracing histories.

CoffeeMill

The Coffee Mill , by Juan Gris, 1916, Original: oil and collage on paper, 10 9/16” x 8 7/8”, Provenance: Henriette Reverdy, Paris; Pierre Chareau, Paris; E.V. Thaw & Co., New York; Herbert and Nannette Rothschild, Judith Rothschild Foundation, New York, from the book Encounters with Modern Art: The Reminiscences of Nannette F. Rothschild, George H. Marcus Editor and Anne D’Harnoncourt, Philadelphia Museum of Art; ISBN: 0876331088; 1997. Image is now available at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

 collage of forms

DMacP Collage of Forms some below

seashell

Cross section of nautilus shell from the Patterns of Nature Disk Image KS1724 Comstock, Royalty Free

hurricane

Hurricane: N-009-0110 Corbis Royalty Free at Matton Images

galaxy

Galaxy: SC-086-0109 by Myron J. Dorf Bridges. Now available at ???????

What Lies Between Order and Chaos? by James P. Crutchfield, The Sciences, New York Academy of Sciences, New York (1994), Santa Fe Institute.

“The events happen far too quickly (over 10^-23 to, at the most lackadaisical, 10^-10, seconds) and in too small a region (on the order of 10^-18 meters) for human perception.”

“We’re maximally uncertain about the weather: we keep looking out the window for an update and are constantly surprised; the entropy rate is high.”

IMG5291.jpg

Theoretical Morphology: State of the Art, by Gunther J. Eble, Santa Fe Institute Working Papers

Sturgeon’s Law states that “ninety percent of everything is crap.” from One Thing or Another: Some Examples of Selection in Minds and Computers, A.K.A. “William James at CERN”, by Cosma Shalizi

SFI007

Legar

Nude on a Red Background (Seated Woman), by Fernand Leger, 1927, Original: oil on canvas, 51 1/4” x 32”, Gift of the Joseph H. Hirshhorn Foundation, 1972, 72.173, from the book Hirshhorn: Museum and Sculpture Garden, Jane McAllister Editor, Harry N. Abrams; ISBN: 0810934363; 1996.

leonardo

Vitruvius, by Leonardo da Vinci, available everywhere, this copy from the British Library learning about bodies.

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Asymmetrical rocks, Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, G81-161783 Cannot be found. Image above from jmg galleries.

“…semantic leaps in jokes, arguments, counterfactuals, and analogies”
Turning the Cat on its Head, by Nikos Drakos, Computer Based Learning Unit, University of Leeds, from the web site of Seana Coulson, University of California, San Diego, Department of Cognitive Science“…until at last we reach our perceptions, grouped together by another process of selection into things. Some of these we attend to; the rest we ignore.”

“…studies indicate that there is a certain level of visual and acoustic complexity that tends to be most pleasing to the human senses.” Holding a New Mirror to Nature, The Economist, 6 November1993

periodictable

 

The Periodic Table of Poetry, now at MAKE

“…literature, pictures and sound and movies can all be turned into strings of bits. Once we have a measure of fitness, there is no a priori reason we could not turn standard techniques loose on an initial population of pictures, or sonatas, or sonnets. There are even techniques, outlined at least by Holland, which will allow our system to modify the means it uses to evaluate fitness. In particular, rather than mutating and recombining essentially random lengths of bits, they system could come to recognize that certain blocks of bits are meaningfully connected. It also does not seem impossible, or even terribly difficult, to modify the standard techniques of genetic programming so as to work directly on two-dimensional or three-dimensional objects.” Genetic Algorithms for Art by Cosma Shalizi

math

Mathematical Equations on Chalkboard, by Steve Cole AA011042  at Getty Images now at Diomedia

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“Fun” by Condensed Matter Research with Neutrons and Muons (NuM) at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI)

But architects also ask, what is this space represented by lines and specifications really made of?

SFI11

The Light Inside, by James Turrell, 1999, Original: electric lights, wires, metal and paint, Museum of Fine Arts Houston Texas, from Modern Painters Magazine, Winter 2001

Seminar Hall in the Museum for African Art , by Maya Lin, New York City, 1992-93, Associated Architect, David Hotson, from Boundaries, Simon and Schuster; ISBN: 0684834170; 2000.

Stainless Steel Mesh, Design 9, Lumsden Custom Mesh, 1-800-367-3664
Classic Travertine, Vein Cut, Unfilled and Honed, Stone Source, 202-265-5900
Clear Satin on Cherry, 20A, David Edwards Furniture Company, 410-242-2222
Wrought Iron, Benjamin Moore, 2124-10
Clear Natural Riverstone, Artistic Tile, NY 212-727-9331
Glass, AR 105, by Skyline Design, 773-278-4660
Gel, BTG 150 Starke 9mmm kein Farbmuster Peer Almute, Smooth, 800-433-7337
Platinum, by Ben Park

 

See the actual buildings of
The National Gallery of Modern Art, India
National Museum of Modern Art, Japan, 3rd floor Special Corner
National Gallery of Australia
Read More »

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aquaUSAAqua, to be completed in 2009 Chicago USA: This skyscraper will seem traditional from a distance, however up close, the ripple/jelly effect created by variously sized balconies becomes evident from top to bottom.chicagospireChicago Spire, to be completed in 2010 Chicago USA: Will be the world’s tallest residential building and the tallest building of any kind in the western world.CCTVCCTV Headquarters, to be completed in Beijing China for the 2008 Olympics: The shape, described as a ‘z criss-cross’ results in a very high, seemingly unsupported corner at the front.regattaRegatta Hotel Jakarta Indonesia: Complex of 10 towers referring to Indonesian ships with while the biggest construction represents a lighthouse.ResidenceIndiaResidence Antilia IndiaRussiaTowerRussia Tower, to be completed 2012, Moscow Russia:Topped with an Observation Deck, Russia Tower will become the tallest building in Europe, twice the height of the Eiffel tower.Penang1500Penang Global City Center, Malaysia: Following months of speculation and sturdy opposition, this project is in the final stages of approval and apparently construction will start soon. Due to the size it will take at least 15 years to completely transform the small island of Penang.GazpromRussiaGazprom Headquarters, St. Petersburg Russia: Will apparently change color up to 10 times per day depending on the position of the sun.BurjDubaiBurj Dubai, to be completed 2009: Will be the tallest man-made structure in the world and the tallest building by a long shot with a predicted height of 818m. C urrently the tallest building on earth, excluding an antenna, is Taipei 101 in Taiwan which stands at 509m.

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There is a gathering storm to document space in the physical world that will eventually impact, or help to form and track, the development of the semantic world. Go see BIMstorm ~ here are some reports.

BIMstorm is a series of spontaneous 24 hour long collaborations organized by the Onuma Planning System. The participants don’t even meet each other for a kickoff meeting. Players all just start designing and utilizing different types of expertise… and design architect can go back to work on their design again and someone else has added onto its information – for example a structural engineer or interior designer could refine what was only put up as BIM blobs. Its hard to understand semantic space. There are multiple locations of the same things. There is Google Earth for a bigger picture anyone can use. There are the programs, purposes. and information exchange priorities in these spaces. But there are no building codes about use groups yet. There have not been any catastrophes, like fire driving the development of US codes. And now BIMstorm is a call to link up all the building and geographic information in semantic space too. An statement on the challenges of Open Standards vs Commercial Technology is here and here.

The requirements of accurately documenting physical space include the Building Owners and Managers Association Calculations (BOMAcalcs), National Building Information Modeling Standard, w3 rules, ontology, language, model definition rules and more, and more. Architects and specification writers can get in trouble for “making things up” because there are reasons the rules are in place. Building and geographic data meet exchange requirements by being standardized, accepted measurements – which is figured out in detail for the physical world, but how is semantic space designed, built and measured?

stairs

 

Zu in the swirl by sgatto

swirl

 

Swirling by exper

2
Curving, Swirling by shapeshift

A huge quantity of building and geographic records are currently being made to design, operate, and maintain public buildings and public spaces. What are we going to do with all this information?

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From ASCI Tree Mountain – A Living Time Capsule-11,000 Trees, 11,000 People, 400 Years, 1992-1996; (420 x 270 x 28 meters), Yljrvi, Finland by Agnes Denes

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Tree Mountain – A Living Time Capsule: Aerial View
digital print based on original design drawing
35″h x 96″w, 1983 ?Agnes Denes

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Detail

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Detail

Eleven thousand trees were planted in a complex mathematical pattern by eleven thousand people from around the world, to be maintained for 400 years.  One of the largest environmental reclamation sites in the world, Tree Mountain, created from refuse material from a gravel pit, was declared a national monument to serve future generations with a meaningful legacy. Dedicated in 1996 by the President of Finland, dignitaries, and participants from around the world.

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Solar Decathalon, Primarily sponsored by the US Department of Energy on the National Mall

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Three members of the University of Colorado team gave a lunchtime presentation and responded to questions at WDG Architecture

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Certainly the solar houses, built around shipping containers supplying their own power, could have applications in emergency response.

University of Colorado at Boulder
Attn: Michael Brandemuehl
Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Eng.
428 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309-0428
Phone: 303.492.8594
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Biowall – Live Building
biowall

Please go to their site and see the image above in action.

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Recycle the Whole House

RecycleHouse

New York Times Article by Kristina Shevory

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How can parallels be made from the examples above for sustainable information design?

Like Tree Mountain – A Living Time Capsule – What ideas and information merit this degree of care and thoughtful planning to last 400 before they are “complete”? Who will care for them after the original planners are gone?

Like the Solar Decathalon – what projects can be sponsored to engage creative students to collaborate outside their programs? With or without being able to turn in the results for a reward such as a masters thesis since the work was done “independently” with others. How should competitors be rewarded for innovation?

Like the Biowall – what can we build into the infrastructure to clean what we consume?

Like Recycling the Whole House – what ostentatious information McMansions can be deconstructed, demolished, and reused in more productive ways?

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Favorite quote from Edward J. Barkmeyer in the Manufacturing Systems Integration Division at National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST)

“….the problem is that Internet is still the big city of the Middle Ages. We know how to build all kinds of buildings and we have a lot of demand for them and a lot of construction of various kinds and qualities going on. But no one is responsible for much of it, we have no civil engineering discipline, we have no land use planning, we have random patchworks of streets, we are carrying the water on foot in buckets from the most convenient well, we have no police force and no fire brigade, we have sewage problems, crime problems and frequent plagues. Some communities thrive and some die out, and we don’t really understand why. And yet people keep coming here, because there is education, and jobs, and entertainment, and money to be made. Ultimately, technology enabled us to get control of it, and fires and plagues forced us to. But it took 7 centuries. I hope the Internet experience is shorter.”

4CMILastYear

 

Collage made for CADD Microsystems June 2006

PROBLEMS:

Complex Geometry

Breaking into Constructable Parts

Automated layer reduction for repeated assemblies

Checking the drawings and project requirements

Calculating estimates and pricing

Showing the extent of materials

Showing work by each contractor

Showing dependent work sequences

Standard layers, symbols, & drawing notations

Automated placement of call outs and details

Sloppy drawings, inconsistent terms & symbols

Danger of a facility wide error or omission

How do Contractors and Owners participate?

What is dynamic?

Can models document the construction and operation processes?

Can progress photos be overlaid and fit to the drawings as construction moves forward?

What do they do in this place?
What is the status of the inventory?
Where are the collection elements?
What are the specifications of those environments?

Humanizing the spaces and materials
Default scale and perspectives

Tracking better combinations for cost efficiency and aesthetics

Sharing one up to date approved model over time

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TheRooms

The Rooms from Daily Dose of Imagery

Semantic architecture is not like physical architecture because evidence of previous or alternate use is hard to find.  There is little reason to study older digital archiving or exchange requirements.  There is no carbon footprint equivalent to measure over time yet.

gleanings

Theosophical Publishing House   Ideas and information are published, maintained and available, or the only results are a mysterious, unexplained broken link or 404 Error.  Less than 5 percent of previously published, no longer maintained information may continue to have value.  In addition to efforts such as the Wayback Machine to capture everything, there should also be efforts to capture only some things based on patterns and evidence of use so only the most important connections and examples can be preserved even if the individual or organization that instigated this information is no longer around or maintaining their website or database.  Its a major conceptual, mathematical, and artistic problem to work on.  If digital information is to leave footprints, maybe these could mimic carbon in their structure. Carbon1

Allotropes of Carbon   carbon2

Utah scientists find longest Carbon-Carbon Bond.

Even the band Modest Mouse is curious about the persistence and interchangeability of carbon. The song, Parting of the Sensory, is talking about more than the chemical structure.  Select phrases about a different kind of bonding and tracking are below.

Dehydrate back into minerals

A life long walk to the same exact spot

 

Carbon’s anniversary

The parting of the sensory

Old old mystery

The parting of the sensory

 

The weather changed it for the worse

And came down on us like it had been rehearsed

And like we hope, but change will surely come

And be awful for most but really good for some

I took a trip to the exact same spot

We pulled the trigger, but we forgot to cock

And every single shot

 

Some day you will die and

Somehow something’s going to steal your carbon

 

Some day you will die and

Somehow something’s going to steal your carbon

 

Well some day you will die somehow and

Something’s going to steal your carbon

 

Some day you will die and

Someone’s or something’s will steal your carbon

 

Some day something will die and

Somehow you’ll figure out how

Often you will die somehow and

Something going to steal your carbon

 

Well some day you will die somehow and

Something’s going to steal your carbon

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MasterFiniteStateMachine
Figure 12.9 from Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus, Andre LaMothe, New York, Sams Publishing (1999).

To create a truly robust Finite State Machine (FSM) you need two properties:

1. A reasonable number of states, each of which represents a different goal or motive.

2. Lots of input to the FSM, such as the state of the environment and the other objects within the environment.? ? p. 729

Image above is a Master Finite State Machine (FSM) with substates – p. 730

Global Networks
Book Cover for Global Networks about Mark Lombardi.
The beauty of the single layer circuit. Helpful diagrams to understand the interplay of power and global situations.

Fig8

fig9

Two figures from Manufacturing Systems Integration Control Entity Interface Specification,” IR 5272, September 1993.

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Turbulence Commission: “Gothamberg” by Martin Wattenberg and Marek Walczak, with Chuck Crow, Johanna Kindvall, Warren Lehrer, Christiane Paul and Vivian Selbo.

gothamberg

Everyone who has lived in an apartment has a story to tell. “Gothamberg” is a place to read, interact and exchange stories of lives in apartment buildings. Together, these tales of unwanted sounds and smells, lobbies and bathrooms, laundry room gossip and unexpected favors form a single collective building, Gothamberg. Their experiences form the elliptical threads of inhabitation, a mnemonic quality expressing something of the shared nature of dwelling.

Gothamberg is a 2006 commission of New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc., (aka Ether-Ore) for its Turbulence web site. It was made possible with funding from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Please see Turbulence Commission for the participants biographies and more inspiring projects.

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vera21.jpgVeravera3.jpg

These are images from my daughter, the architect Laura Spinadel. She is leading two enterprises, BUSarchitektur and BOA (multimedia).

The designs will be presented as follows:

She and 5 architects from her studio will present a Workshop on the subject “Net-malls porte?os” at the Facultad de Arquitectura, Dise?o y Urbanismo, University of Buenos Aires, from 23 October to 27 October.

Next will be a conference with the Faculty of Architecture, University of La Plata on 30 October.

Invited to a congress in San Mart?n de los Andes (in the southern part of the country)

Then Resistencia, Chaco (in the northern part of the country) for another conference and round table.

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