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Computer Spatial Analysis / Graphic Synthesis:
Northwest Frontier Province Agricultural University,
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COMPUTER SPATIAL ANALYSIS / GRAPHIC SYNTHESIS: PRINCIPAL COURTYARD,
NORTHWEST FRONTIER PROVINCE AGRICULTURAL UNIVERSITY,
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PREPARED BY SCOTT A. MACCORMACK OCTOBER 25, 1985
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF REQUIREMENTS FOR MASTER OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE COLLEGE OF DESIGN AND PLANNING, UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO AT DENVER
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As 3ury Members, we the undersigned have reviewed this thesis and found it to satisfactorily meet the requirements set by the University of Colorado at Denver, College of Design and Planning, division of Landscape Architecture, for the Masters Degree in Landscape Architecture.
lip E. Flores,
Division of Landscape Architecuture
Table of Contents
Chapter One 3
Chapter Two 11
Chapter Three 17
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This thesis is the product of much outside help and encouragement, without which it would never have reached the level it did. First and foremost, I am indebted to the Denver office of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM), and in particular to Mr. Robert Holmes for allowing me full access to one of the most advanced computer graphic systems in use today. I also owe thanks to several people at SOM: to Mr. Paul Vernon, computer system manager at SOM Denver, who set up special accounts for the thesis work and patiently answered my endless questioning: to Jim Fineay and Michael Goff, of SOM Chicago, who helped me enter and photograph my final computer graphics on the system there; to the staff and designers at SOM Denver who gave me tremendous help, well needed critiques and much appreciated encouragement throughout the course of the thesis.
The jury, comprised of Mr. Phillip E. Flores, landscape architect, Mr. Paul Vernon and Mr. Terry A. Willis, architects, brought a diverse blend of attitudes to my thesis. This jury was highly critical throughout the year and were instrumental in keeping the thesis on track and pushing it much further than I would have otherwise done.
Mr. Zintis Muiznieks edited the rough draft, and if anything in this thesis is understandable it is entirely due to his patient and thoughtful skills. My father-in-law and mother-in-law, Edward and Gretchen Hawley, gave the thesis a final edit as well as giving me support and encouragement through a difficult year.
I have often thought that thanking one's spouse was almost a reflex in a work such as this. But the truth of the matter is, that the results I hoped for in this thesis were only possible because of my wife's enduring faith and support. I was away from home far too often, and Martha not only tolerated the schedule, but smoothed out all the peaks and valleys that constantly occurred.
Denver, June 1986
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The computer, our newest and perhaps most useful tool, is rapidly working it's way into virtually every segment of our society. One of the slowest arenas for computer entry has been the design fields, in part because of the complexity required to handle design needs. However, the last five years have seen remarkable progress in affordable graphic computer systems, as well as a cornucopia of programs aimed at the design market. The stage is now set for computers to play a permanent role in the design world. It is for this reason that this exploratory thesis was undertaken.
For this thesis to be valid, the use of computers and their relationship to landscape architecture needed to be explored in a new way. It became apparent that graphic computer systems in design offices were being used to generate two dimensional working drawings or used to generate perspectives of projects already designed without the use of the computer. Computers were not being used to develop and evolve a design concept. This then became the hypothesis of the thesis: if the development, evolution, and synthesis of a design concept could be accomplished utilizing the computer to spatially analyze three dimensional models of a site, then higher quality final design should be the end result.
In order to test this hypothesis two goals needed to be accomplished. The first was to generate a landscape design methodology that relates to the way a computer system organizes graphic data. The second was to create a process that utilizes the computer in the development of an initial design concept through final form. The solution to the first goal was met by dividing a landscape into its basic elements and creating graphic files for each element. The second goal was met by overlapping these elements on the computer and generating computer perspectives of the design from viewpoints critical to spatial design analysis.
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Two possible approaches to concept development and design generation utilizing graphic computer systems are to design new software for use by landscape architects or to try to adapt an existing system to landscape architecture. It was logical to explore SOM's sophisticated computer graphics system in order to determine whether this hardware and software could produce graphic data useful to landscape architectural spatial analysis. By gaining a thorough knowledge of SOM's system first, a better understanding of what new software may be needed specifically for landscape design in the future was realized.
Like professionals in other disciplines faced with the invasion of computers, design professionals have a certain amount of computer phobia. One particularly effective statement that has been used to help designers conquer their initial fears is: "Computers are just a tool, they won't make a lousy design better". Nothing could be further from the truth. A carpenter can pound nails much better with a hammer than with a rock. The hammer serves as an extension of the arm, utilizing the power of a lever to concentrate force at the hammer head upon contact with a nail. In a very real sense, the computer is an extension of the brain just as a hammer is an extension of the arm. Today's design graphic computer systems are much more than just super filing systems or number crunchers. They are able to generate and manipulate graphic information at a speed and variety that is nothing short of amazing.
The ability of computers to display design alternatives, particularly in three dimensions, makes these new tools powerful allies to designers. New computer systems and programs in the future will generate patterns and forms far beyond computer technology today. While the thought of computers generating design options may scare some people, designers who take advantage of such systems will only benefit from these greater resources. For those still needing reassurance, computers will always need human direction, and as always, the final judgment of what is good or bad, what is usable and what is not, will be a human choice.
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Computer Graphic Construction
Computer graphics, like anything entered into a computer, is mathematically based. Computer design and drafting systems are based on Euclidean geometry. Points are placed in space defined by their location on an xyz coordinate system. Two points are used to determine a line. At least three points are needed to determine a plane surface (or a polygon). Polygons may then be manipulated to form squares, cubes or even buildings.
All computer graphic work done at SOM is initiated with the creation of a working grid, or mesh. Each mesh is created specifically for each job. For example, a mesh can be one inch by twenty inches, at one inch increments, or twenty feet by thirty feet, at one yard increments, or, as in the case study used for this thesis, three hundred and sixty meters by one hundred and eighteen meters with 3.6 meter increments. Examples of meshes can be seen in illustrations 1 and 2.
Meshes are useful for organizing elements in plan view. It is like working with a sheet of graph paper underneath tracing paper. The advantage of the computer mesh is the ability to customize a mesh for a given job. Another advantage to the mesh is that the computer will pick out or "snap" to any given intersection on the mesh, which greatly increases accurate drawing time.
Points and lines are placed on a working mesh by bringing up a crosshair on the screen. Crosshairs can be told to pick an intersection point of a mesh or they can be offset in the x, y or z axis to pick points in two dimensions (illustrations 3,4 and 5).
From Euclidean geometry, a line segment is defined by it's two end points. Enclosed space can be created with the use of polygons, constructed from line segments (see illustration 6). An example of how detail can be added to polygons to form two dimensional graphic images can be seen in the image of a computer screen (illustration 7).
An easy way to create three dimensional drawings with polygons is by utilizing a few more principles of Euclidean geometry. Points can be added in other planes to create three dimensional images. A simpler way to create three dimensional images on the computer is by repeating a given line or polygon into another plane and linking the planes. This results in cubes, irregular polygons or even the image of a three dimensional computer screen (illustration 8). Elements can also be transformed and/or repeated around the lower left corner, or the origin of the mesh, or around any point chosen in space. An object can be rotated and viewed in plan, elevation, section, axiometric, and any perspective desired, including internal perspective. Illustration 9 is an axiometric view of a drawing of a computer screen.
Pen size and color is assigned to lines. This greatly aids in organizing graphic information and in creating final drawings with proper line thickness. Polygons can also be filled on the screen with color or pattern. With the use of color lines and polygons filled with color, rich graphic images can be created and viewed.
Any given graphic element can be defined as a symbol and saved in a symbol library. The example of the computer screen image seen in illustration 9 was saved as a symbol. This symbol's name is "screen". This symbol is stored in a library of symbols called "hardware". Other graphic elements of a similar nature can be stored in this library.
These symbols are stored three dimensionally. They can be recalled by loading the name of a given library into the memory of a computer workstation. Symbols can then be graphically placed on a given drawing by using the crosshairs in the same manner that points are placed. Illustration 10 shows the symbol "screen" and the symbol "keyboard" together.
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Illustration 11 shows the addition of the symbol "stand" to the symbols "keyboard" and "screen".
New symbols can be created from old symbols by combining and redefining them. In the case of illustration 11, the symbols for "screen", "keyboard" and "stand" were loaded, converted to elements, and redefined as a symbol called "workstation", which was saved with "screen", "keyboard" and "stand" in the same library.
Symbols can be repeated as often as needed (see illustration 12). They can be changed in scale in the x, y and z axis. They can be rotated and moved about a graphic drawing. Symbols readjust themselves correctly to every perspective generated on the computer. Symbols are one of the most powerful and essential components of a computer graphic system.
The typical workstation sits at a designers desk where the designer enters and examines graphic data. Illustration 13 shows how several work stations are connected to the central processing unit (CPU), where the programs and memory data are stored and processed. Along with the CPU is a tape or diskdrive for storage and retrieval of graphic files. Recently the CPU moved out of expensive, separate computer rooms and into lower price ranges. Now every designer can have his own computer system at his desk. This significantly increases the number of users of computer graphics who undoubtedly will advance the capabilities and quality of computer graphics and computer graphic systems.
Once a given graphic image such as a symbol, plan or even perspective is completed it can be stored and reused in several ways. Graphic information, stored in the CPU, as a graphic file can be saved and brought up for re-editing. It can also be reprocessed as a special output file, a plot file, which is relayed to any number of various output devices (illustration 14). The most frequently utilized output device is a plotter. This is any machine that draws or 'plots' following instructions fed to it via computer. Plotters typically drive pens across paper or spray dots of ink onto paper (illustration 15).
Unfortunately the components most lagging in computer technology for graphics are the output devices. Output devices such as Benson and Xynetics plotters, hardcopiers and color hardcopiers do not possess the capability to duplicate everything which is displayed on the graphic screen. However, some images seen on the screen of the workstation (illustration 16), can be plotted on the plotter to a fairly high degree (illustration 17).
This ability to create lines, polygons, and symbols into graphic images including perspectives is the key to the landscape graphic images developed and utilized in this thesis.
Basic Landscape Elements on the Graphic Computer
In order to have access to SOM's computer system it was necessary to use a project with an existing account in the computer system. This resulted in the development of an alternative design of the landscaping of part of the campus being designed by SOM/Denver in Peshawar, Pakistan (illustrations 18 and 19). Pakistan is an Islamic nation with a rich design heritage in both landscape and architectural traditions. To make full use of the computer for spatial analysis, a site that had already been programmed and developed through schematic design was determined. The principal courtyard of the academic campus (illustration 20) was ideal, since the programming and schematic design requirements for this courtyard had been completed (illustration 21).
The basic objectives for a new landscape architecture methodology utilizing computers were: that the landscape architectural process known as inventory and analysis be easily accomplished; that the architectural process known as design development worked well; that creative exploration and development of design concepts could occur; and that easy and sensible three dimensional computer generated perspective analysis could be achieved.
These questions about the methodology and the computer were the result of intensive initial thought. The problem was in determining a graphic format suitable for both landscape architectural analysis and computer graphics. As mentioned, the solution was to break a landscape into basic elements which could be entered into the computer as graphic files. Norman Booth's book, Basic Elements of Landscape Architecture, lists six basic elements: landform, buildings, vegetation, paving, site, structures, and water. While this list may be expanded and questioned (elements such as art or lighting might deserve special consideration), it works fairly well as a way of conducting an analysis of any given site. As an experiment, a large number of assorted tree symbols were created and analyzed in three dimensional perspective. Plants are one of the more challenging elements to create in three dimensions on the computer. After successfully completing a working library of tree symbols, it was a logical conclusion that basic landscape elements could be entered into graphic files.
The existing SOM schematic design concept for the principle courtyard was to perceive it as not one, but two courtyards. Basically SOM took a rectangular courtyard and divided it into two square courtyards. The traditional Islamic courtyard is square, inwardly focused on an ablution water tank in the center. The SOM schematic concept design was structured to follow this premise (illustration 22).
Buildings were examined because of their spatial dominance (illustration 23). They also influence grading of the site. The buildings and arcades shown in illustrations 24 and 25, proposed by SOM, surround the principal courtyard. After this basic landscape element (site buildings) was entered into the computer, perspectives of the space begin to demonstrate the computer's ability to illustrate a design graphically.
Next, landform was re-evaluated (illustrations 25 and 26). Programming requirements for the courtyard stated that all buildings be erected with the same finished floor elevations. Due to this requirement, a great deal of fill dirt would be needed to raise the buildings on the east side of the courtyard. In order to minimize the amount of fill between the buildings the courtyard was conceived by SOM as two sunken areas.
The next basic landscape element to be examined was vegetation (illustrations 27 and 28). Tree symbols created earlier were placed into the design. Analysis of these symbols in context determined that the symbols composed of line work only were too open in their structure, and needed to be filled to be graphically accurate. New versions of tree symbols were developed, and their use can be seen in illustration 30 of the final SOM design (all elements included).
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Case Study; Principle Courtyard, Northwestern Frontier Province Agricultural University, Peshawar, Pakistan
This chapter is divided into three parts. Part I briefly describes the basic organization found in Islamic courtyard design. Part II examines some of the current design requirements for both the client and the principal courtyard of the campus upon which preliminary concepts are established. Part III demonstrates how the concepts arrived at in Part II are developed and analyzed graphically on the computer utilizing the methodology outlined in Chapter Two. Whereas in Chapter Two an existing design (SOM's) was utilized as a test model for computer graphic capabilities, this chapter utilizes the computer for the development, analysis and illustration of a completely new design concept for the courtyard, determined soley by the author.
Part 1 A Brief Look at Islamic Design
As found in the Qoran, the basic concept of Islamic landscape is known as the "paradise garden". This concept is really much older than the Qoran, dating back several hundred years before Mohammed to the Persian oasis garden. The basic elements of the oasis, while simple, have led to one of landscape architecture's richest sources of design. The major elements of the oasis garden include: water, usually flowing from or through the center of the oasis; trees, especially fruit trees; and buildings, usually in the center or surrounding the space.
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Smaller, inwardly focused gardens that are surrounded by arcades and buildings are known as courtyards. Islamic influences of the oasis courtyard included a strong geometrical order. Water, typically held in an ablution tank in the center, usually flows away to the four cardinal points, serving as an irrigation system. Ablution tanks sometimes contain a fountain. Water and trees serve to affect the microclimate, shading and adding moisture to an otherwise hot dry climate, thus cooling the rooms behind the arcades. The principal campus courtyard used in this analysis is probably too large and public of a space to be considered an Islamic courtyard in the strict sense of the definition.
The other major type of Islamic oasis is the garden. Islamic gardens are usually on a grand scale, as with the Taj Mahal. Typically, the Islamic garden has water running through the center, usually with a kiosk or open building above the water. Various levels, or terraces, may be included. Islamic gardens, like courtyards, are also strongly determined by geometric order. Although the principal courtyard is perhaps too large to be a courtyard, it is also too small and enclosed to be considered a true Islamic garden. Even so, many Islamic elements of design from both the courtyard and the garden were utilized in the development of the design concepts explored in part three of this chapter.
Part II Programming Requirements
While all the basic Islamic landscape elements are important, the courtyard's function as an integral, active part of the University program takes precedence. A major client concern was to make the campus a modern institution both in terms of facilities and aesthetics. Although traditional Islamic heritage was to be considered, the primary purpose of the design was to create a simple, elegant and functional place.
The overall SOM Master Plan for the campus calls for the linkage of several courtyards. The design dictates four courtyards, several buildings (including the library), and a parking area all be located directly adjacent to the principal courtyard. This kind of organizational layout suggests that one of the primary functions of the principal courtyard is pedestrian circulation.
Grading and microclimate are two other functional issues important to the design development of the courtyard. The grading considerations (mentioned in Chapter Two) need to be addressed regardless of the design solution. The traditional microclimatic elements required for cooling the courtyard and surrounding spaces are designed to be not only functional but also aesthetic.
The following Part will illustrate the author's development of a design utilizing the concepts of circulation, grading, and microclimate, which were developed with a sense of traditional Islamic design aesthetics, although somewhat simplified.
Part III Computer Graphic Spatial Analysis
The development and analysis of the design on the computer was structured in the following manner:
1) Concepts for each of the basic landscape elements were determined.
2) Simple sketches in plan view for each concept were drawn.
3) Plans for each landscape concept were entered into the existing two dimensional computer layout of the principal courtyard.
4) Simple three dimensional perspective images were created on the computer from the two dimensional layouts. These images were studied and modified as necessary.
Analysis of the buildings and courtyards that surround the principal courtyard strongly suggests that the primary function here is circulation. This long and narrow courtyard picks up the strong cross axial organization dictated by the architecture of surrounding structures. The cross axis molds well with traditional Islamic garden design. The center point of the intersection of the cross axis becomes not a focal point, but a vantage point from which the entire principal courtyard can be viewed. This then is the basis of my concept diagram (illustration 30). This concept placed in the computer became the skeleton for the detailed concepts to follow.
The programming requirements for the space were primarily for circulation and secondarily for student gatherings. These circulation needs were considered as a strong factor in organizing the space. The circulation diagram (illustration 31), along with the concept diagram it overlays, became the major form generator for organizing the ground plane (landform).
One of the advantages of working with the computer is that with the underlying mesh, proposed concepts can be precisely placed allowing for design concepts to be quickly developed. The circulation concept, once placed onto the mesh, was quickly generated into a three dimensional image (illustration 32).
Any area not utilized as a pedestrian circulation route evolved into the basic landscape element of landform by creation of planter beds, which also related well with traditional Islamic garden design. Grading requirements were met by utilizing the planters as terraces, stepping down into the courtyard. This can be seen in illustration 32.
The perspective was studied with a human figure placed into the drawing to show scale, and in this way perspectives could quickly be corrected and re-examined. This cycle was run until the design began to take on the desired form and scale. The perspective seen in illustration 34 is the final evolved landform. Illustration 33 of the revised site plan is actually created directly from this final perspective. This action is dynamic and occurs on the computer in a swift flowing process of change and analysis. The perspectives are really milestones in the development of the final layout of the courtyard.
The next basic landscape element to be considered was vegetation. The basic planting concept was to plant fruit trees along the narrow cross diagonals. Each end of the cross axis was framed with Cheneer trees, a highly valued species, more commonly known as the London Plane tree. Poplars or cypress were to be placed just opposite the columns along the east and west arcades. Previously created tree symbols, scaled to fifteen year maturity, were placed into the revised site plan. Separate analyses of mature trees at varying heights were performed. Perspectives were generated and analyzed to arrive at the image seen in illustration 37.
One of the unique computer capabilities, utilized in this analyses, is the ability to perform shadow studies. Such a study revealed that the poplar trees would block needed winter sun. The shadow study shown in illustration 36 is the final analysis of shade which ultimately led to the planting plan seen in illustration 35.
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Perhaps the most important of the basic elements in landscape architecture is the use of water. It is certainly true in the case of the Islamic Paradise Gardens. Photographs in Susan Jelicoe's book on Mogul gardens reveal that the most magnificent courtyard or garden seems asleep without the presence of water. For the principal courtyard, water became the most critical element, serving to link the space and to bring life to this large outdoor room.
Water as a basic landscape element (illustration 39) in the principal courtyard served two functions. The first was to unify the courtyard to itself and surrounding courtyards. The second purpose was to cool and improve the microclimate. Like the previous elements, this concept evolved through a lengthy process culminating with the final design seen in illustrations 38 and *f0.
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The concept for paving (illustration 42) demonstrates the following design criteria: Overall, paving was organized on the mesh to provide a framework for this and other courtyards. This framework allows for each of the squares on the mesh to be divided into many different patterns, thus allowing for "unity to be expressed as a quality of diversity", a basic Islamic spatial concept.
The paving in the principal courtyard, the area used by the largest number of people, was kept large and simple. In areas where the scale and use becomes more intimate, the paving breaks the 3.6 meter grid down to .9 meter pavers. Various color schemes and paving patterns were studied on the computer (illustrations 41 and 43).
The last major landscape element to be looked at was site structures. The most important structure placed in this space was the kiosk. The kiosk is a true Islamic creation, used differently than the western counterpart. Typically, in Islamic design, the kiosk is placed directly over water, usually at an important visual point such as a cross axis. Computer graphic analysis determined that deviations from traditional kiosk requirements were necessary. The scale of the kiosk suggested that the structure be set around the central water feature rather than over it (illustrations 43 and 44).
The illustrations to this point have been limited to only one vantage point. In the following illustrations, sequential views show what the actual final design will look like seen from a variety of different views of the space. It is important to understand that the illustrations used to demonstrate the design development were presented from the same vantage point for clarity. In the actual development of design concepts, many different views, whichever are important to relationships of form and scale, are generated for better understanding of the design.
In self-evaluation of my use of this technique and the process of computer analyzed design development, I have reached several conclusions about this process:
1. If the time is taken to put accurate working drawings into the computer, then all the groundwork is already done, enabling the fast generation of three dimensional perspective analysis.
2. If computers are used throughout the entire design process, then economic and design quality results are definite. If they are used only partially, then the results are not what they could be.
3. Computers are not for every project, generally the bigger the project, the more time and cost effective using the computer becomes.
4. Everything done using SOM's computers in this thesis could be exceeded by small design offices that utilize new, inexpensive computers.
The capabilities of developing and synthesizing design concepts used in this thesis succeeded far better than I imagined. This method of computer analysis, which allows the designer to accurately examine any given design from so many view points, can certainly help the most experienced designer better understand his or her design and its implications.
Ackoff, Russell L., Redesigning the Future, Wiley Interscience Publishing, New York, 1974. A small, out of print book that makes a case for planning the future by understanding patterns in today's world and directing their future growth.
Alexander, Christopher A Pattern Language, Oxford University Press, New York, 1977. This immensely complex book by Alexander breaks down into a few simple concepts, one of which is the nestling of smaller patterns in larger patterns, applicable to computer systems.
Booth, Norman K., Basic Elements of Landscape Architecture, Elsevier, New York, 1983. Occasionally, this book loses objectivity, but that condition is far outweighed by the simple and clear organization of the major elements found in Landscape Architecture.
de Bono, Edward, Lateral Thinking, Creativity Step by Step, Harper Colophon Books, 1970. de Bono looks at how the mind thinks, and then projects a new method into traditional ways of problem solving in order to tap and develop creativity. Perfect for computer generated design applications
Dirr, Michael A., Manual of Woody Landscape Plants, Stipes Publishing Co., Champaign, 1983.
Doyle, Michael E., Color Drawing, Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., New York, 1981. This book is fast becoming a classic for color rendering. The book also suggests ways and means of drawing foreground, background and middleground that were useful for computer application.
Edwards, Betty, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, 3.P. Tarcher Inc., Los Angeles, 1979, A step by step guide to improving drawing skills by tapping into the right side of the brain. Edwards explores the right brain ability to see and solve problems differently.
Hanks, Kurt and Belliston, Larry, Draw1. A Visual Approach to Thinking, Learning and Communicating, William Kaufman, Inc., Los Altos, California, 1977. This drawing technique book also expands into the realm of visual exploration of design idea development. A very useful book on several levels.
Heck, J.G., The Complete Encyclopedia of Illustration, Park Lane, United States of America, 1979. The most enjoyable reference book available.
Kemp, Weston D., Photography for Visual Communicators, Prentice Hall Inc., Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1973. More than just a how-to book, this interesting book explores alternative possibilities for visual communication.
Lockard, William Kirby, Design Drawing, Pepper Publishing, Tucson, 1974. Details techniques for perspective drawing as well as presenting an argument for the use of perspective drawing as the most useful method of three dimensional design.
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MacDougall, Bruce E., Microcomputers in Landscape Architecture, Elsevier Science Publishing Co., New York, 1983. Several programs are listed in this resource book that thoroughly covers the uses of the microcomputer up to the early 1980's, but may already be out of date.
Mandelbrot, Benoit B., The Fractal Geometry of Nature, W. H. Freeman and Co., 1979. A similar work to Stevens (below) but much more mathematical and technical. Mandelbrot's work is done directly on computer generated systems, and will ppobably be seen more on a daily basis in computer graphic systems of the future.
McHarg, Ian L., Design with Nature, Doubieday/Natural History Press, 1969. Perhaps the most important aspect of this book is the chapter on values. The general notion of overlaying maps made popular by this book will continue to influence what graphic and data based computer systems will develop in the future.
Ramsey, Charles G. and Sleeper, Harold R., Architectural Graphic Standards, Sixth Edition, 3ohn Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, 1970. Reference.
Rand, Ayn, Atlas Shrugged, Random House Inc., New York, 1957. Perhaps the best argument for utilizing technology in a progressive manner. A good source of motivation.
Rutledge, Albert 3., Anatomy of a Park, McGraw-Hill Co., New York, 1971. This book was written for non-designers and as a consequence, it avoids much dogma and 'designspeak'. Perhaps this is why it finds itself on the book shelves of so many designers. A good clear description of the landscape design process is presented with a few simple graphics.
Stevens, Peter S., Patterns in Nature, Little, Brown and Co., Boston, 1974. The mathematical and geometrical basis for nature is explored in understandable detail within. The logic for tree growth was the model used as a basis for computer tree generation in this thesis.
Sommer, Robert, The Mind's Eye, Delacort Press, New York, 1978. One of the first books to look at visual thinking processes in the brain. Sommer examines the phenomenon of individuals who are able to project a mental image in the mind's eye with a great deal of clarity.
Walker, Theodore, Site Design and Construction Detailing, PDA Publishing, West Lafayette, Indiana, 1978. A resource book showing various styles, a good source book.
Alverson, Claude, "Computer Graphics in Strategic Design, Helping Clients Stand Out in a Highly Competitive Marketplace", Computer Graphics World, August, 1984.
Anderson, Paul F., "Stats on Computer Use", Landscape Architecture, November/December 1984.
Ely, E. S., "Don't be afraid of Computer Phobia", Computer Decisions, September, 1985.
Itami, Robert M., Gimbiett H. R., Brooks, Cindy "Simulating Growth Effects on Design", Landscape Architecture, 3uly/August 1984.
Magnan, George A., "Holistic Design Looks at all the Angles", Design Graphics World, December 1985.
Wagner, Patrice M., "Digital Portfolio", Computer Graphics World, June, 1984.
Wright, Victor E., "Scanning Imager Offers Advantages Over Other CADD Input Methods", Design Graphics World, December 1985.