Control theory, operational research, Automatique, recherche opérationnelle, Civil engineering, Génie civil, Sciences exactes et technologie, Exact sciences and technology, Sciences appliquees, Applied sciences, Batiment. Travaux publics, Buildings. Public works, Généralités, General, Etablissement de projets. Techniques de conception, Project management. Process of design, Architecture, Analyse et théorie, Analysis and theory, Calcul des constructions. Sollicitations, Structural analysis. Stresses, Méthodes de calcul. Tables. Abaques, Computation methods. Tables. Charts, Conception assistée, Computer aided design, Concepción asistida, Conception, Design, Diseño, Education, Educación, Formation professionnelle, Occupational training, Formación profesional, Modèle physique, Physical model, Modelo físico, Prototypage rapide, Rapid prototyping, Prototipificación rápida, Réalité virtuelle, Virtual reality, Realidad virtual, Simulation numérique, Numerical simulation, Simulación numérica, 3D printer, Computer-aided modelling, and Design education
Designing-giving form to new objects or environments-is largely a question of anticipating the workings of spatial and material environments, which can become 'reality' only by being built. Until realized, a design is essentially a figment of the designer's imagination, although his or her ideas may be laid down and conveyed to others via specialized design media. In this way, impressions of the design may be shared with clients, colleagues or other 'actors' in the design process. Such products of the designer's imaging process can be relatively abstract or begin to approach future reality. Form & Media research can be revealing, stimulating insights concerning preferences, working processes and the effects of products of the designer's imagination. In the past 10 years, we have gained considerable practical experience with both virtual and tangible (scale) models. We have compared different techniques in conference workshops, within educational settings and in our Form & Media research laboratory. The research projects ranged from the development of practical techniques and working methods to protocol analyses of designing architects. This contribution draws comparisons between different computer-aided modelling techniques, with an indication of their perspectives, making use of the experience gained from various experiments in an educational context, and will highlight the potentials for different combinations of digital and physical modelling techniques.