Sileryte, R., Cavic, L., & Beirao, J. N. (2017). Automated generation of versatile data model for analyzing urban architectural void. Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, 66, 130–144.

Abstract: Urban environments are defined and modeled in a variety of ways depending on the scientific approach to analyze them. Even though a number of analysis could benefit from using a single model and re-using results of one for the sake of the other, so far no single data model is available. Moreover, the existing stan- dardized models focus on describing objects in and around urban architectural void rather than the spaces themselves. Nevertheless, a number of phenomena such as heat, energy, pollution, also including social and mobility aspects would undoubtedly benefit from using a model that is explicitly focused on defining the urban architectural void and its characteristics as continuous field, interconnected network or series of spa- tial units. Therefore, this paper aims to suggest a versatile data model that would allow to separate, interpret, analyze and visualize the urban architectural void using a standardized automated procedure. The model relies on Gestalt theories for space compartmentalization. It allows performing various kinds of analysis and storing their results in a unified format using core concepts of GIS. The model can be rendered both as a 2D and 3D representation. Finally, user intervention and parameter calibration is allowed at every principal step of an automated procedure.

Cavic, L., Sileryte, R. & Beirão, J.N., 2017. 3D-INFORMED CONVEX SPACES – The Automated Generation of Convex Representation for Open Public Space Analysis. In 11th International Space Syntax Symposium. Lisbon.

Abstract: Studies on open public spaces are based on representational models that can until some extent encompass their intrinsic complexity involving some simplification of reality based on tractability purposes and research interests. In order to construct a representational model for analysis of open public spaces the paper proposes an automated method for space compartmentalization into unique convex non-overlapping spatial units aiming at preserving most of the available structural and semiotic data which could be further visualized and organised in more flexible manner. It addresses the representational issues of open public spaces starting by convex spaces representation, as defined by Space Syntax methodology, looking at its strengths and weaknesses regarding the robustness of rules, sensitivity to tri-dimensional context and importance of topography. Based on that, a 3D-informed algorithm for convex spaces’ construction is divided in two main parts: (a) space triangulation; and (b) triangle aggregation for convex space generation. The first part encodes tri-dimensional urban limits, vertical, horizontal and topographical which are further used as the basis for triangulation. The second part allows for triangles’ aggregation into convex spaces according to convexity thresholds and a function of space superiority or dominance. Finally, the analytical applicability of the model is demonstrated on the case study of riverside Lisbon whence some advantages of 3D-informed map in comparison to other representational models, such as VGA, RCL and Space Syntax’s convex space model are pointed out. In addition, some applications of the new 3D-informed convex map are presented: a) the map makes part of a broader versatile data model; b) the proposed 3D-informed convex spaces are used as the basis for tri-dimensional representational models of Convex, Solid and Fragmented Voids whose generative algorithms are briefly presented.

Beirão, J.N., Chaszar, A. & ?avi?, L., 2015. ‘Analysis and Classification of Public Spaces Using Convex and Solid-Void Models’. In S. T. Rassia & P. M. Pardalos, eds. Future City Architecture for Optimal Living. Springer International Publishing, pp. 241–270.  

Abstract: Urban planning and design are increasingly often supported by analytical models of urban space. We present a method of representation for analysis and classification of open urban spaces based on physical measures including three-dimensional data to overcome some observed limitations of two-dimensional methods. Beginning with “convex voids” constructed from 2D plan information and 3D data including topography and building facade heights, we proceed to “solid voids” constructed by aggregation of convex voids. We describe rules for construction of both convex voids and solid voids, including basic forms and their adjustment for perception. For analysis we develop descriptive characteristic values such as enclosure, openness, granularity and connectivity, derived from more basic geometric properties of the void representations. We also show how combinations of these values can be correlated with urban open space typologies, including commonly accepted traditional ones as well as previously unnamed classes of space. Concluding with discussion of some future planned developments in this work, we also propose that such methods can contribute to better understanding of the relations between urban forms and their perception and use, so as to guide urban transformations for improved urban quality.

Cavic, L. & Beirão, J., 2014. Open Public Space Attributes and Categories – Complexity and Measurability. Magazine AR Architecture, Research, 2014/2 Volume XV, pp.15–24.

Abstract: There is a growing trend across the field of architectural research towards a practice-led approach. This has seen researchers move beyond the established limits of quantitative and qualitative research, in pursuit of a new distinct paradigm called ‘performative research’ [Haseman, 2009]. This type of research allows practitioners to explore and question the issues that they believe are relevant through practice. As such, an architectural researcher may deploy a method called ‘research through design’, with a view to developing new knowledge. This paper gives an overview of performative research in architecture schools across the world, before discussing forms of design research. It gives an outline of the diverse field in which practice-led research can take place and an insight to the broad spectrum of practices that can supplement practice-led research and the different degrees and balance of methods that may be supported. In turn, this enables a discussion regarding the type of knowledge that can be developed through research by design. ‘Relational knowledge’ does not necessarily seek a formula or hypothesis, but aims to work in context and between tensions. This type of knowledge can help us to explore connections across a broad field and work across disciplines, in order to gain a deeper understanding of relationships in context and with society.

Beirão, J., Chaszar, A. and Cavic, L. (2014) Convex – and Solid-Void Models for Analysis and Classification of Public Spaces, in Gu, N. et al. (eds). CAADRIA 2014, 19th International Conference on Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia, Kyoto, Japan: Kyoto institute of technology.

Abstract:  In this paper a semi-automated morphological classification of urban space is addressed systematically by sorting through the volumetric shapes of public spaces represented as 3-dimensional convex and solid voids. The motivation of this approach comes from a frequent criticism of space syntax methods for lacking information on how buildings and terrain morphology influence the perception and use of public spaces in general and streets in particular. To solve this problem information on how façades relate with streets and especially information about the facades’ height should be considered essential to produce a richer and more accurate morphological analysis of street canyons and other open spaces. Parametric modelling of convex voids broadens the hitherto known concept of two-dimensional convex spaces considering surrounding facades’ height and topography as important inputs for volumetric representation of urban space. The method explores the analytic potentials of ‘convex voids’ and ‘solid voids’ in describing characteristics of open public spaces such as containment, openness, enclosure, and perceived enclosure, and using these metrics to analyse and classify urban open spaces.