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Architecture in wholesome is a process that involves planning and designing a construction. The resultant architectural work is usually seen to be a symbol of culture and political affiliation and most notably a creative work of art. Most civilizations that have occurred over the years are identified through the works of architecture that still survive them. When taking considerations to buildings, the process of architecture involves planning for the structure, designing it to fit the needed purpose then constructing the space form and ambience that that will show its utilities. These utilities are technical, social, functional, environmental or even mere aesthetics. It therefore dictates that the architect must have a creative way of manipulating and coordinating materials, the technology he has and balance between amount of light and shadow. It takes realization of aspects of construction like cost estimation, scheduling and construction administration.

In any building, the architect is basically the main designer in the construction process. The architect normally undergoes series of challenges that he has to overcome in order to be successful. He also needs to know each and every step during building; most of them are different and depends on the structure. In the long run, the architect is required to make a decision whether to choose form to be the main focus of the subject or programs. I believe each and every architect usually aims at producing a structure with the most unique architectural technique in the land. However how much the new design will be improvised will depend on which aspect the architect will use more: form or program. Many architect will take one in preference to the other, most of the times in an unconscious manner. During the times of modernism, many thought that the architects needed to design with much emphasis on how space would be organized. After this wave of period, people now lay more emphasis on the outward picture of the structure. It is however realized that with all these new technologies, the stages and regulations of a project are still the same. Therefore our architects have a dilemma on the issue whether should the program be controlled by the architectural form or if the form of architecture should be based on the programs. The answer is not yet clear yet but professionals are consulting over it.

Architectural programming is almost as old as the field of architecture in itself. All the structures we see have their origins on some given programs; this means there was some designing done, decisions were agreed upon and later a building was constructed and occupied. In today’s profession, architectural programming is defined as a research and decision making process that gets to show and dictate the amount of work and involvement in the design. It could be used synonymously to “functional and operational requirements,” “facility programming’ and “scoping.” During the emphasis of Post-Modern and Deconstruction agendas period of 1980s-1990s, architectural programming dropped. Programming slowly became a lesser priority and people wanted to deal more on form making issues. They hover did not know the advantages of using programs. These were:-

  • Involving interested parties in the structure during the design process. Here everyone who had a suggestion was allowed to bring it forth for consideration.
  • There are efficiencies as there is less or even no cases needing re-designing as requirements will be shown during architectural design stages.
  • There is great involvement in collecting and analyzing the data early in the process so that the end result is based on wise decisions.

The program based form of architecture, the professionals do organize the programs through well thought and arranged reasons, and then they alter the exterior to follow the interior. On the other hand, a form based architectural work will be designed through introducing the most memorable exterior shape, and then programs will fit into the interior. The main dilemma in this period when there is digital effects in the architectural world, the main question is ,which one is more important, form or program taking cognizance of the interference of the digital?

Under normal rules and regulations, the role of programming is the duty of the property owner. However, since they may not be professionals, they employ a programming consultant, most times this being the architect, or someone who has had some form of architectural training. You would easily find some architects who have special training on how to program for specific buildings like hospitals, laboratories, theatres, care parks and even fields for outdoor games like football and hockey.

Programming is normally done at different levels and each level would dictate different levels of concentrations. The level of details to be included will also depend on how versed the architect is in this field. For example, when one is programming at the master planning stage, one needs to be more strategic. He is supposed to avail information to the investors that will enable them decide on the presently available space and needs with a rough idea of the budgeting that is required. However, programming at the level of an individual should be able to provide information to specify that will guide the building design. During this process of designing, there should be constant maintenance of a healthy client-owner relationship. This process can be said to have six steps that need to be closely followed. In their order of happening, start by researching the product type, then establish the goals and objectives of the project. One should collect the relevant information, later on identify the strategies to be applied, and determine the requirements that are quantitative. Finally, the architect should summarize the program.

Over the last half a century, most academic architectural writings focused on matters of formal autonomy. This promoted an agenda called “Criticality”. This concept has of late suffered from great criticism by the “post critical” architects. They said that critically promoted a form of architecture that had stunted creativity, projection and devoid of innovation. Some of these critics are K. Michael Hays, Michaels Speaks, Sarah Whiting and Robert Somol. In K. Michael Hays’ 1984 essay, “Critical Architecture: Between Culture and Form” he says that architecture should have a meaning that is neither depends on mass culture nor in silent form but one that falls in between the two. In furtherance of the fact that architecture should choose between formal autonomy and cultural dependence but should be “resistant to the self-confirming, conciliatory operations of a dominant culture and yet irreducible to a purely formal structure disengaged from the contingencies of place and time.” Therefore from Hay’s point of view, critically is a form of architecture that depends on its culture, yet through its form in language, it does resist the economy possessed y this culture as it tries o become disciplinarily unique.

It is believed that digital architecture is the new way of thinking about architecture in the common phrase of 3D. It is claimed to be a new distinct way of thinking in architectural forms and produces a new paradigm shift in opinion.

Form in architecture could be made to take many different uses and reasons. At times a building or any other structure being constructed can be made in a manner that it represents another object or to show some principles of nature. Therefore form can be said to be the shape and structure of an object, the mode of occurrence or existence of something, how it I manifested or it acts. In the form technology, it is mostly built out of free mind innovative creations. In this the designer just draws the outer image of the structure without any knowledge of what will be put inside. It is the form of architecture that is more of autonomous and most of them need no training.

The program model makes use of systems software in the construction of the buildings. These programs include archi-card and auto-card that can be used by both structural engineers and architects. Some of these programs are made specifically for given types of structures, different utility buildings and even specific rooms. The program method of architecture works from the outside to the inside. It first makes the required construction of the internal rooms and services that would be incorporated in the structure, taking into account the complexities of every room. Programming is usually more complicated and more detailed when one is constructing a building having many floors. Also, the structures that are supposed to be holding many people and operate most services need to be made to higher quality levels. The advantage of program based architecture is that the computer software will give the measurements and will correct the designer in situations where there seems to be ambiguity. An example is when there occur unreasonable measurements of length and fittings. In today’s world, computer software is used by almost every field of study.

Digital architecture normally makes use of programming, simulation, computer modeling and imagery. These are used to create physical structures as well as virtual forms. An architectural drawing that is created digitally may not contain the normal building materials like brick, steel, stone, glass and wood. It is based on sets of numerical that are in n electromagnetic format that is used to make simulations and representations that work the same as these materials and stick them onto a map of built artifacts. Digital architecture does not only show the ideated space but it also creates room where humans can interact and this environment physical architectural spaces. These spaces could be said to be located in the internet universe and cyberspaces like the multi-user dungeons, MOOs, web chartrooms and the websites.

The digital age has seen the use of technology applied in almost every field including architecture. An important use of digital output derived from computer modeling has been the presentation of three dimension structure plans. It is a great improvement from the traditional fabrication and visualization of architecture. Architecture requires precise coordination of the hands, the eyes and the mind because every inch of every measurement counts and a hitch even by millimeters in measurement could cost an architect the entire construction. Therefore the precision that can be attributed to computer and technological programming is priceless. They have ensured less error as well as more creativity.

The computer in this case is used as a tool to acquire required results such as precise fabrication. the tool in this case computers are actively guided by people to come up with design, the advantage being while the architecture bears the design the tool brings it out in a manner that is presentable. Integral in the creation of architecture process is the synthesis of fabrication and design conception.

Fabrication using computers has greatly improved the form of expression. Buildings are evolving as a result of new ideas which are easy to experiment and prove during the planning thanks to tools such as the computer which can be programmed to test architectural plans on buildings and infrastructural constructions. A master builder was expected to be a master of stone. He was expected to be able to perfectly coordinate and connect his innovative and creative designs with the right tools to translate these tools into built form. Therefore a medieval master builder, modern day architecture, possessed on the one hand innovative and creative artistic abilities and on the other hand perfect knowledge of the tools he needed to manipulate his material and bring out the built form he envisioned.

Sometimes this required that builders take a lot of time and spent a lot of resources in trial and error which in modern day technology would take much less time and resources and actually result in better translation of the same ideas. Graphics software has become indispensable today in architectural practice. Computers as a tool are used for modeling and drafting almost by default. Digital technology has led to new and better designs leading to a thorough re-examination of old and current designs as a result of computational thinking.

Coming up with programs and software that perform architectural tasks however one of the best things that happened in architecture was no mean task. For one to create a computable task it is required that they come up with a series of finite sequences of instructions that will perform and complete a task when followed. The industrial revolution caused a separation of traditional craft forms from the actual building process through the mechanical extrusion of repetitive units, which were pre-manufactured and shipped to assembly sites. Industrialization brought about improved and developed structural systems made possible through mechanization and architectures took advantage of this.

Computer Aided Architectural Design (CAAD) is the most popular and recognized design tool and media. It has successfully brought out architects’ goal which a clear illustration and visual expression of their ideas and designs. Computer Aided Architectural design is able to present design models in three, four or even five dimension form unlike the tradition two dimension visual.

These computer aided designs however require that the architecture be in a position to operate them accordingly if they are expected to work for them. It is therefore important that what is possible to do with computers and to what extent the computer as a tool can actually assist in bringing a design and/or project to fruition.

Architectural design follows a series of steps and a lot of revision and innovation goes into creating a workable design. The first step usually is a sketch of the outline taking into account zone, functional volume, point and shape. This first step leaves the designer with the frontal composition and a clear refined outline of the object. This presents a rough idea of the final outward form and appearance of the completed building but does not show the building details.

In the next stage effort is put in determining the internal building logistics, walls, roofs, columns, ceilings, etc. relationships between rooms and precise measurements are made at this stage while making the necessary changes on the exterior as well. These two stages are extremely critical in ensuring that the design is well founded and in order to avert failure. The computer aided tools after the first two steps can then be applied in the preparation of the design documentation. Computer Aided Architectural designs can be used to create realistic images with lighting, animation, material textures and virtual reality presentations.

In this time and age computer aided design is a necessity for every architecture and design student. Successful training in the modeling of three dimension objects is crucial in the development of talent in the development of conveniently modern buildings with the emergence of urbanization in many parts of the world.

Applications of these ideas have been inherent in other fields besides architecture even when they emanated from architectural design. A perfect example is the emergence of three dimension movies which are the latest development in the entertainment industry. Another was the home theater and plasma screens that have become quite popular around the world.

The computer aided architectural design is upgraded every year and there is therefore need for designers and architectures alike to stay abreast such improvements. Computer aided design has a couple of major advantages the most obvious being easy three dimension modeling. Computer aided design comes with efficient modules for the easy creation and analysis of three dimension models. Computer aided design has also made it possible to reproduce drawings which can be done in a matter of seconds as opposed to the traditional replicating by drawing a model from beginning. 

Computer aided designs can be stored in severs and transmitted through shared networks or accessed through internet. They are also very inefficient mostly because software rarely makes the errors that human beings are prone to. They also consume less space and material saving on cost. Manual drawing requires lots of paper not to mention other stationary before the final design or model is drawn. Computer aided designs are much easier to store not to mention the ability to control access compared to manual designs.

Conclusion

In conclusion the digital era has seen a major revolution in the architectural and design field. Major progress that would not have been experienced otherwise has been made thanks to computer aided designs which have enabled creativity and innovation birth exemplary designs. They have greatly saved on time, money and energy that go into modeling a new building. Drawings can be automatically updated and improved which has made it easy to alter models and update them accordingly. Computer aided designs improve everyday with better software being created every day. Application of Computer Aided Architectural designs are continuously being applied in other fields such as the entertainment industry. In future computer aided architectural designs are expected to be applied in many more fields and plans are still underway to increase their application.

 

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