University of Oulu

Creative computer aided architectural design : an internal approach to the design process

Saved in:
Author: Haapasalo, Harri1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Economics, Industrial management and entrepreneurship
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 4 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: 2000
Publish Date: 2000-08-23
Thesis type: Doctoral Dissertation
Defence Note: Academic Dissertation to be presented with the assent of the Faculty of Technology, University of Oulu, for public discussion in Raahensali (Auditorium L 10), Linnanmaa, on September 15th, 2000, at 12 noon.
Reviewer: Docent Tapani Savolainen
Professor Örjan Wikforss


This survey can be seen as quite multidisciplinary research. The basis for this study has been inapplicability of different CAD user interfaces in architectural design. The objective of this research is to improve architectural design from the creative problem-solving viewpoint, where the main goal is to intensify architectural design by using information technology. The research is linked to theory of methods, where an internal approach to design process means studying the actions and thinking of architects in the design process. The research approach has been inspired by hermeneutics.

The human thinking process is divided into subconscious and conscious thinking. The subconscious plays a crucial role in creative work. The opposite of creative work is systematic work, which attempts to find solutions by means of logical inference. Both creative and systematic problem solving have had periods of predominance in the history of Finnish architecture. The perceptions in the present study indicate that neither method alone can produce optimal results. Logic is one of the tools of creativity, since the analysis and implementation of creative solutions require logical thinking. The creative process cannot be controlled directly, but by creating favourable work conditions for creativity, it can be enhanced.

Present user interfaces can make draughting and the creation of alternatives quicker and more effective in the final stages of designing. Only two thirds of the architects use computers in working design, even the CAD system is being acquired in greater number of offices. User interfaces are at present inflexible in sketching. Draughting and sketching are the basic methods of creative work for architects. When working with the mouse, keyboard and screen the natural communication channel is impaired, since there is only a weak connection between the hand and the line being drawn on the screen. There is no direct correspondence between hand movements and the lines that appear on the screen, and the important items cannot be emphasized by, for example, pressing the pencil more heavily than normally. In traditional sketching the pen is a natural extension of the hand, as sketching can sometimes be controlled entirely by the unconscious. Conscious efforts in using the computer shift the attention away from the actual design process. However, some architects have reached a sufficiently high level of skill in the use of computer applications in order to be able to use them effectively in designing without any harmful effect on the creative process.

There are several possibilities in developing CAD systems aimed at architectural design, but the practical creative design process has developed during a long period of time, in which case changing it in a short period of time would be very difficult. Although CAD has had, and will have, some evolutionary influences on the design process of architects as an entity, the future CAD user interface should adopt its features from the architect's practical and creative design process, and not vice versa.

see all

Series: Acta Universitatis Ouluensis. C, Technica
ISSN-E: 1796-2226
ISBN: 951-42-5754-5
ISBN Print: 951-42-5753-7
Issue: 149
Copyright information: © University of Oulu, 2000. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.