Circle Integration

by John Kunz, Stanford Univ, Stanford, United States,
Mark Clayton, Stanford Univ, Stanford, United States,
Martin Fischer, (A.M.ASCE), Stanford Univ, Stanford, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Computing in Civil Engineering


Based on the results of proof-of-concept experiments, we propose that an integrated suite of software tools can support both automation and integration of several components of AEC design practice. We call the suite of conceptual design and critiquing tools that we have built a `desktop engineering' system because the tools are integrated in a single desktop workstation. We built the integrated system using a `circle architecture' in which software applications pass information from one to the next in a structured way. Using integrated desktop engineering tools, a design team can propose a design, consider suggestions from multiple computer-based critiquing systems, and then repeatedly modify the design and consider critiques until it develops a satisfactory design. A single specialist or small team will develop a complete version of a design concept. After repeated iterations through a design cycle, i.e., after repeated invocations of the circle integration architecture, a designer will develop a design version and then send the latest design version electronically to human engineering consultants for their review and suggestions. Circle integration addresses the issue of control: managing the sequence in which software applications analyze a design artifact so that users will have a predictable and consistent result. Circle integration is enabled by a strong commitment to the content of the information that is passed from one application to another: specifically, our integration system uses explicit representation of the geometry (form), design intent (function), and predicted properties (behavior) of a facility design.

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