Spatial Qualities Descriptor

collaborators: Sora Key, Ellen Yi-Luen Do

Computational representation of spatial qualities can lead to a better understanding of how we construct spatial concepts. Analyses of spatial qualities can support architects in reasoning about the form of a configuration, helping predict the consequences of a design.  We developed three definitions (enclosure, viewfield, continuity) for experiential qualities of architectural spaces. Descriptor aims to provide computable definitions for these qualities to describe common spatial experiences that architects understand implicitly. The description, using familiar terms, reveals the analytical structure of spatial qualities based on geometry of physical elements. Descriptor visualizes spatial qualities as a designer diagrams building elements. It calculates perceived relationships (surrounded, visible, nearby, nearest) between a viewpoint and architectural elements based on geometric properties such as location and distance. The relationships are the components of the three qualities (enclosure, viewfield, continuity) that we define. Descriptor formalizes descriptions of the spatial qualities to help beginners understand how to make design decisions.

2008 Computing Spatial Qualities in Architecture, Key, S., Do, E. Y-L., Gross, M., Proc. Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA), Minneapolis, MN Oct 15-17. [pdf]

1997 Tools for visual and spatial analysis of CAD models, Do, E. and M.D. Gross, Computer Assisted Architectural Design Futures ‘97, R. Junge, ed., Kluwer, Dordrecht, pp. 189-202. [pdf]