Multi-level Interaction in Parametric Design

AbstractParametric design systems model a design as a constrained collection of schemata. Designers work in such systems at two levels: definition of schemata and constraints; and search within a schema collection for meaningful instances. Propagation-based systems yield efficient algorithms that are complete within their domain, require explicit specification of a directed acyclic constraint graph and allow relatively simple debugging strategies based on antecedents and consequents. The requirement to order constraints appears to be useful in expressing specific designer intentions and in disambiguating interaction. A key feature of such systems in practice appears to be a need for multiple views onto the constraint model and simultaneous interaction across views. We describe one multiple-view structure, its development and refinement through a large group of architecture practitioners and its realization in the system Generative Components.

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