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Insitu: Sketching Architectural Designs in Context
  Patrick Paczkowski Min H. Kim Yann Morvan  
  Julie Dorsey Holly Rushmeier Carol O'Sullivan  
Yale University
Trinity College Dublin
  An overview of our approach to presenting context in a lightweight conceptual design system. (a) Input includes site photos, aerial maps, elevation data, and GPS coordinates, from which linked pop-ups and terrain are produced through our novel positioning method, as shown in (b). (c) These representations are used to guide the development of sketches reconciled with the site.  
  Architecture is design in spatial context. The only current methods for representing context involve designing in a heavyweight computer-aided design system, using a full model of existing buildings and landscape, or sketching on a panoramic photo. The former is too cumbersome; the latter is too restrictive in viewpoint and in the handling of occlusions and topography. We introduce a novel approach to presenting context such that it is an integral component in a lightweight conceptual design system. We represent sites through a fusion of data available from different sources. We derive a site model from geographic elevation data, on-site point-to-point distance measurements, and images of the site. To acquire and process the data, we use publicly available data sources, multi-dimensional scaling techniques and refinements of recent bundle adjustment techniques. We offer a suite of interactive tools to acquire, process, and combine the data into a lightweight stroke and image-billboard representation. We create multiple and linked pop-ups derived from images, forming a lightweight representation of a three-dimensional environment. We implemented our techniques in a stroke-based conceptual design system we call Insitu. We developed our work through continuous interaction with professional designers. We present designs created with our new techniques integrated in a conceptual design system.
author = {Patrick Paczkowski and Min H. Kim and Yann Morvan and Julie Dorsey and Holly Rushmeier and Carol O'Sullivan},
title = {Insitu: Sketching Architectural Designs in Context},
journal = {ACM Transactions on Graphics (Proc. SIGGRAPH Asia 2011)},
year = {2011},
volume = {30},
number = {6},
pages = {182:1--10},
doi = "2024156.2024216",
URL = ""
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