Insitu: Sketching Architectural Designs in Context


Architecture is design in spatial context. The only current methods for representing context involve designing in a heavyweight computer-aided design system, using a full model of existing buildings and landscape, or sketching on a panoramic photo. The former is too cumbersome; the latter is too restrictive in viewpoint and in the handling of occlusions and topography. We introduce a novel approach to presenting context such that it is an integral component in a lightweight conceptual design system. We represent sites through a fusion of data available from different sources. We derive a site model from geographic elevation data, on-site point-topoint distance measurements, and images of the site. To acquire and process the data, we use publicly available data sources, ultidimensional scaling techniques and refinements of recent bundle adjustment techniques. We offer a suite of interactive tools to acquire, process, and combine the data into a lightweight stroke and image-billboard representation. We create multiple and linked popups derived from images, forming a lightweight representation of a three-dimensional environment. We implemented our techniques in a stroke-based conceptual design system we call Insitu. We developed our work through continuous interaction with professional designers. We present designs created with our new techniques integrated in a conceptual design system.