Classification and Use of Design Tools: The Roles of Tools in the Architectural Design Process

By Lieve Weytjens, Evelien Verdonck and Griet Verbeeck.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The growing complexity and fragmentation of the architectural design process, largely due to stricter regulations, new technologies and increasing specialization, has led to an important rise in the number of design support tools available to designers today. These tools, ranging from simple checklists to complex simulation software, are intended to facilitate different aspects of the design process. While there are numerous studies available that provide a possible classification, most studies focus on specific design aspects, for instance sustainability or user-centered design; there is no general outline of tools available. However, researchers and design tool developers need this general information about the way designers incorporate tools into their design process, and about the kind of support designers need in the different stages of the design process, in order to improve available tools or to develop new tools.

In this paper a classification is composed, based on a representative number of design tools, derived from literature. The proposed classification defines six types of design tools according to the role they play in the design process: knowledge – based tools, communication tools, modeling tools, presentation tools, structuring tools and evaluation & analysis tools. A tool can belong to one or more categories. These categories provide the framework for a survey. Aim of the survey is to gain insight into the use of these types of tools by Flemish designers in architectural practices, as well as the phase in the design process in which they are used or most needed.

The collected data show the kind of support designers need in the different stages of the design process. This may help researchers and tool developers to develop design support tools accordingly, to maximize their usability.

Keywords: Architecture, Design Methodology, Design Support, Design Tools, Survey

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp.289-302. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.888MB).

Lieve Weytjens

PhD Candidate, Department of Architecture, University College of Limburg (PHL), Hasselt University, Diepenbeek, Limburg, Belgium

Lieve Weytjens has a Masters’ Degree in Architecture. She is currently working on her PhD research in the field of sustainable design at the University College of Limburg (PHL) and Hasselt University. Her research focuses on the development of a design support tool for sustainable architecture.

Evelien Verdonck

PhD Candidate, Department of Architecture, University College of Limburg (PHL), Hasselt University, Diepenbeek, Limburg, Belgium

Evelien Verdonck has a Masters’ Degree in Architecture. She is currently working on her PhD research in the field of “Design for All” at the University College of Limburg (PHL) and Hasselt University. Her research focuses on the development of a webbased design tool for user-centered design.

Dr. Griet Verbeeck

Assistant Professor and Research Associate, Department of Architecture, University College of Limburg (PHL), Diepenbeek, Limburg, Belgium

Dr. Ir-Arch. Griet Verbeeck received her MS (1991) and PhD (2007) degrees in architectural engineering from the University of Leuven (K.U.Leuven). She is now an assistant professor and research associate of the University College of Limburg (PHL) and the K.U.Leuven. Her main area of research is Sustainable Architecture with a focus on energy and indoor comfort.

Reviews:

There are currently no reviews of this product.

Write a Review