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Analysing the impact of constraints on decision-making by architectural designers

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Abstract
Architectural design projects are characterised by a high level of complexity. This level of complexity may be attributed to the high number of constraints that apply to architectural design projects. Along with planning, energy performance and fire safety regulations, current designers have to face constraining factors related to budget, acoustics, orientation, wind turbulence, accessibility for the disabled, and so forth. It thus appears that all sorts of restrictions and regulations steer the design process implicitly and explicitly in certain directions as soon as architectural designers aim at satisfying design briefs. In this research, we aim at analysing the impact of parameters and constraints on the design process. We wish to investigate how designers in practice deal with parameters and constraints. How do they interpret incoming parameters or constraints? Are constraints considered to be limitative (constraining), or are they key reference points in a variety of parametric possibilities? Are constraints omnipresent during the design process or are they considered only until they have been 'resolved'? To make an analysis of the role of constraints and parameters in the design process, we have studied four design sessions in a particular design use case, which will be presented briefly in this paper. In each of these design sessions, the design was not only re-evaluated, but it was also redirected in response to certain constraints that were not met (yet). In analysing these four sessions, we used linkography as a method, because this appeared to be one of the better options to obtain a more quantitative assessment of the design process. The linkography method was combined with an interview of the student design team, in order to check the correctness of our conclusions.
Keywords
Design process, constraints, linkography, parametric design, design complexity

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Chicago
Pauwels, Pieter, Tiemen Strobbe, Jeroen Derboven, and Ronald De Meyer. 2014. “Analysing the Impact of Constraints on Decision-making by Architectural Designers.” In Architecture, City & Information Design, Proceedings, ed. Khaldoun Zreik, 97–111.
APA
Pauwels, Pieter, Strobbe, T., Derboven, J., & De Meyer, R. (2014). Analysing the impact of constraints on decision-making by architectural designers. In K. Zreik (Ed.), Architecture, City & Information Design, Proceedings (pp. 97–111). Presented at the Architecture, City & Information Design.
Vancouver
1.
Pauwels P, Strobbe T, Derboven J, De Meyer R. Analysing the impact of constraints on decision-making by architectural designers. In: Zreik K, editor. Architecture, City & Information Design, Proceedings. 2014. p. 97–111.
MLA
Pauwels, Pieter, Tiemen Strobbe, Jeroen Derboven, et al. “Analysing the Impact of Constraints on Decision-making by Architectural Designers.” Architecture, City & Information Design, Proceedings. Ed. Khaldoun Zreik. 2014. 97–111. Print.
@inproceedings{5717003,
  abstract     = {Architectural design projects are characterised by a high level of complexity. This level of complexity may be attributed to the high number of constraints that apply to architectural design projects. Along with planning, energy performance and fire safety regulations, current designers have to face constraining factors related to budget, acoustics, orientation, wind turbulence, accessibility for the disabled, and so forth. It thus appears that all sorts of restrictions and regulations steer the design process implicitly and explicitly in certain directions as soon as architectural designers aim at satisfying design briefs. In this research, we aim at analysing the impact of parameters and constraints on the design process. We wish to investigate how designers in practice deal with parameters and constraints. How do they interpret incoming parameters or constraints? Are constraints considered to be limitative (constraining), or are they key reference points in a variety of parametric possibilities? Are constraints omnipresent during the design process or are they considered only until they have been 'resolved'? To make an analysis of the role of constraints and parameters in the design process, we have studied four design sessions in a particular design use case, which will be presented briefly in this paper. In each of these design sessions, the design was not only re-evaluated, but it was also redirected in response to certain constraints that were not met (yet). In analysing these four sessions, we used linkography as a method, because this appeared to be one of the better options to obtain a more quantitative assessment of the design process. The linkography method was combined with an interview of the student design team, in order to check the correctness of our conclusions.},
  author       = {Pauwels, Pieter and Strobbe, Tiemen and Derboven, Jeroen and De Meyer, Ronald},
  booktitle    = {Architecture, City \& Information Design, Proceedings},
  editor       = {Zreik, Khaldoun},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Nice, France},
  pages        = {97--111},
  title        = {Analysing the impact of constraints on decision-making by architectural designers},
  year         = {2014},
}