The appropriate balance between digital and analog techniques

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Design is increasingly becoming linked with technology: computer generated algorithms and parameters, analysis tools, CAD/CAM/CAE technologies for prototypes and increasing developments in production tools are just a few examples that support a more dynamic, technologically driven design processes. Information transfer through the web, E-learning, BIM and IPD imply a more transparent, collaborative, inter-disciplinary design process. What does this mean for analog systems in practice and architectural design education? Some information can effectively be disseminated through more of a web-based/video form, but face to face interaction and the ability to quickly sketch ideas are obviously an important part of a design process. Sketching appears to be becoming more and more digitized. Will the hand sketch and non-prototypical physical models eventually become obsolete? The multitude of digital skills and techniques that young architects now need can seem overwhelming. Increased knowledge in these areas is just part of the solution to good design. Designs now are often based on scripting and data libraries that are available online or within software programs: some designers use this data without understanding the implications involved or they show increased levels of detail at inappropriate stages of the design processes. It is essential that we continue to keep the link between seeing, thinking and making, which is inherent in the process of design. Designers need to be process creators, rather than being process consumers. This paper seeks to address the issue of what analog and digital skills are currently most appropriate for design, the interface between them and discusses the increased technological transformation of the academy and the profession.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)467-474
Number of pages8
JournalDesign Principles and Practices
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2011


  • Building information modeling
  • Integrated design
  • Technical agility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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