smyth98.pdf (429.16 kB)
Download file

The tools designers use: what do they reveal about design thinking?

Download (429.16 kB)
conference contribution
posted on 05.05.2006, 10:17 authored by Michael Smyth
This paper investigates the nature and use of existing tools during a design task as a means of gathering information concerning practitioners' conception of that activity. Two case studies are reported which focus on the final year projects of undergraduate designers enrolled on a BA in Interior Design. Based on these studies a number of conclusions are drawn concerning the nature of design tools and in particular the interdependencies revealed between drawing, modelling and CAD. The role of visualisation within design is considered in the context of its support by these tools and critically how the various techniques developed by the designers impact on their conception of the design activity. The paper concludes by outlining a number of nascent requirements for the design of technology aimed at supporting the early creative phase of design.



  • Design

Research Unit

  • IDATER Archive


414329 bytes


SMYTH, M., 1998. The tools designers use: what do they reveal about design thinking? IDATER 1998 Conference, Loughborough: Loughborough University


© Loughborough University

Publication date



This is a conference paper.