As usual, BLDGBLOG blows my mind. Skim over all the word-clouds—those are old-hat by now—and take a look at the last two paragraphs of the post. The idea of making room clouds is great, but what it sparks in my mind is even more interesting, to me: the idea of serializing architecture. If you could find a good encoding for architecture, you could use all sorts of existing techniques to play with large amounts of architectural data. I am thinking, particularly, of using genetic algorithms to grow building designs that are highly fit for various purposes; that would require a good fitness algorithm, too, but seriously, the field of computational architecture is untapped!
So how would one serialize a building? I suspect that the work of Karl Sims is not irrelevant; serializing a building is a lot like serializing a creature. The only difference for use in a genetic algorithm is the fitness function, which for a creature is based on reproductive ability before total energy loss, but for a building… well, that’s the question, isn’t it? Clearly it would have a number of factors: safety, efficiency for purpose, pleasantness.
What would you think was important to a building’s fitness?