A Spatial Exploration Tool for Architects Based on Evolutionary and Agent Computation

Welcome to the Agency-GP website at the Artificial Intelligence Lab

What is Agency-GP?

Agency-GP is an architect's design tool developed by the Emergent Design Group at MIT. Agency-GP creates novel, complex spaces which are 3-dimensional extrusions from a plane marked with many potential extrusion tracks. It is a plug-in to Alias Maya and is intended for use by architects who want to explore the interaction between programmatic factors (what space will be used for) and emergent space allocation. Simon Greenwold developed and implemented much of Agency-GP. He was helped in the implementation by Jason Rolfe and Martin Hemberg. Architects define their program elements and stipulate the important spatial parameter ranges for different elements of the program. Agency-GP uses a genetic programming algorithm to discover unanticipated spaces for the architect to explore that are within the parameter ranges.

The tool is based on genetic programming with an agent-based fitness evaluation. It was implemented by Simon Greenwold and Martin Hemberg. It comes with help pages in HTML. Since these operate within Maya too, it's best to run through the sub-pages by opening them in a second window.

How do I understand the pretty image that's above?
This is an outcome of an Agency-GP 'evolutionary run'. It is a complex space suggested by the tool. In this example, different program elements (e.g. recreation, work, transit) were visualized with different colours. Agents were used to set up acceptable or desired height and area parameters. The initial template was a square with a variety of curved tracks. The extrusions of these tracks were intersected, unioned or otherwise modified by well known boolean operations to get the final space. Note that an extrusion doesn't have to start from the plane of the intial template. (But it could.) Different extrusions were designated to different program elements.
Want something more practical or that feels more like space?

If you started with a template that had linear tracks, you would get linear rather than curved spaces. If you 'told' Agency-GP to tie all extrusions down to the template plane (which is easy to do), Agency-GP would generate something that looks more typically like a space with rooms and corridors. But that would be boring! Here's a flash demo of Agency-GP evolving with a template that has rectilinear tracks.

Download Agency-GP

Agency-GP is implemented as a plug-in to Alias|Wavefront Maya 3.0. You can download the .mll and help files here.

Source code

You can download the source code here. The code is copyright Simon Greenwold.

Watch it in action....


Please report any bugs or other problems. Feel free to send any questions and comments about Agency-GP as well.


GENR8 www pages at the AI Lab
Emergent Design Software Site
Una-May O'Reilly's homepage
Emergent Design Group pages at MIT

Last updated: 2001-08-06 by Una-May O'Reilly