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Category: Design Technology

‘Human-Building Interaction’ an approach for Future Buildings

With the advancements in technology and the changing needs of the users, it has become pivotal to apprehend the way these transformations sway the construction industry i.e., incorporating intelligent automation tools and sensors in its framework, which further molds the future buildings.

Buildings of the Future
The buildings of the future can be defined as a product of automation to create a smart responsive building, based on Human Building Interaction (HBI) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), catering to user needs, comfort, emotions, and activities

The user-centric approach to HBI focuses on building user experience i.e., how users can, want, and need to use the designed space, rather than being forced to change their behavior to adjust to space, supporting users’ activities, behavior, emotion thus, enhancing the user experience.

Buildings and Automation

Understanding Human Building Interaction
Human-Building Interaction (HBI) is a nascent field that can be explicated as the interface between users and the building’s social, physical, and spatial space in such a way that it promotes optimum comfort using the latest technology.

Human Building Interaction (HBI) is a combination of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), Computing and
Architecture & Urban Design


The evolution of HBI can be understood by the transition from buildings that are functional, to buildings that have smart objects and finally, to smart buildings which integrate user needs, behavior, emotions, and activities, and perform/ respond accordingly, through the means of computing and human building interaction.  

For instance, to get a comfortable room temperature and to avoid excess heat into the rooms’ curtains are used, which with time and technology got automated i.e. converted to a smart object. In the present scenario, HBI regulates the indoor temperature using devices such as ‘LUTRON’ daylight sensor, ‘RollerTroll MCGS-1-RF’ sun sensor transmitter, etc., depending on the external factors providing a comfortable environment to the user based upon his body and needs, thus making it a smart, responsive and an energy-efficient building.

Components and Tools of HBI
The design approach of HBI, is a combination of knowledge and data from its three major components namely, Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), Computing and Architecture, and Urban Design, catering to the needs of the user and the designer.
Multiple tools i.e. automation, sensory devices, and software’s can be identified under these components, some examples of these have been listed below:


Components and Tools of HBI

HBI integrated Buildings
HBI utilizes the pre-stored data and actions through computing and generates a suitable environment for the user based on the user’s needs and response. The functioning, framework, and elements of HBI change depending upon the space and the user.

Integrating HBI in Buildings
Integrating HBI in Buildings

As a computing system depends on the user’s behavior, emotion, and activity, the HBI framework can utilize the data from the flowchart above, to present multiple iterations that are viable in the building. The more the data is computed, the greater is the energy efficiency of the building and the comfort level of the user due to the built milieu’s ‘smartness’.

The prime motto of HBI integrated buildings is to provide users maximum comfort. Also, helping the designers in better understanding i.e. capturing details of the client and their needs, easing the pre-study process, and, undertaking the users’ needs and behavior throughout the design process.

HBI thus bridges the gap between the user and the designer to create better designs as well as self-reliant and user-responsive Buildings.




Author: Vriti Sachdeva

Architect’s dive into the Metaverse

In the 1990s, with the introduction of “the internet”, which brought along websites, apps, live streams, and most importantly cat memes with it, the world went through a digital transformation. Now zoom into 2021 we have what is said to be the internet2.0 – Metaverse, which brings along NFTs, Blockchain, VR chat, and other soon-to-be common terms that are yet to be generalized to the common audience, which all begs a question, what is Metaverse?

Metaverse in its all complexities and glory is simply a digital world, where anything we can imagine can exist. It is a digital frontier where we can interact with each other in a 3D virtual space from the comfort of our home. It is designed to be a fully immersive 3D environment where buildings, art, music, and human connection can exist digitally. The platform might be premature right now, but the foundation has already been laid by Facebook, Microsoft, Epic Games, and many other tech brands and it’s fair to say the concept is an interesting and possibly lucrative domain for designers to leverage their design skills in the physical world and to extend that into the virtual world. This will be the next iteration of the “internet” which can be called web3, the perpetual blurring between our analog and digital life, and that’s where architects come into play.

Source: gamezonehub.com

For architects, the metaverse is an uncharted territory full of possibilities, and a utopia without the constraints of the physical world. Architects have the freedom to design and execute exactly what they desire. They can even create unique art collectibles called non-fungible tokens (NFTs) for the demographic that like to collect one-of-a-kind assets. Architects can also build digital library assets like the furniture to full-fledged cities, and sell them multiple times to the virtual worlds, games, and movies. They can also provide digital products/services across the globe now. It might be difficult to find clients who value their design from their region, but it’s much easier to find users that appreciate their taste globe-wide.

Source: bankdirector.com

The rise of the Metaverse is a seismic level event for architecture and as for their designs, even the sky is not the limit. With correct tools of 3D modeling software that architects are more or less familiar with: Blender, 3Ds Max, Maya, Houdini, city engine, Substance Painter and also game engines like Unity and Unreal, one can easily take the mantle as spatial environment designer in this new medium. This opens a whole new planet of opportunities for the architects. Their ability to visualize along with their software skills is more than enough arsenal to venture into this new realm of digital life. After all, it’s the architects and designers that can harness the power of creativity and imagination that can build an online space as rich and complex as the real world.

Author: Tapasvi Arora

GIS in Planning

GIS or Geographic Information System is multilayered mapping software that is designed to store, retrieve, manage, display and analyze all types of geographic and spatial data. Conceptualized first in the 60s, GIS is becoming increasingly useful over time in the field of urban planning and design. It helps in modifying thematic mapping, makes it convenient to store, manage and access data and improves communication through a unified data system. It helps in accessing a wider range of important geographic information for which planners can create informed strategies more effectively.

Through GIS, planners and designers can visualize the type of land, surface water, erosion, and flood frequency of the region along with changes in geographical features which, in turn, help in making informed decisions about the development condition of an area and plan accordingly.

Such a similar approach was carried out by our team at FivD along with its global partners in designing a redevelopment plan of a mixed-use development in a suburban location in the state of Georgia, USA. The project demanded research on the area’s demographic and geographical aspects including the site context, surroundings, neighborhoods, and transport connectivity.

FivD was able to carry out a comprehensive study of the site through 10 formulated categories of Integration, Community, Ecology, Water, Economy, Energy, Wellness, Resources, Change, and Discovery. Through these categories, the existing loopholes of the site conditions like the low density of residential development, fewer and isolated retail and office zones, absence of green open spaces, and large paved unprogrammed areas were discovered and analyzed.

The platform aided in monitoring the site’s topology through coordinates integrated into geo-referenced 3D models which captured the built-massing and topology of the site. The design approach through geo-referencing helped in conducting feasibility studies of built use, land use, floor-wise use distribution, open-built ratio, high-density zones, activity nodes, and transit connectivity. The data analysis helped in designing an efficient built footprint, open space, and better connectivity and provided insight into the accessibility and safety of different user groups under the proposed design.

Because of the platform, our design teams stretched out across the different ends of the globe, we’re able to study and examine the site without actual in-person visits. Through GIS, progressive inputs on community participation and productive means of urban design and decision-making can be generated conveniently for more people-oriented ideas and solutions that could enhance the quality of life for all city dwellers.

Author: Bhasker Mishra

November 2, 2021 0 Comments

Design Tech. & Design : Re-Establishing Common Ground

“If those of us calling ourselves ‘architects’ want our hard-earned skill sets taken seriously in the larger context that we actually view to be our field of relevance, then it’s high time we meet that broader field at least halfway in terms/terminology that we all understand.” - Margit Rudy  

  

The debate  around  the use of AI in any field including the one in design and architecture is a loaded one.  In every convention, talk, presentation, irrespective of the novelty of any concept unveiled, the  ensuing discussions  are a certain  bloodbath. Without no new weapons being ever used on either side, one side is stressing on the inevitability of AI, machine learning and other tech-based advancements in the fields, the other lays emphasis on the  enigmatic  yet meaningful idea of the ‘human touch.’   

While  seemingly  situated  on opposing sides, ramification of this debate is singular. With the most pertinent question being, what does it mean to be an architect in this new world. It is characterized by unparalleled technical advancements and challenged by complex issues.  And the fantastic intersection of these timelines can be considered almost incomprehensible by the human brain alone. 

But the hiccup is merely of novelty. As any trepidation can be overcome with even the most  cursory  research  combined  with meaningful dialogue.  Because long as society exists, and despite however advanced the machinery invented is, it will always need a human operators, regulators and auditors. And with unceasing jump in tech- creative fields, there are already a few working and many nascent examples of successful tech -human collaborations. Making today ideal time to seize control of influence and shape these resources and adapt them to be what we want them to be. The  emphasis  must  shift , instead  of roles  based on retention of knowledge, designers must transform into educators, facilitators, and managers for AI. And this transformation is why and how the human touch will always prevail. For that is certain, whether it be humans or AIs, we are all only good as the mentors and teachers we have found along the way and learnt from.  

Going forward there is a dire need to create a manifesto for the use AI in architecture. Only then can it be truly incorporated in the mainstream in a radically yet responsible way, and that pledge starts with us. The basis of design thought has always been our most human trait; creativity and enthusiastic acceptance of change. Hence, in a first attempt of many in this piece we attempt to reorient perspectives, outline possible structural change in field of design to re-establish common grounds.    

Hence, the framework of this manifesto should include and outline: –  

  • Creation of opportunities for free dialogue in the community about the real challenges in the field instead of perceived differences.  
  • Emphasis on the need to create a NEW LEXICON for architects and designers of the future, laying beds for effective and empowered conversations.  
  • The need to take back and redirect power and influence in field, instead of being bent to the winds of tech.  
  • Increased need to stress of use of active, meaningful and directed research in future design processes. 
  • And eventually an active change in curriculum in architectural education to create a workforce truly ready for the world to come. 

It is commonly said that change is the only constant and rising to harness emergent technologies is the need of the hour. Hence, only by establishing common ground and being active agents of change we can hope to be the change we want to see in the world. 

Author : Akansha Gupta