“Architecture-by-yourself: an experiment with computer graphics for house design” by Weinzapfel and Negroponte

  • ©Guy Weinzapfel and Nicholas Negroponte




    Architecture-by-yourself: an experiment with computer graphics for house design



    Architecture-by-Yourself is an experiment in computer aided design that applies the medium of computer graphics, used by a general populace. The research program confronts the delicate balance between insightfulness and paternalism toward a user who ultimately bares the risk. The paper reports on a case study, on the underlying philosophy’s of the French architect Yona Friedman, and on a computer implementation called YONA. As part of a larger research effort, Machine Recognition and Inference Making in Computer Aids to Design, we postulate further developments that will exercise input and visualization techniques in a relentless setting, relentless in the sense that the user is demanding, the problem is hard, and the product is a personal, one-of-a-kind design.


    1. “Machine Recognition and Inference Making in Computer Aids to Design.” MIT, Architecture Machine Group, NSF Proposal, 1974.Google Scholar
    2. Negroponte, Nicholas, “The Architecture Machine,” Computer Aided Design, Vol. 7. No. 3, 1975.Google Scholar
    3. Finrow, Jerry, and Heilman, Robert, “Toward a User Based Automated Architectural Design System: Theory, System Operation and Future Development, DMG-DRS Journal, Vol. 7, No. 2, 1973, p. 124.Google Scholar
    4. Weinzapfel, Guy,”IMAGE-A Computer Design Aid System,” Proceedings of the Share-ACM-IEEE Design Automation Workshop, June 28-30, 1971, Atlantic City, New Jersey.Google Scholar
    5. Weinzapfel, Guy, “The Falco Experiment,” MIT, Architecture Machine Group, working paper, 1975.Google Scholar
    6. Friedman, Yona, Toward a Scientific Architecture, Cambridge: MIT Press, 1975.Google Scholar
    7. “Touch Sensitive Displays,” MIT, Architecture Machine Group, ARPA Proposal, 1978.Google Scholar
    8. A simplistic brute force process is used at the present time. See John Hopcroft and Robert Tarjan, “Efficient Planarity Testing,” Journal of the Association for Computing Machinery. Vol. 21, No. 4, pp. 549-568, 1974, for a more efficient algorithm which may be implemented in the coming year if response times are too slow from our present routine. Google ScholarDigital Library
    9. Smith, Stephen Garland, “A Graph Theoretic Approach to Interactive Layout Planning,” MIT, M.S. Thesis, Management, Dewey Archives, 1971.Google Scholar

ACM Digital Library Publication:

Overview Page: