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Is computer programming beneficial to architects and architecture students for complex modeling and informed performative design decisions?

Abstract

For the last few decades, digital tools have become an important part of architectural design. Architectsand architecture students create their designs using one or more digital applications. Although most ofthese applications are advanced and can be used for various tasks – such as parametric design andbuilding performance simulations –, they lack some capabilities that are crucial to solving problems thatmight arise during the design and simulation process. Therefore, programming knowledge is invaluable tothose in the field of architecture for customizing digital applications to perform and automate tasks thatare out of the scope of built-in functions.In this research study, detailed examination of various case studies of custom-coded design programs isdiscussed. The programs written in Python proved to be crucial to organizing visual scripts by makingthem less confusing and more efficient. In addition to using computer programming within visual scriptingenvironments, this paper presents a case study of computer programs written in Python, JavaScript, andHTML that were used to organize an enormous amount of data produced by hundreds of glaresimulations. The custom programs performed the process of organizing, analyzing and visualizing largeamounts of data in a time-efficient manner, thereby facilitating informed decisions for better performativedesign.

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