Robert Aish

Robert Aish
University College London | UCL · School of Architecture

M. Des. (RCA), PhD.

About

57
Publications
59,989
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1,043
Citations

Publications

Publications (57)
Conference Paper
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Fig. 1. TopoFacade-Topology driven digital fabrication [Fagerström 2014]. The whole process of decomposition, component design and connector design can be expressed as design rules and encoded in a design computation program. This provides a user-defined 'change propagation' mechanism which frees the designer to explore changes in form and construc...
Cover Page
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The publications on this ResearchGate page address three relevant research questions: 1. The unique feature of architecture is the 'enclosure of space'. How can topology and specifically non-manifold topology be used to represent this spatial enclosure in a way which helps architects? 2. Computation is increasingly used in architecture to gener...
Conference Paper
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This paper brings together some key research issues in design participation: Is it possible to develop a computer-based architectural design application which can be used by completely untutored lay participants in a meaningful design process? How can the designs created by the participants be objectively compared with other building designs create...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this paper is to provide a review of the characteristics of 3D solid modeling software libraries – otherwise known as ’geometric modeling kernels’ in non-manifold applications. ’Non-manifold’ is a geometric topology term that means ’to allow any combination of vertices, edges, surfaces and volumes to exist in a single logical body’. In c...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Buildings enclose and partition space and are built from assemblies of connected components. The many different forms of spatial and material partitioning and connectedness found within buildings can be represented by topology. This paper introduces the ‘Topologic’ software library which integrates a number of architecturally relevant topological c...
Conference Paper
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This paper describes non-manifold topology (NMT) as it relates to the field of architecture and presents Topologic, an open-source software modelling library enabling hierarchical and topological representations of architectural spaces, buildings and artefacts through NMT. Topologic is designed as a core library and additional plugins to visual dat...
Conference Paper
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DOI: … Non-Manifold Topology: Mathematically, Non-Manifold Topology (NMT) is defined as cell-complexes that are subsets of Euclidean Space [15]. Practically, topology refers to the spatial relationships between the various entities in a model and it describes how geometric entities are connected. 'Non-manifold' is a geometric topology term that mea...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Geometry has been found to be one of the main architectural design issues that architects are concerned with when they assess the energy performance of their models through the use of Building Performance Simulation tools. Accurate geometry, coupled with correct energy analysis settings, can avoid errors and provide more accurate results which are...
Conference Paper
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This paper presents a comparison of different pathways for the energy modelling of complex building geometry. We have identified three key modelling questions: first, how can the spatial organisation of the building be appropriately represented for energy analysis? Second, how can curved building geometry be post-rationalized as planar elements giv...
Article
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In recent decades, the interrelations between architecture and computation have fostered new design concepts and design methods, which challenge existing design and building processes. Specifically, the increased use of parametric methods and scripting allow for the development of modelling and fabrication techniques, which in turn challenge the ro...
Data
This table describes the evolution of parametric and computational design systems including CustomObjects, GenerativeComponents and DesignScript Studio. The reader is invited to complete the table for current production systems.
Article
This paper aims to build a theoretical foundation for parametric design thinking by exploring its cognitive roots, unfolding its basic tenets, expanding its definition through new concepts, and exemplifying its potential through a use-case scenario. The paper focuses on a specific type of topological parameter, called non-manifold topology as a nov...
Conference Paper
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DesignScript is a multi-paradigm domain-specific end-user language and modelling environment for architectural and engineering computation. DesignScript implements both visual data flow programming and imperative programming. The novice user initially develops his data flow program through the familiar visual programming environment. This environme...
Technical Report
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This manual is designed for two types of readers. First, those who want to make an initial foray into text based programming and who may be currently using a visual programming environment such as Dynamo. Second, those users who have some scripting or programming experience and want harness a visual programming environment in order to access the re...
Conference Paper
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Architectural designs are frequently represented digitally as plane-faced meshes, yet these can be challenging to translate into built structures. Offsetting operations may be used to give thickness to meshes, and are produced by offsetting the faces, edges or vertices of the mesh in an appropriately defined normal direction. In a previous paper, w...
Patent
Full-text available
A method, apparatus, article of manufacture, and computer readable storage medium provide the ability to create a geometric model in a computer-aided design (CAD) application. Direct graphical manipulation via user interaction is used to create the geometric model in the CAD application. The direct graphical manipulation is captured, without additi...
Article
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Computational design tools based on Autodesk’s DesignScript language have been used with geometry and topology modelling techniques in the design of a climatised free-form building envelope. This project involves structural and performance analysis tools applied to structural engineering, façade engineering and fabrication planning. The project has...
Conference Paper
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Design Computation is now an established part of architectural design education and practice. The challenge is to encourage designers with the minimum of prior knowledge to become operational with computational concepts but without being subsequently limited by any simplified approaches that might have been initially offered. This paper describes r...
Article
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This chapter describes the history of smartgeometry (SG) within the development of computational design software. It explains that the contribution of SG has been to refocus the use of the computer towards design exploration rather than on production and downstream data management. The chapter focuses on three ideas: sketchpad, formal design method...
Chapter
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Much of the discourse in architectural geometry has focused on the geometric design and physical optimisation of the material ‘Building Model’, specifically the building structure and envelope, and the digital fabrication of facades. In this paper we want to “go behind the façade’ and consider architecture not so much as a physical building model,...
Chapter
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DesignScript, as the name suggests, is positioned at the intersection of design and programming. DesignScript can be viewed as part of the continuing tradition of the development of parametric and associative modeling tools for advanced architectural design and building engineering. Much of the thought processes that contribute to the effective use...
Working Paper
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Article
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In the last four decades, Robert Aish has played a pivotal role in the development of new technologies in architecture. As a professional software designer and developer, he has directly informed building design and processes. As Director of Software Development at Autodesk, his role is to converge innovative concepts such as design computation wit...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper describes the motivation and design of DesignScript, an end-user domain-specific programming language for algorithmic architectural and geometric design. Furthermore, the integration and use of DesignScript within the context of an environmental analysis software application is described that invokes a representative subset of analysis f...
Article
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This paper describes embedded rationality as a method for implicitly combining fabrication constraints into an interactive framework for conceptual design. While the concept of ‘embedded rationality’ has been previously discussed in the context of a parametric design environment, we employ this concept to present a novel framework for dynamic simul...
Article
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3D computer input has been a recurring challenge to engineers developing effective CAD systems. The approach adopted in this paper attempts to address a specific type of 3D input which is applicable to architecture and some engineering design tasks. In these processes, the object being designed is often an assembly of defined components. In a conve...
Conference Paper
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Patterns express generic solutions to a well-described problem. In parametric modeling patterns can be used to describe a tactical level of work, above mechanics and below design. We describe three patterns and show how they can be used through an example model.
Conference Paper
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Parametric design systems model a design as a constrained collection of schemata. Designers work in such systems at two levels: def- inition of schemata and constraints; and search within a schema collec- tion for meaningful instances. Propagation-based systems yield ecient algorithms that are complete within their domain, require explicit speci- f...
Article
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Performance-driven generative design methods are capable of producing concepts and stimulating solutions based on robust and rigorous models of design conditions and performance criteria. Using generative methods, the computer becomes a design generator in addition to its more conventional role as draftsperson, visualizor, data checker and performa...
Conference Paper
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Architecture is fundamentally about relationships. Many of those relationships are geometric in nature or find expression in Geometry. The SmartGeometry Group (www.smartgeometry.org) has been created in the belief that Computer Aided Design lends itself to capturing geometric relationships that form the foundation of architecture. Central to this i...
Conference Paper
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GenerativeComponents is a parametric and associative design system. Parametric design is equally applicable to four stages of the contemporary design: first in concept formation and the exploration of building form; second, in the development and use of parametric and adaptive components within such a conceptual framework; third in the control of t...
Article
If our goal is implement collaborative engineering across temporal, spatial and discipline dimensions, then it is suggested that we first have to address the necessary pre-requisites, which include both the deployment of "enterprise computing" and an understanding of the computing concepts on which such enterprise systems are based. This paper will...
Conference Paper
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This paper describes an advanced object-oriented AEC CAD system which integrated an 'idealised' topological model and a more detailed 'material' model. The idealised topological model was used to control the material model in a form of top-down associativity. The material model was based on rule driven parametric solid modelling with which intellig...
Conference Paper
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Object Oriented software development is often considered primarily in terms of the benefits it can bring to the original developers of a software product. Although benefits to developers are important, there are other participants, for example software writers who tailor systems to specific applications requirements and end users, who can reasonabl...
Article
The aim of this chapter is to investigate techniques by which man-computer interaction could be improved, specifically in the context of architectural applications of CAD. In this application the object being designed is often an assembly of defined components. Even if the building is not actually fabricated from such components, it is usually conc...
Conference Paper
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For CAD to be effective in a multidisciplinary/multi-practice design team it must offer the individual practitioner appropriate representation of design information. These representation may be orthographic drawings, 3D perspectives views and other non-graphic attribute data. It is possible to develop separate systems which address each of these re...
Article
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The potential benefits of CAD in building design are well established. In reality most production CAD systems are developed in response to the particular requirements of users who are architects or building engineers. These requirements are often fragmented. They relate to different aspects of the complete building engineering design cycle and are...
Article
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The paper describes an advanced demonstration system which brings together a number of recent developments in CAAD (computer-aided architectural design). This demonstration system illustrates how an important new form of input device, a 3D modelling systemm can be linked with building performance software and ‘indicative’ computer output graphics....
Article
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This device consists of intelligent building blocks which may be assembled by hand and then automatically queried by computer. In this way, a structural database can be quickly and easily created.
Article
The potential for using computers to evaluate and predict building performance and to aid the design of building services is widely recognized. The objectives, the context, and the decisions which are involved in realising a comprehensive suite of production programs for use by building services engineers are discussed.
Article
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It is often acknowledged that the main advantage of computer aided architectural design (CAAD) systems is that they can be used by architects to quickly and accurately evaluate alternative design solutions using a variety of performance measures which would be too time consuming to apply by hand calculation.To gain the full advantage of interactive...
Article
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This paper's focus is to consider the construction industry as essentially an information processing system. In its ideal form, practitioners (each with an individual internal representation of design intent) interact with other practitioners by first interacting with an information processing system that manages various shared external representat...
Article
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Although a current hot topic, tangible user interfaces (TUIs) have been studied for quite some time. One particular kind of TUI has been investigated repeatedly: during the past 20 years several groups have developed intelligent' building blocks that can self-describe the geometric structures into which they are assembled. These computational const...
Article
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Design has been described as making inspire decisions with incomplete information. True, we may use prior knowledge, we may even think we understand the causalites involved, but what really matters is exploration: of new forms, of new materials, and speculation about the response to the resulting effects. Essentially, this exploration has its own d...
Article
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We present a physics-based generative design approach to interactive form-finding. While form as a product of dynamic simulation has been explored previously, individual projects have been developed as singleton solutions. By identifying categories of computational characteristics, we present a novel unified model that generalizes existing simulati...
Article
Full-text available
Generative design methods are capable of generating concepts and stimulating solutions based on robust and rigorous models of design conditions, design languages and design performance. The computer now becomes a design generator in addition to its more conventional role as draftsperson, visualizor, data checker and performance analyst. Motivated b...
Article
Full-text available
Design considers function, fabrication, and aesthetics collectively. Computation is beginning to affect the competitive dynamics of design. Using algorithms, designers are exploring forms that are essentially ?undrawable,? even with advanced modeling and direct manipulation techniques. Determining the appropriate functional characteristics may requ...

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Projects (4)
Project
This project was original developed under the direction of Prof. Tom Maver at the ABACUS research unit at the School of Architecture, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland between 1975 and 1979. The research premise proposed by Nigel Cross and Tom Maver was that a computer aided design system could be built which would enable lay building users to participate in the architectural design process. The project developed the PARTIAL design participation software which was successfully used in a number of user case studies, thus confirm the original research premise.
Project
This project explored how physical architectural models could become an interface to Architectural CAD systems... a form of computerised Lego. Initial research lead to the development of a prototype system. While offering a number of advantages [for example, in lay participation in architectural design] the physical modelling blocks also constrains what can be modelled.
Project
This project brings together research and development on tools for Design Computation, beginning with GenerativeComponents (and its precursors) and progressing to DesignScript. DesignScript allows a ‘soft transition’ between visual data flow programming and text based scripting by implementing a series of intermediate programming techniques. DesignScript can be described as a multi-paradigm domain-specific end-user language and modelling environment for architectural and engineering computation.