Never before in our history has the design and maintenance of the built environment been so contingent on expertise in the architectural sciences. From conceptual modelling and documentation to code-checking and materials manufacturing, a shift has gradually occurred in the building industry away from its craft-based roots, and its manufacturing industry paradigms, and towards a knowledge-based economy. In the new knowledge-based economy high-level expertise drives processes of design and construction and specialist knowledge is being valued more than specialist skills. In this environment, where ecological sustainability has focussed the world's attentions on the building industry, there is a heightened need for research to be undertaken in the architectural sciences. Yet, in this twenty-first century world, the old definition of the architectural sciences, as pertaining mostly to building services and material properties, is no longer valid. Today, computational skills drive research and industrial applications across most areas in the architectural sciences and all are increasingly underpinned by educational practices. Moreover, computing itself is not just a tool for supporting other research. The work that began to occur in the 1970s under the auspices of shape grammars, space syntax and algoritllmic analysis has lead to the rise of a distinct and vibrant sub-field of the architectural sciences; computation and cognition. This is one of the two sub-fields that are the focus of the present book. The second sub-field has always been part of the architectural sciences in Australasia at least, but around the world it has suffered from a lack of equivalent focus and commitment. This second field of research is concerned with architectural education.
Computing, Cognition and Education: Recent Research in the Architectural Sciences p. 5-8