Towards a Unified Framework for Smart Built Environment Design: An Architectural Perspective
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Smart built environments (SBE) include fundamentally different and enhanced capabilities compared to the traditional built environments. Traditional built environments consist of basic building elements and plain physical objects. These objects offer primitive interactions, basic use cases and direct affordances. As a result, the traditional architectural process is completely focused on two dimensions of design, i.e., the physical environment based on context and functional requirements based on the users. Whereas, SBEs have a third dimension, computational and communication capabilities embedded with physical objects enabling enhanced affordance and multi-modal interaction with the surrounding environment. As a result of the added capability, there is a significant change in activity pattern/spatial use pattern in an SBE. So, the traditional architectural design process needs to be modified to meet the unique requirements of SBE design. The aim of this thesis is to modify the traditional architectural design process by introducing SBE requirements. Secondly, this thesis explores a reference implementation of immersive technology based SBE design framework. The traditional architectural design tools are not always enough to represent, visualize or model the vast amount of data and digital components of SBE. SBE empowered with IoT needs a combination of the virtual and real world to assist in the design, evaluation and interaction process. A detailed discussion explored the required capabilities for facilitating an MR-based SBE design approach. An immersive technology is particularly helpful for SBE design because SBEs offer novel interaction scenarios and complex affordance which can be tested using immersive techniques.
General Audience Abstract
Smart built environments (SBE) are fundamentally different from our everyday built environments. SBEs have enhanced capabilities compared to the traditional built environments because computational and communication capabilities are embedded with everyday objects in case of SBEs. An wall or a table is no longer just a simple object rather an interactive component that can process information and communicate with people or other devices. The introduction of these smart capabilities in physical environment leads to change in user's everyday activity pattern. So the spatial design approach also needs to be reflect these changes. As a result, the traditional architectural design process needs to be modified for designing SBEs. The aim of this thesis is to introduce a modified SBE design process based on the traditional architectural design process. Secondly, this thesis explores an immersive technology (e.g.- mixed reality, virtual reality etc.) based SBE design framework. The traditional architectural design tools mostly provide two dimensional representations like sketches or renderings. But two dimensional drawings are not always enough to represent, visualize or model the vast amount of data and digital components associated with SBE. The SBE design process needs enhanced capabilities to represent the interdependency of connected devices and interaction scenarios with people. Immersive technology can be introduced to address this problem, to test the proposed SBE in a virtual/mixed reality environment and to test the proposed 'smartness' of the objects. This thesis explores the potentials of this type of immersive technology based SBE design approach.
- Masters Theses