The design of performing arts center’s, sporting venues, and other places of spectacle requires the layout of a large number of seats with the hope that most, if not all spectators will have an unobstructed view of the event. Equations can be used to calculate a rake that will limit one person’s head of hair from blocking another person’s view, but it is difficult to know how well this value is working for every seat.
We are developing a Grasshopper definition that takes any potential point of view and simulates what areas on the stage would be blocked from view. A slider controls which seat is analyzed and Rhino’s camera orientation and location are also adjusted to the selected seat. The definition can also be used to compare the quality of view from all of the seats by coloring the heads according to which ones have the clearest view versus those with the highest number of obstructions.
The goal is to be able to use the definition as a feedback tool for creating parametric iterations of seating layouts within Grasshopper. It is also capable of analyzing existing seating layouts using the center location of each seat, allowing consultant provided options to be more easily compared.
This definition is still under develop so please send feedback related to how you might imagine something like this working, what you’d like it to be able to do, or what information is important.
The section of the definition that lays out the seating centerlines can be downloaded: SeatingLayout20100713 (994). (This definition was written in Grasshopper 0.7.0030). The other parts of the definition are currently not available for download.
Obligatory disclaimer: the author does not guarantee that these parametric models are bug-free or that they will solve all of your problems. If you find bugs or have suggestions for improvements, please let us know.