|The LaHave House|
The LaHave House Project explores the creation of an automated architectural design service based on an industrial design approach to architecture in which architects design families of similarly structured objects, rather than individual ones.
Currently in North America architects are involve in the design of only about 5% percent of the total new house market. Whereas custom architectural design will always have a premier role to play, we believe that an industrial design approach to architecture can bring much of the design quality and variety of custom design to the other 95% of the market, at an affordable price.
At the heart of the project is the use of generative grammars to build design libraries.
All of the images on this page are of houses resulting from the LaHave House Grammar.
Our current software architecture consists of four software components: 1) A design engine that uses shape grammars to generate a library of preliminary level house designs, 2) A design development tool that permits end-users to selected, customize and visualize designs drawn from the library over the world-wide-web 3) A building systems configuration tool that transforms customized designs into working/assembly drawings, and 4) A shared geometric parts server.
In an effort to evaluate the robustness of our methodology and software, we recently conducted a ten day software trial in cooperation with a division of the Hyundai group of South Korea. In this trial, we adapted our existing description formalism for single family wood-frame houses to suit the Korean setting and culture. We generated a library of over six thousand house forms from which eleven were chosen by Brian MacKay-Lyons to form a small housing development which Hyundai plans to build in a resort community ninety minutes outside Seoul, South Korea. To our knowledge, this will be the first example of the construction of houses which were designed using a design space description formalism.
The project is lead by Andrew Rau-Chaplin of the Dalhousie Faculty of Computer Science and Brian MacKay-Lyons. Brian, a four time recipient of the Governor General's Medal for Architecture, is a member of the Dalhousie Faculty of Architecture and is also in private practice.
Other members of the project team past and present have largely been either Masters and Ph.D. students in Computer Science or Architecture.