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October 4, 2007

The Generative Components side of things wrapped up yesterday, so today was the first day of the conference proper. Two sessions, covering \”Information Visualization\” and \”Digital Methods of Fabrication and Construction\”.

The first, Information Visualization, was probably the more interesting, although they were both relevant in different ways. There was one paper, \”Architecture on Digital Flatland: Opportunities for Presenting Architectural Precedence\” that has me re-thinking how I\’ve structured the virtual tour of Knowlton Hall on our website. I\’ve given the PDF to one of my GA\’s for reading to see what he thinks. There was another, titled \”DVIN: A Dual View Information Navigation System\” that was the development of an idea I had started working on several years ago, of a coordinated exploration system that has a first-person view of a building with a heads-up-display indicating where the user is on a conventional plan drawing. There\’s also a web viewer that calls up textual information related to what\’s on-screen. It was good to see it working, but I\’m somewhat frustrated that I never took that earlier project farther.

The second session, on Digital Methods, was highlighted by a discussion of ice rapid prototyping. Very cool stuff, including reference to a proposal for an ice-and-sawdust method of constructing a battleship from World War II during a steel shortage. Some very cool possibilities, even if only for temporary buildings or things north of the Arctic Circle. I\’ll have to add some links to that technology to the new Fab Lab website that we\’re preparing.

Tomorrow holds three more paper sessions, as well as two (!) keynote addresses. First up is \”Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing\” which is a low-level interest of mine. Next is \”Sensory Frontiers\” – which is a bit further afield, but will probably still offer food for thought. The last paper session is on \”Interactive and Sensing Digital Sensibility\”. Its harder to get a sense of how relevant that one will be, but one of the presenters is one I\’ve heard a fair bit of buzz about – so that alone should be worth something. The keynotes are from Kevin Hydes of the World Green Building Council, and then from Tim Druckrey on \”Five Excursions\”.

More tomorrow…

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