Sketching and Alternative Design Techniques

Computer graphics plays a major role in the architecture profession.  For example, modeling and rendering systems have proven to be invaluable aids in the visualization process, allowing designers to walk through their designs with photorealistic imagery.  However, computer graphics techniques are typically employed at the conclusion of the design process.  In fact, most of the artistic and intellectual challenges of an architectural design have already been resolved by the time a designer sits down in front of a computer. 

We recently introduced a sketching paradigm that is aimed at the early stages of design.  Our approach utilizes a projective representation of points, i.e. points that lie on the surface of a unit sphere centered at the viewpoint.  This representation offers the advantage of not having to disambiguate and dimension a 3D model, and it is significant because it allows pseudo-3D interaction with a 2D model created with the ease of pencil sketching.  We are currently developing a sketch-based modeling system that facilitates an easy back-and-forth between 2-D and 3-D representations as well as interaction with a novel combined representation.