|M.Sc Student||Aharoni Ram|
|Subject||The Bubble Diagram as a Tool for the Design of Houses in|
Light of the Characterisation of Users' Needs
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisor||Professor Emeritus Gabriela Goldschmidt|
|Full Thesis text - in Hebrew|
The purpose of this study is to develop a design tool which represents diagrammatically affinities between activity spaces in private houses according to user requirements, in order to shorten and streamline the design process. The research question is: How to express user needs as reflected in the affinities between activity spaces, early in the design process?
The study poses users as the central figures in the design process and aims at characterizing their needs early on. The bubble diagram is used to represent the characterization of user needs, following input from users. The study implements an analytical tool as part of a process which is essentially intuitive, by providing diagrammatic output (to be fully computerized eventually).
The tool at hand divides the initial design process into three main phases: first, using twenty fundamental preliminary characterization questions to be answered by users, in order to prepare the first design alternative. Second, a display of the first alternative, followed by the customer's feedback, and collecting further information by the designer. Third, a display of a detailed second alternative. The characterization questions are entered into a computerized information management system, using possible affinities among the various activities in the building. A three-dimensional bubble diagram is produced as an initial representation in which the affinities can be changed or moved.
Two experiments were conducted: the first implemented the designing tool in several real projects; the second examined the contribution of the bubble diagram to streamlining the design process. The first experiment revealed discrepancies between the design product and the programmatic requirements due to restrictions resulting from site conditions that prevented a match with client requirements. The diagram also assisted in focusing on design difficulties resulting from the difference between architects’ professional values and the client's requirements.
The second experiment showed that the use of diagrams contributed to shorten designing time but did not support the assumption that they contribute to satisfying user needs.
Developing this design tool has won favorable responses from architects, who will be able to focus on design solutions which are compatible with user needs without scarifying the architect's creativity. Moreover, this design tool also allows the presentation of diagrams pertaining to existing knowledge regarding user requirement, thereby permitting the representation and testing of designs of existing buildings.