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Aedas develop innovative digital masterplanning approach

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September 23 2009

Aedas develop innovative digital masterplanning approach
Aedas’s in house Research and Development team are introducing new computational tools for modelling the urban environment, intended to allow investors, planners, architects and designers to generate and evaluate scenarios pertaining to such issues as transport, accessibility and massing.

This technology allows a live simulation of a range of parameters, anything from catchment areas to density indication, to be generated thus informing the design process and illustrating optimal arrangements of mass, type and infrastructure.

The software comes into its own for the complex arrangement of multiple components in large scale developments such as tower design.  Alluding to a game of Tetris, architect and programmer Christian Derix outlined how marriage of a complex web of shapes, from 2,3 or 4 bed apartments and distribution spaces could be automated with the designer simply specifying certain constraints, such as an 8, 16, or 32 sided form from which the software will find a solution which best matched those criteria.

Using an algorithm likened to Darwin’s theory of natural selection the software rapidly churns through all possible permutations; but is quickly directed toward more favourable layouts by the programs ability to recognise successful connections and make use of these in the construction of a complete solution.

As the simulation runs in real time on a desktop immediate consequences of a change in parameters can be read, lending an intuitive understanding between operator and computer of the models being worked on, with users able to manually grasp and move individual parameters and watch a cloud of components react to this changing circumstance, a significant step beyond existing software which simply maps quantities and massing.

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