Real-time digital modelling in design education and practice

Fraser, Murray and Bjornsson, Halli (2004) Real-time digital modelling in design education and practice. URBAN DESIGN International, 9 (4). pp. 187-196. ISSN 1357-5317


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Real-time modelling represents the first thoroughgoing application of the digital realm to architecture and urban design, and as such marks a clear advance on the partial applications that were previously the norm. The authors have pooled their combined expertise in architecture and computer games to adapt the principles and techniques of real-time environments from computer games to designing buildings. The outcome is proprietary software called Cadai, which allows architectural and urban design proposals to be modelled in realistic detail, both externally and internally, and then be "walked" around in their entirety by viewers. This paper argues that real-time modelling offers three advances on previous forms of 3D digital modelling: it enables digital modelling to be used from the earliest sketch stages of a design project; it allows collective online meetings of the project team inside the evolving design scheme, wherever the participants are in the world; and it enables greater user-participation in decisions about planning schemes, given that anyone familiar with computer game environments can now properly understand and experience architectural and urban design proposals. The paper explains the properties of Cadai and showcases some real-time models built by students at Oxford Brookes University and the University of Westminster, along with the first major commercial real-time model produced in Cadai for a brownfield development proposal in Northern England. Our contention is that real-time modelling will soon become the dominant way that computers operate in architectural and urban design, and will remain so for the foreseeable future.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Online ISSN 1468-4519
Uncontrolled Keywords: Architecture and urban design, digital design, immersive environments, real-time modelling, representation
Subjects: University of Westminster > Architecture and the Built Environment > Architecture and the Built Environment, School of (No longer in use)
Depositing User: Users 4 not found.
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2006
Last Modified: 11 Aug 2010 14:30

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