Data-driven processes are increasingly being used in architectural design to create, evaluate, and select design options. Multiple design-aid systems for supporting such processes exist. Despite this, many systems primarily support parametric modelling or lack sufficient support for simultaneously organizing, scanning, and comparing multiple alternatives in the design and development process, taking their forms and performance data into account. In this research project, I argue that interactive data visualizations can provide real-time feedback about the performance of design alternatives. This data visualization should be incorporated in the design process from the early design stages. Moreover, evaluating and selecting potential alternatives must occur in the same context in which they are created and explored. The design environment also must enable detailed comparison of a few design alternatives as an integral part of the directly interactive design modelling workflow. We call our approach Design Analytics which aims to identify, develop, and validate practical key features of visualization tools for assisting designers in evaluating (e.g. analyzing, comparing, and selecting) multiple solutions with their data. I present Design Flow User Interface (D-FlowUI) and Design Comparative Analytics Tool (D-CAT) as visualization prototype systems integrated into an existing Computer-Aided Design application. D-FlowUI and D-CAT act as platforms for generating knowledge about using interactive data visualization to evaluate and compare design alternatives. Finally, I conducted a formative qualitative evaluation with design professionals, which revealed the tool's potential and highlighted future directions. This research aims to transfer the findings from studying and evaluating these interfaces to the development of practical applications for real-world use.
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Thesis advisor: Erhan, Halil
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