Spatial Qualities Descriptor

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.

Eight definitions (enclosure, viewfield, continuity, directionality, spaciousness, reachability, accessibility, transitionality) were defined for experiential qualities of architectural spaces. Descriptor language 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 is a computational modeling platform for spatial quality (e.g. enclosure, privacy) analysis and visualization. Users can analyze 2-D building floor plan diagrams as they sketch and change evaluation criteria during the early phase design process. The program is to support construction of spatial concepts, using common terms that indicate geometric properties of physical built elements, and/or describe their relationships within the layout.

The program 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 defined qualities thus of the computable language. The Descriptor language formalizes descriptions of the visual spatial qualities to help beginners understand how to make design decisions.


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