ParaSIM: a Hybrid Technology-Enhanced Framework to Learning Energy Modelling in Architectural Design Education

Nasar, Zuhair A Abbas
(2020) ParaSIM: a Hybrid Technology-Enhanced Framework to Learning Energy Modelling in Architectural Design Education. PhD thesis, University of Liverpool.

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This thesis explores the use of parametric design as a pedagogic tool to enhance architecture students’ understanding of environmental aspects of their studio design projects. Since the widespread introduction of digital tools in architectural education, practice and research, their implementation within architectural education have yet to change significantly in many educational institutions. Consequently, architectural pedagogy must be enhanced to adapt to the development of advanced digital skills, along with technical knowledge including structure, energy, and climate. These factors emphasise the need for a more comprehensive understanding and knowledge of the impacts and roles of parametric design and digital simulation technologies in architecture pedagogy and design studio education. Therefore, the main research aim was to examine these tools and propose a flexible functional pedagogical, as well as conceptual framework in architectural education. Building on existing work on digital tools and technologies, this thesis asks: to what extent do current digital tools support architectural students’ design knowledge, thinking and modelling in their decision-making, and how can advanced digital tools advance these processes? The use of advanced parametric simulation tools is phrased as ‘ParaSIM’ for the research, which represents the main study contribution. ParaSIM can be considered an interactive descriptive approach, by enhancing the interaction between architecture students and digital design and simulation tools to support students' design decision-making, mainly building-performance assessment, to assist in acquiring accurate and rapid feedback. These tools are employed to generate optimal environmental designs for students considering the 3D massing of their studio design projects using parametric tools, such as Grasshopper3D, combined with energy simulation tools, such as Ladybug. Many approaches were conducted to test and assess ParaSIM in architecture pedagogy. Experimental works were commenced, including two sets of workshops, with students, and interviews with architectural experts from academia and practice. The final research output is a ParaSIM pedagogical framework. This framework aims to support students' design decision-making by improving their interaction with digital design and simulation tools. This process reduces the time and effort required to complete computable design tasks. Accordingly, the students themselves can make most of the design decision activities within the ParaSIM framework regarding the measurable design aspects of energy simulation, consequently requiring less interaction from design studio tutors in this area. Students still need to discuss more subjective design decisions such as aesthetics, narrative, function, and culture, however, the introduction of the ParaSIM framework creates more capacity for these areas.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of the Arts
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2021 16:07
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2023 23:19
DOI: 10.17638/03109006