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Premise

"Problems are solved twice. Once in the mind and once out there in the world"1.

More the minds that work on a problem, better would be its solution... provided there was a clear exchange of what is going on in the minds of the interested parties.

The open source movement of the software industry brings this clarity by opening out the source code2 for scrutiny and co-operative development. This is explained more in detail on another page.

The premise of this project is as follows:

  • Architecture possibly also has a source code which is closely aligned to how it is represented in the architect's mind.
  • This source code can be objectively exchanged and discussed with interested parties and so an open-source movement can be started.
  • An open-source movement in architecture should also bring in seminal improvements to our world and safeguard all our concerns3.

Objectives of the project

  • The highest objective of this project is to develop a system of practising architecture so that it is more accurate, socially responsible and the intention is clear to everyone -- even after the decision makers are long gone.

To reach that objective the following milestones are identified:

  • Identify a suitable representation system that can act as the source-code for the architectural problem as represented in the mind. The representation should cover not just architecture but also people and resource issues.
  • Set up a framework for such an open source movement using the representation system.
  • Get all stakeholders and decision makers to use the framework.

Background
In 1989, Mr. Sabu Francis; a practising architect in India, discovered a fractal mathematical system that topologically represents architectural elements. He was awarded the JIIA (Journal of Indian Institute of Architects) special award for research in 1991 for this work. That award did not carry any prize money but provided sufficient impetus to start this project. His representation system and software was used in practically all of his work from 1989 onwards -- approximately three million squarefoot. Here is a presentation of a project* done using his system; a row-house for a doctor in Navi Mumbai, India.

It is now possible that a big part of the source code with which architecture can be discussed among interested parties can be using the system discovered by Mr. Sabu Francis. The system is called TAD; an acronym for The Architect's Desktop. A framework using this system has been started at this website. However, this project is generous not just to this framework. If, after discussions, we find that there are better ways to further the objectives of this project it is possible to replace TAD with better approaches. As of now, TAD seems to be the only viable approach: It is free and it has been tested since 1989; even if the testing happened in just one office in India.

For further details on this project, do take a look at the wiki at TeamTAD.

Important Downloads

References

  1. Stephen Covey, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
  2. The Open Source Initiative defines all the various interpretations of the term "Open source"
  3. Richard Stallman explains the four freedoms that we need. We believe that the Four Freedoms are also applicable in architecture.

Read the other relevant topics