Human-Computer Interaction: Communication, Cooperation, and Application Design

By Hans-Jörg Bullinger; Jürgen Ziegler | Go to book overview

material is produced, the main technical consultants are contacted.

A main question is how to communicate the concept to the client, to technical consultants and local authorities so as to convince them and engage them in a cooperative process. But also how to keep the concept alive within the team when it comes to drafting detailed solutions, discussing design changes, evaluating alternative realizations. Our observations suggest that the conceptual space of the project is simultaneously constructed and presented through the evolving set of visual, graphical and textual material. What emerges is that manipulating the presence and absence of materials and bringing them into dynamic spatial relations in which they can confront each other are not just a context or prerequisite for doing the work; rather, they are an integral part of accomplishing the work itself. To manipulate the context is to do the work. Typically, what is important is not just to create or change a document or other materials, but to do so in the presence of and in relation to others.

So for the more detailed work on aspects of the cinema center, such as the "skin", the construction of the façade, or the lighting, one must connect an evolving set of parameters, each of which is represented through multiple visual and textual documents. An example is the search for material for the "skin" which starts with a description of a glass surface with an "irregular, textile-like structure", as expressed in a series of images, sketches, and a preliminary list of requirements. Searching for suitable material is done in multiple conversations with consultants and fellow architects, by glancing through journals, browsing through product information on the Internet, participating in a seminar. At the same time a façade consultant is asked to conduct inquiries about a variety of techniques for giving glass a textile-like character. The results of this search are present in a series of letters, faxed and annotated. Images of textiles are scanned, small sample elements produced. At a certain point the principal architect summarizes the different methods, each with a small explanatory sketch, and redefines the tasks to be completed.

For the architect who is working on this task, information about suitable material consists of a growing set of resources and documents: inspirational resources of various kinds -- images of glass as a textile-like surface for light effects, architectural projects, samples of textiles, product information from various sources (catalogues, the Internet, articles), etc. In team sessions a narrative is constructed which knits them together. This narrative needs to be placed and viewed within the conceptual space of the project in order to be fully understood, evaluated and further developed. None of it stands for itself and the architects constantly refer to these documents as the context of their work.

They do this in two ways. First, through linking documents or particular parts of them. As a large part of their world consists of paper objects, linking is done by

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