Topics: Design, Architecture, Architectural engineering Pages: 12 (4507 words) Published: September 23, 2014
International Journal of Applied Engineering Research
ISSN 0973-4562 Volume 9, Number 4 (2014) pp. 483-493
© Research India Publications

The Architectural Design Machine (AD_M): Integrating
Architectural Knowledge
Saleem M. Dahabreh, Ph.D
Department of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering and Technology, University of Jordan, Amman 11942, Jordan
Telephone: +96265669224 Fax: +96265669224
Email: saleem.dahabreh@ju.edu.jo

This paper presents the architectural design machine, a theoretical framework that structures architectural knowledge. It is based on the premise thatorganizedand structured architectural knowledgecan lead to a more informed and rational design process, consequently resulting in a more structured and innovative design solution.This framework discerns the complexity of architectural knowledge and enables its systematic integration through mapping the concepts of design machines from design computing into architectural discourse. In the mapping of these concepts, the notion of context is reintroduced, and more importantly, the role of design thinking in architecture is expanded to be that of reflection and reframing of knowledge in building rather than mere integration and application of knowledge, accordingly, the traditional substantive and procedural knowledge of the architecturaltriad ofbeauty, firmness, and commodity are extended to include reflexive and conceptual knowledge as an integral component of architectural knowledge. The paper concluded that this model can be used in the description and analysis of existing works of architecture as well as structuring the generation of architectural form. It can be of great value in architectural pedagogy as a theoretical framework in teaching design studio. Keywords: Architectural knowledge, Design machine, Design reframing, knowledge based systems.

“As an artist, it is possible to create exuberant and unique objects from a small and limited set of elements and rules; as a scientist, it is a challenge to discover a simple


Saleem M. Dahabreh, Ph.D

explanation for complex behavior, a general causal structure for a series of related but unique events.”
Lionel March, 1972
As a cognitive activity, architectural design is regarded as an intellectual endeavor of high complexity; it proceeds from abstract conceptions to end with a concrete syntactic description of an architectural form, thus requiring, a diverse and complex web of substantive, procedural, and reflexive design knowledge (Dahabreh, 2006). Given the complexity of issues architectural design deals with, it becomes a necessity to develop a conceptualization that structures architectural knowledge in a way that better informs the design process and provides rigor to the generation of architectural form. This paper postulates such a structured framework, whichframesthe description, interpretation, and evaluation of existing architectural works, facilitates theunderstanding of architectural form through understanding it underlying constituents factors, thus allowing for a more structured generation of proposed works of architecture, and consequently leading to a more structured discourse of architectural design.

The framework presented has been preceded by diverse design models and frameworks that foregrounded different aspects of the description, interpretation and production of designs in general. In order to reduce the complexity of architectural design problems, rationalize and systemize the production of design solutions, these models looked at design as a form of computation (Shyu, 2005). Such was the work of Hannes Meyer and LudwingHilberseimer in the 1920s (Schumacher, 2011). However, it was the seminal work of Christopher Alexander’s Notes on the Synthesis of Form (1964) through the introduction an analytic paradigm that set the stage speculate architectural design as a form of a logical construct (Tzyonis, 1992;...

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