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Drawing with Geography

This project has been motivated by seemingly naïve questions that have arisen informally among a group of researchers in the School of Architecture and the Built Environment at KTH, and by interviews conducted in collaboration with KTH Innovation with over a dozen of CAD and GIS developers and planning/design firms: Both architects and spatial planners create and manipulate spatial artifacts by design, and the use of computer-aided design (CAD) has become commonplace in architectural design practice, but not in spatial planning practice. Why not? What about geographic information systems (GIS)? Can’t they be spatial planners’ CAD?

The project will explore the possibility of use of GIS as a medium in which the user designs spatial plans primarily by the gesture of drawing, develop and test a theory for a new interactive and intuitive computer-aided method for graphic editing with geographic constraints, and understand the impact of the method on the quality and productivity of spatial planning practices. To this end, we will 1) identify relevant graphic types, constraint types, and functionality through reviews of the planning literature and practices, 2) design relevant data structures, algorithms, and user interfaces, and 3) implement them as multiple prototypes with varying degrees of computational complexity and human-computer interactivity, and 4) test the prototypes through experiments with different user groups including planning students and professionals. The computer-aided “geographic” constraint-based drawing is anticipated to provide groups as well as individuals who are engaged in spatial planning and design practices with a digital medium through which multiple ideas and interests can be expressed, exchanged, and ultimately translated into changes on our environment and society. Such a system will enhance the design quality and save the design time in the presence of conflicting environmental, economic, and social interests.

Project period: 2016-2022

Financing: Formas

Belongs to: Department of Urban Planning and Environment
Last changed: Apr 10, 2022