Boosting the efficiency of architectural visual scripts: A visual script structuring strategy based on a set of paradigms from programming and software engineering
Paper in proceedings, 2015
This research is an initial step towards the advancement of the current routines of architectural parametric modelling, executed using visual programming languages such as Grasshopper. The explored research question is how to effectively organize the infrastructures of visual scripts in order to increase their legibility and hence also their comprehension by designers who work on them. Our proposal advocates the use of an extended visual script structuring tactic, based on well-established solutions developed within software engineering and computer programming. These embrace the notions of design patterns, modular programming, parsing, algorithms, abstraction, enumerative reasoning, static and dynamic data structures, and data hierarchies. The most important outcome of our research is the successful empirical validation of the proposed visual script structuring strategy, achieved through its experimental application to authentic cases of scripts from the architectural practice. A conducted experiment reveals that the structuring principles are valid for various parametric design processes explored using visual scripts, including geometry creation, computational analyses, physics simulations and optimization. Ultimately, the research conclusion is that the application of the structuring principles promises to yield script infrastructures which are highly ordered visually and easier to grasp cognitively. © 2015, Springer International Publishing Switzerland.
Computer-Aided Architectural Design