A contribution to architectural/engineered design for timber structures using knowledge-based methods

Robert John Taylor
<span title="">1995</span>
This thesis attempts to synthesize knowledge from the fields of architecture, engineering, and computer science in the context of design. In particular, a novel approach to modeling the architectural and engineering design of structural connections is presented. Computer automation using parametric object-oriented methods for quantitative design is new for connections, and the inclusion of qualitative features native to architectural considerations presents a more holistic view to automated
more &raquo; ... gn of connections. A unique method of representing connections as a kit of parts for assembly is presented that is based on the load path within the connection. The configuration model facilitates engineering discretization and evaluation; while the connection, if properly designed, can be more easily "read" by the observer - a desirable feature of a good work of architecture. Quantitative aspects, typically thought of as engineering qualities, are combined with the adapted qualitative, typically architectural, aspects of a designed artifact through the use of dynamic fuzzy logic membership functions. A fuzzy logic adaptation of the qualitative attributes of a designed artifact can be used for assessing or generating aesthetics consistent within the scope of aesthetic definitions offered by the designer. The adaptation, therefore, does not constrain the designer to a prescribed attribute definition, but an architectural expression which is personal and unique. A brief development of membership function representation, calibration, and application is offered. Results from a particular demonstrative study of proximity, and another on colour reveal a promising application of fuzzy logic technology to qualitative design issues. Among a number of smaller innovations, the main contribution of this thesis to the advancement of knowledge is three fold: a new method to represent structural connections in general; a synthesis of truths underlying connection configuration design in timber structures so that design [...]
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