A study for exploring student’s perceptions on the role and effect of CAD in conceptual design.
Authors: Foulcher, Nicholas ; Gu, Ning
The increasing popularity of Computer Aided Design (CAD) in architectural practice has
produced a challenge for design education. The overall aim of this research is to understand the role
and effect of CAD in architectural design and education, primarily within the conceptual design phase.
Through focus group interviews, the research explores the impact of different approaches to CAD
education on student’s perception regarding the role and effect of CAD in conceptual design. To
achieve the aim a study was conducted with two accredited architectural schools in Australia. Two
groups of universities, each adopting a very different approach to CAD education were identified and
their enrolled student groups were interviewed. Although the two groups of students being interviewed
have been educated in two very different approaches to CAD education, interestingly both groups have
acknowledged the importance of traditional methods in conceptual design. The effect of CAD on
architectural design and education is primarily seen as a positive and necessary move for the industry
and education but more importantly CAD is not seen as a replacement for traditional methods of design,
rather it should be part of an integrated ecology of software that facilitates a diverse range of design