The true model concept in computer simulations used in architectural design
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Full-scale modeling in the age of virtual reality
Most of the studies on the effective use of the potential of computer aid in architectural design assert that the way architects design without the computer is not “related” to the way they design with the computer. In other words, they complain that the architectural design software does not work as the architects think and that the way designers model with computers is not similar to the way they actually construct the model in their brains. Within the above framework, this study initially discusses architectural design as a modeling process and defines computer generated simulations (walkthrough, flythrough, virtual reality) as models. Based on this discussion, the “similarity” of architectural design and computer aided design is displayed. And then, it is asserted that in order to improve the computer aid to architectural design, it is not the issue of similarity, but of the “trueness” of the computer generated model that needs to be discussed. Consequently, it is relevant to ask to what extent should the simulation simulate the design model. The study proposes measures as to how true a simulation model should be in order to represent the design model inherent in the designer’s mind, best.