Designing with the Activity/Space Ontology

  • Simeon J. Simoff
  • Mary Lou Maher


The concept of ontology entered the field of artificial intelligence as a formal system for representing domain concepts and their related linguistic realisations by means of basic elements. We present an ontology that delineates the categories of building design knowledge as “activity” and “space”: the Activity/Space (A/S) ontology. Activity is related to the functionality of the design, or the activities that can take place in a given space. This knowledge model addresses the need to represent requirements corresponding to both the functionality of the spaces in the building and the geometric or physical description of the building. It makes explicit the representation of activities, spaces, and their relationships. The A/S ontology specifically focuses on architectural design, the design of space, bounded by physical objects, in contrast to other types of design, such as the design of engines or computer chips where the solid parts of the design are the focus. The ontology provides a knowledge resource as well as a dynamic framework for representing the changing design description during the specification-design-use-redesign lifecycle.


Design Domain Building Design Design Knowledge Constraint Network Design Document 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simeon J. Simoff
    • 1
  • Mary Lou Maher
    • 1
  1. 1.Key Centre of Design ComputingThe University of SydneyAustralia

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