The effect of Computer Aided Design (CAD) on the design process of final year master’s in architecture students

Morton, David E. (2023) The effect of Computer Aided Design (CAD) on the design process of final year master’s in architecture students. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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The ability to effectively navigate the architectural design process is regarded as one of the most important attributes for architecture students, and therefore of considerable interest to architectural education. The increasing use of Computer Aided Design (CAD) challenges academics to question its effect on the design process, as well as the role of traditional methods in design enquiry. Some educators have expressed concern that CAD methods may inhibit the design process and that successful application is based on computer skills, rather than design ability, thus limiting its use merely to the visualisation of schemes. Such disquiet can also be found in the literature, but this notion has rarely been explored in depth. Certainly, little research considers the plurality of computer-based techniques together with traditional methods. A cohort of 16 master students provides the context for this study, and data collection takes place during a nine-month major project. The research methods are observations, interviews, and documents that include sketchbooks, models, paintings and design presentations. The data analysis is framed around three interconnected lenses. They are – what are the stages of design enquiry in which students undertake each technique, when the students move between CAD and analogue techniques for design exploration; and why the students choose each approach. The thesis contributes much needed knowledge on a more holistic understanding of the effect of computer-aided tools and techniques on architectural design. It explores the potential for the interaction of methods rather than the generalised assumption that only one or the other could be used. From the literature, data collection and analysis, a framework is constructed that sets out a strategy for supporting the delivery of CAD within architectural design projects in education and is devised to assist programme designers and course leaders, studio tutors, and students, in their development of design processes.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Architectural Design Process, CAD Computer Aided Design, effect of CAD and Digital methods on design process, framework for use, analysis of the design process…
Subjects: K900 Others in Architecture, Building and Planning
X300 Academic studies in Education
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Architecture and Built Environment
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2024 15:52
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2024 11:24

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