Doktora Tezleri

Design thinking via model making: Physical versus digital media

Çağda Özbaki, 2016

Advisor: Prof. Dr. Gülen Çağdaş

Coadvisor: Dr. Elif Sezen Yağmur Kilimci


Abstract: There is a relation between design tools/media and the designing. This relation affects what we design and how we design. Although there are many means of designing, the employed tools/media are very limited. Sketching is one of the significant tool/medium that has been used extensively for over the many years. Since sketching is an integral part of process the cognitive role of this tool/medium has been explored thoroughly in design studies. Those studies proved that sketching is a kind of cognitive tool/medium to think about and to reason about design. On the other hand the digital tools/media has become more prevalent than sketching and physical model-making with the aim of technological developments. Recently, numerous researches about the use of digital tools/media in design processes are being conducted. On the other hand there are limited studies about physical model-making and its cognitive aspects in the design process. There has also been interest in relationships between cognitive style, design process and design tools/media. Sketching, physical model-making and digital modeling suggest diversified means of designing. Due to their nature sketching is considered to be two dimensional compared to physical model-making and digital modeling. In this study the aim is to understand the design thinking via physical model-making and digital modeling processes. In the study reported here, a fuller analysis has been made to understand under three research topics: first, the design issues considered; second, design activities and strategies and the third, design productivity of design processes via physical model-making and digital modeling. The data from protocol studies of three experienced architects, performing similar tasks both on physical model-making and digital modeling, were analyzed to identify the issues stated above. The results are discussed in terms of research topics: differences and similarities in design issues, activities, strategies and productivity of physical model-making and digital modeling.

Generating customized housing plan layouts in computer environment using tunnel form structures

Belinda Torus, 2016

Advisor: Prof. Dr. Sinan Mert Şener

Keywords: computer aided design, mass customization, mass houses

Abstract: Flexibility is featured as a key concept of the housing stock in Turkey in order to adapt to the changing needs of households. Flexibility in housing production became an issue in the 20th century due to the specific modalities of production adopted. Flexibility became a difficult problem area because unlike in single houses, the users of these houses are not identified and they are variable, therefore it is unpredictable to foresee the interventions that the houses will undergo in time (İlhan, 2008). Yürekli (1983) discusses the notion of flexibility under two headings; design flexibility, and usage flexibility. In design flexibility, decisions about the planning and space organization (layout) are considered in the design and construction phase (Yürekli, 1983). In addition to Yürekli, Deniz (1999) suggested the notion of production flexibility -within the scope of the design flexibility- as another type of flexibility depending on the particular characteristics of the building and construction system. A design which can have unlimited flexibility for all types of users would increase the initial cost. Therefore if the borders of the flexibility are delineated during the planning and design process, it will reduce the initial investment significantly. Thus, predetermination of flexibility in housing would allow the designer, to foresee the potential of the changes in the future. Unique and individualized design and production before 20th century was replaced by mass production in the areas of housing production and architecture as in many other areas. From this perspective, mass customization is combining positive aspects of mass production with individual design in the best way possible. Mass customization produces alternatives while supporting flexibility. Thus, with pre-defined framework and rules can be applied in various orders and products can be formed. Also with the use of computational design technology, it is possible to calculate and see the alternatives in computer environment and foster economical and feasible production. Thus was born the concept of developing a design strategy and method, instead of individual designs solutions (Akipek and İnceoğlu, 2007). In other words, instead of designing a product, the rule sets and a variety of design input parameters are defined to design product group(s). For this reason, the information required to design the products needs to be defined clearly as well as the rules and rule sets. Furthermore with tests and feedbacks, rules can be changed and design can be developed or altered. In the case of housing, (as opposed to mass housing), a more individualized mass production is needed. Customized mass housing may respond the problems better but even in mass customization, the unpredictability of the future or change of needs must be taken into consideration. In addition, a more flexible methodology can be used in order to be able to respond the unforeseen needs. In the scope of this study an expert system (FPL_Gen – Floor Plan Layout Generator) is developed and designed in order to create plan layouts of apartment blocks. Three different topics/themes are discussed in order to generate the new housing solutions. While flexibility and mass customization emerges as the concepts for accurate solutions, open building approach is utilized as the major approach to create realistic and implementable layouts and postpone the final decision making to the household – final user. Pursuing the generation of FPL_Gen tool, structured interviews are held with various architects and engineer in order to test the tool and to discuss the aforementioned themes and methodology. In the suggested prototype, creating plan layout alternatives responding the requirements of various users is aimed. In other words, flexible plan layout alternatives in different sizes and positions are created for not pre-defined users. The prototype is designed and developed in computer environment aiming to respond to the defined parameters and constraints rapidly. To draw the borders of the flexibility and support alternative production, an open building approach is selected. As it is known, open building approach is a multidisciplinary approach applied in building design. Kendall and Teicher (2000, p. 4), define open building approach in two parts 1) support (the durable part of the building), and 2) infill (the changeable part of the building). The main idea is to create the support; the stable part of the building and to delay the infill process (the construction of partition walls). The support consists of the structural system, as well as the mechanical systems, which constitute the unchangeable part, and the infill is changeable and the user-responsive part, which may be determined or altered for each individual household (Kendall and Teicher, 2000, p. 33). Even though various plan schemes and mass configurations may be selected for the prototype, rectangular plan scheme is selected. The main reason for this decision is to use a basic shape so that the products and alternatives can easily be tracked. FPL_Gen generates rectangular blocks based on the architectural decisions, data (embedded in the tool), and the initial input (width, depth, number of floors, percentage for each type-selected by the user). In order to create the support (base – core and structural system), basic design decisions are made and various calculations are performed about the structural system, space organization, and service areas. After support decisions are finalized, the main frame for infill is determined. After this point, the architect can manipulate the design, re-generate it, or use it as a base and modify it manually. The detail and design on the infill part is assumed to be finalized by the household – the final user. In order to select the structural system, TOKİ (MHDA – Mass Housing Development Administration) and the houses designed / constructed by TOKİ are analyzed. TOKI tried to solve the housing problem by building mass houses -housing blocks (mostly medium and high-rise apartment buildings)- with solid infrastructure and most of the time created typical plan schemes which overlooks contextual features, climatic or cultural needs. Tunnel form construction system is the most common construction method in housing projects in Turkey which TOKİ is the biggest housing supplier. Tunnel form system is a prefabricated, fast, and economic system used in housing projects. Using tunnel form system helped to limit the size of the structural system and it is an applicable solution in Turkey. The modular and repetitive use of tunnel formwork can be altered and in order to design various alternatives with different width and depth sizes. In the prototype, the size of overall mass, the desired floor number and the percentage of apartment types are entered as initial input. Based on the overall size and floor numbers, core size and the required circulation area are calculated. Depending on the size the core and overall area of the mass, core is positioned on the corner, edge or in the middle of the mass. After initial values are set, the size and the position of the core is determined and in case of multiple alternatives, one is chosen randomly. The core and structural system creates the support part in the prototype which is called base. After the core is determined, structural system is randomly created to finalize the base. The structural system in turn, determines the sizes of the rooms and floor schemes are determined based on the initial percentages. It is possible to create various floor plan alternatives for the same structural system as well as creating various structural system alternatives with the same initial input. Prototype’s outputs are plan schemes and their dimensions as well as their numeric list (room and house square footages) for each floor and overall building. With this organization the durable frame -the support- will be the center part of the plan with the bearing walls enable the infill to be planned freely and to be altered in case of need. Infill encourages flexibility and adaptability, while it also promotes mass customization. The flexibility is based on the possibility of generating numerous houses with the same structural system. The decisions are made, main elements and constraints are defined (for example, the size of the rooms, the size of the cores, the size of the bearing walls and their relations with each other etc. are all calculated) and embedded in the tool using the houses designed in Turkey as cases. Interviews with architects and engineers from engineering and architectural firms have been conducted with the aim of testing the prototype. In the process of sample selection, architecture and construction firms designing or constructing are preferred so that they can represent a wider group of people. Interviews are conducted with the founders of the firms or with senior professionals (architects mostly). First; the general profile of the participants are categorized. After that, the evaluation of the prototype and comments are explained briefly. Suggestions and comments of the participants (engineers and architects) are very valuable to improve the prototype, the approach and how to interpret the architectural knowledge. Although the firms design or produce (various) housing complexes in different scales for different income groups, the prototype has received positive response by all participants. Square footage calculations received positive feedback and suggestions about future additions such as useful area calculations, or percentages from regulations are also made. Working with such a tool has also received positive feedbacks, even though the participants wanted to manipulate different data or add / remove some features. In other words, instead of a generic tool, participants sought for a tool that could be modified based on their own architectural needs, knowledge and style. FPL-Gen generates flexible and mass customized plan layouts while it uses the structural system as a constraint. It is also promising to see that developing the prototype is also possible by manipulating the code. Changing the initial assumptions, or decisions, with feedbacks and various interventions the scope of the prototype may differ widely. And in the further phases other features and panels can also be added.

Formalizing making in design

Serdar Aşut, 2016

Advisor: Prof. Dr. Arzu Erdem


Abstract: This research claims that that the benefits of the digital design environments are not limited to representative qualities or computational support to design thinking. It puts forward that the digital environments contain profound potentials towards integrating with the material world and that the improvements in information technologies can enable us to develop digital design tools which can suit the very nature of the act of design. To this end, it first argues a critical discourse within design thinking and methods towards an understanding of design as a form of making. Then, it introduces the key concepts and recent approaches in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) research from a designerly perspective and reviews them within design knowledge. Eventually it demonstrates how to bridge the gap between the physical and digital environments in design process by using the existing tools and methods through an applied project. The research consists of three main parts. The first part provides a theoretical framework on the research objectives. It presents a critical discourse within design thinking and methods mainly from a phenomenological perspective and quotes the related literature. Eventually, it puts forward that intuitive skills and tactile interaction are important notions in the design process and they have profound impact in design studies. Also, it broadly introduces the recent developments in HCI research in order to quote the fundamental know-how in HCI and to guide the designers towards developing better digital design tools. This part is based on a literature review and the theoretical discussions on it and it introduces certain concepts and approaches to the field of design, in which these concepts and approaches are relatively new. The second part presents a comprehensive review of the state of the art in HCI studies which focus on design development and fabrication in order to point out the potentials in relation with the research objectives. The review starts with the early examples in 1960s and focuses on the most relevant ones which were held in the last 15 years. Accordingly, it presents a chart which lists 68 projects in a taxonomic categorization. The review points out that there is recently a significant increase in the number of HCI systems which are developed to be used in design development or fabrication. Also, there is a particular increase in the HCI systems which address fabrication in the recent years. It is suggested that the reason for this situation is that the computer aided manufacturing systems have been becoming more flexible and widespread since a couple of years. One may argue that the HCI systems which address the notion of craft will become even more widespread and efficient in the near future due to the improvements in these technologies. After the broad review, 12 projects from the list were selected for having stronger relationships with the objectives of this research. These 12 projects were analyzed for the mode of interaction they contain, the means of interaction they provide, their outputs, and their performance for providing materiality, affordance, multimodality and intuitiveness. This analysis points out the relationships between the modes and means of interaction and the properties of the outputs and performance in each project. Therefore, it points out the benefits and drawbacks in each approach and indicates the possible future directions towards developing better interactions. This part is based on a comprehensive literature review and analysis. The third part is conducted as an applied research project. In this part, an HCI application for design is developed following a series of experiments using Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing (CAD/CAM) techniques. The application is named TIM (Tactile Interaction for Making) and it is a hybrid design medium which connects physical and digital environments in order to integrate design development and fabrication towards the conception of design as an activity of making. It is developed in order to test the applicability of the research objectives and to demonstrate a potential strategy for developing better interaction systems which can suit the very nature of design thinking. TIM enables the user to build a model by using physical materials. This process is monitored by an optic motion controller device. By this means, a digital representation of the model is simultaneously generated. Additionally, the representation can be scaled and optimized following certain parameters with the help of a computer algorithm. This digital representation communicates with a desktop scale 3 axis robot arm. Therefore, the robot arm can duplicate the movements of the hands of the designer based on the optimization values and produces a physical copy of the model in the desired scale. The application which is developed in this research is a small prototype. Its main objective is to demonstrate how to realize the interaction which is proposed in this research. Eventually it embodies; the potential of tactile and bodily interactions with the digital design environment; the possibility of practicing design thinking through the object and physical materials; the benefit of optimization of design decisions with computational support; and the conception of design as an activity of making with the support of robotic systems. The conclusion of the research is mainly focused on the evaluation of TIM and the review of the research objectives and methods in relation with the qualities of the application. It argues the scenarios which can benefit from the form of hybrid interaction which is provided by TIM. For example, the first scenario appears in a form of linear workflow from the designer to the robot in which the robot identically duplicates the behaviors of the designer and derives the actual object from a three dimensional sketchy physical model. In another scenario, the designer and the robot collaborates through sequential and synchronous turns in order to produce an object together. In a third scenario, more than one designer and robot can establish remote collaboration and coordinate a design development or fabrication process together. The fields which can benefit from hybrid tools which are embodied by TIM are described and discussed in this part. It is proposed that mainly the creative fields such as design and arts can profoundly benefit from such direct, organic and mutual interactions between the physical and digital environments. Particularly design fields which are subject to the production of three dimensional objects such as architecture, product design, interior architecture and fashion design; and artistic applications from interactive installations to performing arts can make use of such hybrid media. Additionally, not only the practice but also the education in these fields can benefit from such interactions. It can particularly serve to remote collaboration in teaching and distance learning applications. On the other hand, it is suggested that this interaction can be developed towards addressing certain fields which are subject to hazardous work and still require the intuitive skills of the human. For example, fields like construction, mining, aviation, submarine and medical operations can benefit from this integration of the humanly intuitiveness and robotic functionalities. Besides these evaluations, a methodological discussion is presented towards improving the capabilities of the medium in order to guide the following research. Both the review of the state of the art and the applied research phase are able put forward and prove that digital design media is not only representative but also profoundly related with materiality. They demonstrate that particularly the new developments in HCI technologies enable direct, organic and mutual interactions between the physical and digital environments; which is a key aspect to develop better design tools. By this means, it becomes possible to reframe design as an activity of making. So that the qualities of traditional and typical craftsmanship are re-integrated into design thinking and the tacit dimensions of design knowledge are involved with the help of computer systems.

Assessing the usability of interactive augmented reality for efficient use of models in architectural education

Gürkan Özenen, 2016

Advisor: Prof. Dr. Sinan Mert Şener

Keywords: augmented reality, interactive architecture, architectural education, virtual education, virtual architecture

Abstract: The equipment, materials and technology used to design pyhsical models in architectural design studio may differ since architectural models are the easiest way of emphasizing the design concept. Nowadays, computer aided design models, virtual and augmented reality techniques have been interactively used in every field of education. Recently, some studies have been published to use augmented reality environment efficiently for model-making in architectural education. Therefore, the aim of this study was to use augmented reality environment in the architectural design studio for designing three-dimensional models of the design project and also to determine the advantages and disadvantages of using this system. The model-making in architectural education is essential although it is considered that the importance has not been emphasized enough by the students since the design and model-making processes couldn’t always kept concurrent. Moreover, the model-making sometimes take more time then designing so that the designer could not take enough time to design the project. The project developers outsource the architectural model-making process or save time with using industrial machines like computer aided manutfacturing or 3D printing to accelerate and synchronize the model-making and achitectural design process. Any revisions performed during the architectural design process may cause an increase of the expected budget and time. Lowering the budget may provoke insufficient quality of the architectural model. Transporting and storing of the architectural models without any physical damage would be another problem after overcoming these issues. Although architectural models are the best way of emphasizing the architectural plans, it is not easy and efficient to teach and use physical model-making in architectural education. Nevertheless computer aided design, virtual and augmented reality technologies are used in most fields of education nowadays. Model- making for architecture refers to both physical and digital model making unless a clear distinction is performed within the context of this study. The introduction of digital media like Augmented Reality (AR) changes the nature of the conversation. This research based on the role of digital three-dimensional architectural models and animated representations in the design conversation. This paper presents experiences with students in the use of Augmented Reality (AR) technologies versus manually made physical models in design tasks. Therefore, the aim of this study is to determine an effective way of model- making for architectural education by using AR. The virtual models designed in augmented reality environment and accessed with cloud storage may have some advantages on avoiding these negatory situations of architectural physical models. Limitless changes performed on the architectural designs may be adapted concurrently to the augmented reality models. Archiving and transfering the design to cloud storage will provide access for tracking the changes of the history. It was offered to use virtual architectural models prior to perform conventional physical models for the students studying in the architectural design studio within this study. The time consuming transfer process of the physical models to the digital platform may not always reflect all the changes performed during the model-making stages. In the present study, the advantages and disadvantages of augmented reality use for model-making have been determined by the students studying in the achitectural design studio with using initial and final questionnaires. Three different workshops were performed where all the attendants were able to accomplish their design in augmented reality environment. The answers of questionnaires fulfilled at the beginning and at the end of the workshops were recorded. The evaluation of the results revealed that physical model-making after using virtual augmented reality models provides the sustainability and efficiency. The survey design was focused on the measurement of the efficiency, effectiveness of the workshop and the fulfillment degree with the attendants’ preferences. In the evaluating progress the knowledge of the emerging computer aided software and hardware, the use of cloud technologies, and use of Augmented Reality were considered to improve the use of digital models during the architectural design phase. A digital modelling workshop was set-up to develop this research as an open course for, bachelor, masters and PhD architecture students, at Istanbul Technical University. A profile was designed to select the attendants of this study and the inclusion criteria were having basic 3D software knowledge. No exclusion criteria were determined at this time. The attendants were all chosen from academically environment with architectural background. They were all volunteers and instructed about the contents before the study. Mostly students and academics were participated to the workshop and survey via online and social network announcements. Before the workshop, it was asked to have basic knowledge of CAD software experience. By this way, the attendants were able to bind with in a specific type of users to focus on the desired topics. The age range was also being considered because of the effect on evaluation. This was a two-step studio workshop. The first step was asking the attendants to fill out a survey. The second step was designing the model using AR technology. The attendants were asked to answer the level of their 3D design knowledge, whether they had made physical architectural models, the time they had spent on physical architectural models etc. After the first survey, a brief introduction was given about the tasks in the following workshop. Then, the use and the specifications of Augmented Reality plug-in AR-mediaTM were tutored. The attendants were free to use by choosing the suited 3D modelling tool for them. Mostly preferred 3D modelling tools were Autodesk 3ds Max® and Trimble SketchUpTM. In the beginning of the workshop, a conceptual design of a building was asked to design directly in 3D medium. The task was to design the model within a pre-modelled, sloped terrain with an environmental data of trees, houses, landscape and view, which was provided before the design stage. Furthermore, an appendix was designed. The design process was limited with a specific time and the basic architectural programming. Attendants were inspired of learning by real time and modelling directly in 3D. After the design process 3D models were prepared for the augmented reality display. Some attendants had more than one proposal so they registered each proposal in different layers. Some of them had animated the sequence of the design process. All these possibilities were exported to the augmented media. The augmented media designed by the participants were simultaneously uploaded to a cloud storage client. This opportunity was used to storage all files performed during the workshop, and turned into a cloud workspace to share with colleagues, exchange documents, track changes and assign some tasks. Cloud storage helps accessing, sharing and collaborating on files anywhere through mobile applications. Exchanging feedback and saving these files may be submitted as some advantages of the system. There is also opportunity for offline access. WrapTM 920AR augmented reality eyewear and personal smart handheld devices were used during the workshop for viewing the augmented reality objects. The survey data were analyzed by calculating the frequencies and percentages. The results of the study revealed that all the students were determined to agree that AR designed models gave highly detailed digital projects then the physical models. The ability of exhibiting an interactive project was found to be more affective then physical model making. The attendants of the present study also claimed that it was clearer to see the overall design with AR software. In architectural education the models that have been designed by the students are considered as very important in their portfolios. Thus, providing a digital portfolio as having visualization of the 3D models is a reputation and may be defined as top-line for the architectural education. Considering the results of the present study it is concluded that the experience using AR technology has contributed new educational values that have a direct impact on model-making for architectural design courses. Students and educators are required to develop their knowledge as well as their utilization of the advancing technology. Regarding these reflections, architectural academic staff might take more challenging tasks and consolidated designs as technology develops.

A model for sustainable site layout design with pareto genetic algorithm: SSPM

Yazgı Badem Aksoy, 2016

Advisor: Prof. Dr. Gülen Çağdaş


Abstract: Nowadays as the aim to reduce the environmental impact of buildings becomes more apparent, a new architectural design approach is gaining momentum called sustainable architectural design. Sustainable architectural design process includes some regulations itself, which requires calculations, comparisons and consists of several possible conflicting objectives that need to be considered together. In design industry, advanced computer aided design tools have an important impact on design process, but still early design stage and sustainable design are problematic issues, and need to be solved. Sustainable building design refers to a process that begins with selecting the site and optimizing economic and environmental performance throughout a building’s life cycle. In order to achieve a successful sustainable building, particular attention needs to be paid to the conceptual design stage when the most important decisions are taken; nevertheless it is the stage with least computer support. In architectural design process, generally optimization algorithms have been used to automate the generation of design layouts. Hence there is a need for design tools that can help designers better manage collaborative design development. It is becoming difficult to improve the performance of building design based only on improvements in individual disciplines. For this reason, better, system-orientated, holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to building design are needed. A successful green building design can be performed by the creation of alternative designs generated according to all the sustainability parameters and local regulations. Green building rating systems and certification programs are accepted as one of sustainability parameters. In this thesis, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and BREEAM (Building Research Establisment Environmental Assessment Method) certification systems are going to be considered, as being the most representative building environment assessment schemes that are in use. Although these certification systems are used all over the world, the parameters are prepared according to America’s and Britain’s geographical, economic and cultural conditions, though other countries are experiencing difficulties during sustainable design process. As a result of this, green buildings should be designed also according to the climate of the region and local building construction regulations. To summarize, today some tools developed to assist designers during sustainable building design process, address more detailed design stages when important design decisions already have been taken in conceptual stage. As there are conflicting criteria’s according green building rating systems sustainable site parameters, local regulations and local climate conditions, an efficient decision support system can be developed by the help of Pareto based non-dominated genetic algorithm (NSGA-II) which is used for several possibly conflicting objectives that need to be considered together. Genetic algorithm is a population-based search technique inspired from the biological principles of natural selection and genetic recombination. Genetic algorithm is a suitable method for multi-objective optimization problems because it can generate multiple Pareto optimal solutions in a single simulation run. NSGA is a very effective algorithm but it has computational complexity, lack of elitism. NSGAII was developed as a modification, which has a better sorting algorithm, incorporates elitism and no sharing parameter needs to be chosen a priori. The NSGA-II procedure has three features to find multiple Pareto-optimal solutions in a multi-objective optimization problem: It uses an elitist principle and an explicit diversity preserving mechanism, and also it emphasizes non-dominated solutions NSGA-II-based optimization process is used to develop the Sustainable Site Planning Model (SSPM). There are simultaneous optimization of several possibly conflicting objectives in multi-objective optimization problems that result in a set of non-dominated solutions. There does not exist a single solution that simultaneously optimizes each objective. In that case, there exist an infinite number of non-dominated solutions which are also known as Pareto optimal solutions. In sustainable design, maximum energy conservation and utilization of natural light can be given as an example of two conflicting objectives, so during sustainable design process Pareto genetic algorithm will be successful to generate design alternatives according to conflicting criteria. Genetic Algorithms (GAs) are adaptive heuristic search algorithm based on the evolutionary ideas of natural selection and genetics. As such they represent an intelligent exploitation of a random search used to solve optimization problems. GAs simulate the survival of the fittest among individuals over consecutive generation for solving a problem. Each individual represents a point in a search space and a possible solution. The individuals in the population are then made to go through a process of evolution. Although randomised, GAs are by no means random, instead they exploit historical information to direct the search into the region of better performance within the search space. The presence of multiple objectives in a problem, inprinciple, gives rise to a set of optimal solutions known as Pareto-optimal solutions, instead of a single optimal solution. In the absence of any further information, one of these Pareto-optimal solutions cannot be said to be better than the other. This demands a user to find as many Pareto-optimal solutions as possible. Classical optimization methods suggest converting the multiobjective optimization problem to a single-objective optimization problem by emphasizing one particular Pareto-optimal solution at a time. When such a method is to be used for finding multiple solutions, it has to be applied many times, hopefully finding a different solution at each simulation run. Over the past decade, a number of multiobjective evolutionary algorithm. The primary reason for this is their ability to find multiple Pareto-optimal solutions in one single simulation run. Since evolutionary algorithms (EAs) work with a population of solutions, a simple EA can be extended to maintain a diverse set of solutions. With an emphasis for moving toward the true Pareto-optimal region, an EA can be used to find multiple Pareto-optimal solutions in one single simulation run. The nondominated sorting genetic algorithm (NSGA) is one of the first such EAs. It is a popular non-domination based genetic algorithm for multi-objective optimization. Especially in green building design process many efforts have been made to integrate multi objective optimization models and sustainable design. Wang, Zmeureanu and Rivard optimized the building envelope using multi-objective genetic algorithm. They concentrate on building envelope because of its importance in environmental and economic performance of buildings. As a case study the design of a single-story office building located in Montreal, Canada is determined, only heating and cooling energy consumption are considered. The multi-objective optimization model they used for building envelope design, can be used to locates optimum or near optimum green building designs for given conditions (Wang, Zmeureanu and Rivard, 2005). In sustainable design land use is another subject that designers concentrate on. Zelinska, Church and Jankowski (2008) present a new multi objective spatial optimization model (SMOLA) which minimizes the conflicting objectives of open space development, infill and redevelopment, land use neighborhood compatibility and cost distance to already urbanized areas. These developed models are chosen for using evolutionary algorithms to solve different scaled design problems. The plan optimization model for green building design developed by Wang, Rivard and Zimeureanu is functional for considering material and cost information with building form, but it is insufficient for early stages of design. Also it is mostly concentrated on energy conservation; site planning for building complexes is disregarded. SMOLA model developed by Zelinska, Church and Jankowski generates land use patterns according to the building functions. For city scale the model is useful and has visual readability, but it is not convenient for small-scale problems. The SSPM model presented in this thesis is an integrated model that concentrates on wide sustainable design criteria; such as green building certification systems and local building codes for. The model presented in this thesis will generate site-planning alternatives for social housing according to sustainable design objectives. Multi-objective genetic algorithm is going to be used as an computational approach to generate design alternatives. The Sustainable Site Planning Model (SSPM) is written in Processing which is a Java based programming language. The first step of the model is to define of the site to the computer. Matrix definition technique in Excel is used to define the site with numbers. The defined digital site is used as a base to generate site planning alternatives by SSPM. Excel program is chosen for providing quick and easy data input for matrix definition. The rows and columns of the matrix represent 1 unit =1 m2 of the site. The x, y values of the site corner points and the center or corner points of existing elements are used to define the matrix. Each of the Excel cell is considered as a point in a coordinate system. R1C1 reference style in Excel is used to represent x and y axes to make data input apparent. The rectangular area which uses the values of maximum x and y coordinates of site corner points as its dimensions, is the boundary of the matrix. The cells inside the defined boundary are coloured according to their functions so that visual presentation is provided. In addition, user chooses climate type, the direction of sun, wind and view. SSPM generates site-planning alternatives on defined cells. According to fitness functions and crossover and mutation operators are applied to the population to find the pareto optimal site planning solution. The selected site must be digitalized closed to the real terrain data without disregarding the topography and the natural formations, so that the site is presented in 3D grid with its slope data. User will divide the site into different zones according to its slope data. As a result of this, terracing high-leveled sites will be possible and environmentally sensitive solutions will be able to generate. The SSPM model will generated social housing cells according to this terraced site-zones. The total fitness scores of the site individuals are normalized between 0 and 1; 1 is for most successful individuals, 0 is for unsuccessful individuals. At this stage tournament selection is done. Tournament selection works by selecting a number of individuals from the population at random, a tournament, and then selecting only the best of those individuals. The “tournament” isn’t much of a tournament at all, it just involves generating a random value between zero and one and comparing it to a pre-determined selection probability. If the random value is less than or equal to the selection probability, the fitter candidate is selected, otherwise the weaker candidate is chosen. Chosen individuals are copied in direct proportion with their fitness scores, then they divided into two groups as parents. Next, crossover operator is applied between parents. Crossover selects genes from parent chromosomes and creates a new offspring. The SSPM model was tested on a site in Kağıthane in İstanbul. The reason for choosing Kağıthane was twofold. First, urban regeneration in the residential areas of Kağıthane has recently been a central issue of consideration in Turkey. Second, the selected study area is a realistic example that has reserved water supplies, green areas and polluted areas to test sustainable housing units. The focus of the case study has been the adaptation of the building blocks to local conditions, as well as the sustainable site usage parameters. The site layout alternatives that were generated by the SSPM model show a good adaptation to the site specific constraints and parameters, and good variation, within the limits that are imposed by the view, wind, floor area ratio (FAR) and floor space ratio (FSR) values. When we examine the first produced individuals, existing trees are protected and the building units are placed 30 meters far from Kağıthane River. Each housing units are directed to the view. The pareto curve of the first produced inividuals is linear because the optimization of site plan is not finished. As the generation progresses, the pareto curve for Kağıthane where has hot climate, becomes concave to maximize view and wind functions. For the next generations green individuals are pareto optimal individuals which have maximum view and wind scores and are not dominated by any other individuals. Pareto analysis and genetic algorithms are two built-in evaluation techniques guiding the creative output of optioneering tools. It can be argued that these evaluation techniques increase the creativity capacity of designer generating a large number of informed guesses at desirable designs. Pareto analysis focuses the set of design alternatives to the most optimal solutions, while stochastic methods like genetic algorithms introduce randomness to expand the space. As the environmental impact of buildings becomes more apparent, new architectural design approaches are arising. In this thesis, it is proposed to combine cellular structures with a multi-objective genetic algorithm for using its search ability to find Pareto-optimal sustainable site planning solutions for social housing complexes. This approach would introduce an effective computational design tool for early design stage of sustainable design, which does not currently achieved by current technologies.

A computational approach for evaluating complex urban formations

Özlem Atak Doğan, 2016

Advisor: Prof. Dr. Gülen Çağdaş


Abstract: This study is based on the idea that spontaneous settlements exhibit complex adaptive systems as a distinctive characteristic, is on conceiving the meaning of these types of urban settlements in the context of computational thinking. In this respect, factors that make us consider the spontaneous settlements attractive and that they are complex adaptive sytems emerge from within the ideals that it is the creation of a conscious spontaneity which is formed up on computational thinking and computational processes that many cities lack. Thus, the researcher believes that it is important to attempt to understand these complex settlements that combine the continuity of change and stability considering the determination of the creation processes of new urban settlements and the continuity of built environment. The dynamic structure of these settlements make the city an attraction that is waiting to be discovered, and it also makes them complex and difficult to understand. While trying to understand a spontaneous settlement as a complex structure, focusing on this complex network of relationships, which makes the formation become visible rather than the elements forming it in addition to transforming this formation, has a strategic importance to reach the implicit knowledge behind the obvious. Studying complex urban settlements with both seen and unseen sides is possible only by using a multi-dimensional and holistic point of view that blurs the lines among academic disciplines. For this reason, it is important to make an evaluation that includes different perspectives in the process of understanding the attributes of the city as well as the patterns and relations among them and obtaining information beyond the superficial rather than focusing only on the visible and countable characteristics of the city. For this reason, it is necessary to understand the attributes of urban formations, the patterns and relations among these attributes and reach the knowledge behind them in addition to the visible and countable qualities of these formations. In this process, it is important to study urban formations both as products made of physical and objective things and as situations that are comprised of associations, images and concepts within human subjects. Thus, this study is intended to evaluate complex urban formations in an objective manner with the help of computational thinking and complex computational models and demonstrate a computational approach that supports a comprehension process that involves subjects (audiences or readers). The essence of the approach proposed by this study is to use the potential of computational and digital technologies to combine objective and subjective knowledge in the framework of a relationship in which they require and complement each other. The study approached complex urban formations with the idea of relational networks in mind and did research about what kind of an approach to propose based on the science of networks and network-based models, which have recently become important in complexity theory and its understanding of the comprehension process. Finally, the study proposed a relevant model.

Formalizing making in design

Benay Gürsoy Toykoç, 2016

Advisor: Prof. Dr. Mine Özkar Kabakçıoğlu


Abstract: This thesis proposes a theoretical framework for integrating making as a constitutive part of the contemporary design practices, and explores their computability, challenging the long existing understanding of design as an immaterial and intellectual activity. Seeing is a very personal and perceptual act with ubiquitous role in design. The creativity and productivity in visual design processes are due to the uncertainties prevalent in seeing and the plurality emerging thereafter (Stiny and Gips, 1972; Schön, 1983; Goldschmidt, 1991; Suwa and Tversky, 2009). Computational design practices, which consider design as a general reasoning process, make use of unique abstractions instead of determinist and symbolic representations. In these practices, uncertainties of seeing constitute the core of creative processes. With the visual ability to see shapes differently at each occurrence, these computational processes are continuous and dynamic. Computational formalisms that represent seeing and visual thinking in design (i.e. shape grammars), establish a common ground to talk about design as a visual calculation process and elevate the awareness of designers for their own design activity. While enabling the exploration of design spaces in a systematic way, these rule-based formalisms, due to their perceptual and improvisational aspects, are different than computational design approaches that make use of universal and predetermined representations imposed by the computers. In the alternative design framework proposed, where form is not imposed upon matter but emerges through the making process, besides seeing, different sensory-motor experiences actively shape the design outcome. Therefore, along with the uncertainties in seeing, uncertainties concerning the making activity, the tools employed and the material behaviors enrich the design process further. Despite the dominant ontological approaches in design that separate mind and body, and ideation and materialization, this thesis puts forth that, making integrated design processes can also be considered as reasoning, thus can be computable. The main objective of the thesis is to delineate that making can be formalized with the sensory aspects and indeterminacies it consists of to support creative processes such as design. With the advent of digital fabrication tools and technologies, material practices commonly reappear at the center of design activity. In parallel, there is a growing tendency to explore the computability of making through the use of these tools and technologies. However, the technical interfaces of digital tools offer rigorous and imposed formalisms that handle known material properties and necessitate accuracy, control and predetermined representations. The theoretical framework established in this thesis, on the other hand, elevates uncertainties in making as a creative design endeavor. Therefore, the computational aspects of making in design are sought not through the tools used but through the underlying reasoning processes. As such, computational formalisms that represent unique perceptual processes and the idiosyncratic sensory-motor experiences of the designer become an intrinsic part of computational design thinking. Being able to express a process in a formal way shows a deep understanding of the process and the resulting formal description is useful in communicating this understanding to others. Making processes, once formalized, can be analyzed, repeated, developed, communicated and shared, thus the knowledge in making can become explicit. Becoming aware through formalisms also enables intervening in the process, such as making variations in the procedure or in the parts. This way, the emergent outcomes can be appreciated. Instead of denoting the processes as trial and error, they can be seen as constant explorations, where every outcome is an intrinsic part of the whole and is related to the others. Formalisms are also useful for retrospective analyses to discover the process by looking at the final outcome, thus to extract the parts out of the whole when and where it is relevant. While a formal approach that can handle uncertainties can be useful for various making processes, the focus of this study is limited with the design context. To support the theoretical framework proposed in this thesis study, several cases where material manipulations are formalized through unique visual abstractions are realized. The first case in which sheet materials gain variable flexibility by staggered, regularly arranged incisions, referred as the dukta technique, explores the effect of material manipulations on design ideation. The variability depends on changes in material specifications, design specifications of the cuts, and the physical interventions employed. Unexpected spatial configurations emerge when dukta samples are materially manipulated. These are open to discovery only through making. The case study on dukta involves two discrete but interrelated stages. In the first, the visual rules employed in the generation of existing dukta patterns are depicted. In the second stage, through several explorations involving physical transformations of the material samples in 2D and 3D, physical interventions on the material samples are formalized through case specific abstractions. The samples in this case are generated by the author. The case is by choice simple and embody controlled actions that can easily be traced. Considering these cases as exemplary formalisms that explore the computability of making through unique abstractions, further cases where the sample group is widened through the works of other designers are realized. The formal approaches that support making can be especially valuable in design studio environments where communicating ideas is necessary for learning. In the second set of case studies, the contribution of a formal approach to design education is explored by a workshop conducted with graduate design students. The participants in the workshop are divided into two groups. The first group worked on cutting slivers on sheet materials to attribute them variable flexibility, similar to the first case presented above. The second group worked with a knitting machine to knit surfaces of varying densities. The participants, after thorough experimentations of the machine knitting process, were able to generate generative knitting rules and to develop a formal method to denote their unique discoveries of knitting. These cases provide support for a making-centered design learning.

A digital model for mass housing design using cellular automata approach

Ahmet Emre Dinçer, 2014

Advisor: Prof. Dr. Gülen Çağdaş

Coadvisor: Dr. Hakan Tong

Keywords: computational design, mass production, cellular automata

Abstract: In parallel with the rapid population growth in major cities, the housing need has become an important issue and the produced solution methods have been insufficient or ineffective in view of urban aesthetic, different users’ satisfaction and design variations. However, as an alternative way, it is thought that it may be rather useful to evaluate generative design tools in mass housing design processes. Especially, Cellular Automata (CA), which is one of these tools, can be suitable for such processes due to its structural properties like neighborhoods, simplicity-complexity, relations of form-function and self-organization etc… The aim of this study is to develop innovative and customized design alternatives thanks to provide collaboration between designers and users with benefitting from CA rules as a support of digital approaches in mass housing designs. In this context, an example of a plug-in with scripts of 3Ds Max software has been developed for generating placements of housing blocks in site plan, various housing plans for each of the produced blocks with space organizations according to rates of user preferences, and samples of façade in third dimension. In the plug-in, neighborhoods of housing blocks and spatial units, orientations of block facades have been associated with CA rules. Applicability of the model has been also implemented by various user scenarios in a chosen site in Karabuk. The implementations have been resulted in positive variations of schemes of the environmental and space planning and the façade samples which are challenging to obtain with traditional ways. Then, the results have been re-evaluated and discussed about the future of the model in terms of architectural and urban disciplines.

Optimization of user accessibility in architectural design using genetic algorithm- aDA:Case study on health campuses

Derya Güleç Özer, 2014

Advisor: Prof. Dr. Sinan Mert Şener

Keywords: hospitals-public, graphical user interface, virtual architecture

Abstract: The main problem in this thesis work is the definition of user and spatial accessibility in architectural design and depending on this, optimization of distances between spaces using genetic algorithm. In this respect, a model called aDA (Algorithmic Distance Based Accessibility) is developed. In this developed model, user and spatial data is scripted depending on a list of rules, and distance optimization is performed by a genetic algoritm. These data is scripted based on a list of rules that defines the scope of the study and evaluated/disevaluated data, as well as tightens the solution pool based on these rules. Using these data sets, a simple genetic algorithm is designed with a special fitness function. Two components are generated in Rhino Grasshopper interface; user component is used to process user movement data. The user component takes an xml file that includes node data and generates paths. On the other hand genetic solver component is used to optimize the routes. It takes the user paths and relations and creates the coordinates for spaces using a genetic algorithm. In the scope of this thesis, health campuses are studied in general, with the derived solutions İkitelli and Kayseri Health Campuses are evaluated in focus, a comperative study is discussed. Later on, to test the developed model, three alternate solutions are generated. As the result of this thesis the new generated site plans can be used in pre-design phase and make important contribution to architectural design computing literature. On the other hand, this thesis being one the first studies on health campus planning – which are developed and increased in number day by day- aimes to fill the big gap in architectural literature.

The phenomenology of computational thinking in design

Ethem Gürer, 2014

Advisor: Prof. Dr. Gülen Çağdaş

Coadvisor: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mine Özkar


Abstract: Computational thinking in design is an integrated process based on giving meaning, interpreting and doing in design situations. In this view, the sense of computing grounds on shifting from a medium that concerns design actions, into another that concerns design thoughts; and this shift naturally involves interpretation. Meaning, interpretation and action are the main principles that phenomenological hermeneutics grounds on in order to reveal human’s understanding process. Human being has been described as an interpreter between acts and meanings: we switch between seeing the world as something of which we are part and seeing it as something we can objectify and operate on. Beside the fact that language maintains a key role for communication, it is also a milieu of understanding since meanings do not exist independently of being articulated in language. The aim of this study is to shift the emphasis of computational thinking from associating with technology and computers to designer’s thinking and acting processes. Referring to the phenomenological hermeneutics, the idea of taking thinking and acting in a complementary way constitutes the frame of this pursuit which relies on the terminologies and concepts of contemporary hermeneutical philosophy. Computation, when considered a form of doing and reasoning rather than computer ability, is an inseparable aspect of designing. The main point of view presented in this thesis considers computation not as an isolated and external structure borrowed and used by the designer but rather as a part of the activity in practical regard which is inseparable from design acts. This consideration implies the interpretative qualities of computation in designing. In addressing computational issues in design, it takes up language as the mediation of interpretation in an experimental setup with beginning architecture students. In this regard, the thesis refers to some preliminary results of a study that focuses on uncovering the computational capability in a basic design activity.