This paper aims to discuss recent approaches in using more and more frequently computer tools as supports for the conceptual design phase of the architectural project. The present state-of-the-art about software as conceptual design tool could be summarized in two parallel tendencies. On the one hand, the main software houses are trying to introduce powerful and effective user-friendly applications in the world of building designers, that are more and more able to fit their specific requirements; on the other hand, some groups of expert users with a basic programming knowledge seem to deal with the problem of software as conceptual design tool by means of 'scripting', in other words by self-developing codes able to solve specific and well defined design problems. Starting with a brief historical recall and the discussion of relevant researches and practical experiences, this paper investigates the most recent studies about digital conceptual design tools. The combined use of Rhinoceros™, a powerful threedimensional modeller diffused among designers, and Rhinoscript™, its implemented programming environment, is here presented as a possible effective way to deal with computer technologies for conceptual design in architecture.
Proceedings of International Symposium of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (iass) : Spatial Structures - Temporary and Permanent: Shanghai, China, November 8-12 2010, 2010, p. 1235-1248