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FREAC - Framework for Enhancing Research in Architectural Design and Communication

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Research in the field of Computer Aided Architectural Design (CAAD) consists not only in analysing, evaluating and classifying existing digital systems but more importantly in the development of new concepts and ideas for future software developments. Ideally these concepts are developed to a prototypical state for testing under real conditions. One possibility of realising such prototypes is to use commercially available systems as a basis and extend these with the necessary functionality. In many cases, however, commercial systems are – despite their extensive functionality – often too rigid and inflexible for the demands of new concepts such as interactive and generative design systems, open design methods or digital building surveying. Another means of realising prototypes lies in the development and programming of own tools from scratch. Aside from the not inconsiderable programming task involved, a problem typical of proprietary solutions is a lack of compatibility with other programs and tools. Typically such tools are therefore developed to provide functionality sufficient to serve a specific purpose which in turn limits the scope of evaluation possible. This situation shows clearly that for experimental software development in the field of CAAD research, there is a need for a supporting framework with which one can link together different software tools.

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