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Collaboration - New Media – Design An Integrated Environment for Supporting Collaboration in Building Design


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Gesellschaft für Informatik e. V.


Building is one of the most widespread human activities, as it involves a far greater number of people and professional profiles than all other industries and absorbs about half of world energy consumption. Its multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary nature makes the design-construction process, as well as the building product, increasingly complex. It is thus always more difficult, with usual design methods and efficiently to obtain correctly designed solutions and to favour creativity, while respecting assigned time schedules and budgets. These are very well known problems, on which abundant efforts and resources have been spent in pursuit of an efficient solution. One generally agreed solution is efficient collaboration among the design actors, although all the forms and tools proposed hitherto do not allow all the difficulties embedded in the problem itself to be overcome. The great potentialities of the new media are considered to be crucial for the resolution of the previously mentioned problem, although, until now, this approach has raised new problems than it has solved the old ones. To provide a more efficient collaboration among all the actors involved in the design process, this paper presents a model of the structure of the building design process based on the Collaborative Work Environment paradigm that allows us to define a system supporting integrated building design. Its philosophy is to follow through the actual design process in order to allow actors to behave as they are accustomed. Its structure relies on the dialectics among distributed knowledge bases and a shared (and agreed) one, while the design solution workspace on its turn can be conceived so as subdivided into a private one, specific to any actor, and one shared among them. Human actors are supported by intelligent assistants. The system semantically translates the information exchanged (both formally and informally) among the actors, allows incoherent/favourable situations to be highlighted and managed in real time, and can facilitate the onset and dissemination of creative ideas. System implementation has preliminarily been presented as a game, in order to avoid unnecessary complexity while retaining generality, so that can be used as an e-learning tool.


Carrara, Gianfranco; Fioravanti, Antonio (2007): Collaboration - New Media – Design An Integrated Environment for Supporting Collaboration in Building Design. Coordination of Collaborative Engineering - State of the Art and Future Challenges. Bonn: Gesellschaft für Informatik e. V.. PISSN: 1617-5468. ISBN: 978-3-88579-214-7. pp. 143-160. Regular Research Papers. Cracow, Poland. April 11-13, 2007