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
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.
Agency-GP is implemented as a plug-in to Alias|Wavefront Maya 3.0. You
can download the .mll and help files here.
You can download the source code here. The code is copyright Simon Greenwold.
Watch it in action....
A presentation for ACSA by Simon Greenwold. There is also a paper
- A Flash demo of one population consisting of 6 Agency-GP spaces which are curvilinear in nature . The light blue dots show agents 'checking' out properties of each space. Two different program elements are visualized in red and dark grey. (In the Agency-GP manual, a general term of 'zone' is used for program elements.) The grey background (if you look closely) is Alias|Wavefront Maya. Each space is presented in its own Maya layer for quick retrieval and rendering.
- A Flash demo of one population consisting of 8 Agency-GP spacesthat are rectilinear in nature. Again, the different colors denote different program elements.
- A Flash demo giving an overhead or
'plan' view of a population. The demo starts by showing the
initial template and extrusion lines. Then it shows different
- A Flash demo giving a template level
view of a population. The demo starts by showing the initial
template and extrusion lines. Then it shows different population
- A presentation by Una-May O'Reilly, at GECCO-2001, Late Breaking Papers session.
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
Last updated: 2001-08-06 by Una-May O'Reilly
Emergent Design Software Site
Una-May O'Reilly's homepage
Emergent Design Group pages at MIT