A key decision within ANSI/IEEE 1471 is to separate the notion of view and viewpoint; both concepts are important to understanding architectural practice. The following physical examples may help to motivate the distinction. If one looks at the front of a chair and the front of a car one sees different things. A chair and a car are different objects, but both can be “viewed” from the front. ANSI/IEEE 1471 would call the concept of looking from the front the “viewpoint” and what one actually sees when looking at a particular object from the front the “front view.” Thus, the viewpoint is where one looks from, the view is what one sees. This relationship is illustrated in Figure 2. It has been explored at greater length elsewhere [Maier, 1998].
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